Mission & History
The mission of the Kelley Foundation is to enrich the quality of life on Cape Cod through the Kelley Foundation Scholars Program and grants to nonprofit organizations providing programs and services that support all areas of the community: health and human services; housing; youth development; food security and access; arts & culture; and the environment.
Our Story: Two distant relatives. Two years of conversations. A new Foundation.
The Kelley Foundation was established in 1954. Dr. Julius G. Kelley inspired it. Edward Bangs Kelley funded it.
Edward, known as E.B., was born on Cape Cod and started his career by opening a small grocery business in Dennis. Later, the successful entrepreneur owned the E.B. Kelley Construction and Equipment Company in New York. E.B. traveled widely throughout the world and married a countess from Budapest, Elza DeHorvath. While the couple lived in Manhattan, they always had a second home in Dennis Port.
At the time, Julius was the superintendent of the former Barnstable County Hospital in Pocasset. The two men were distant relatives. After E.B. and Elza Kelley retired on the Cape, Julius proposed the idea of a foundation to promote the health and welfare of Barnstable County residents.
On December 10, 1954, E.B. and his wife founded the Edward Bangs Kelley and Elza Kelley Foundation, Inc. Upon E.B.’s death at the age of 89 in 1955, the foundation came to life with the receipt of $25,000 and a few securities from his estate. Over time, the Foundation received additional funds, making income available for grants.
The first grants were awarded in 1955; most were for medical scholarships, funds for hospital equipment, and support for health and welfare organizations. When Elza Kelley died, the Foundation received the balance of the bequest which increased its assets significantly.
Over the years, the Foundation has received additional bequests and donations. Today, it has over $8 million in assets. In the last 20 years, the organization has distributed approximately $5 million in scholarships and grants to support all aspects of community life.