about the Beeson Trust

…to Canterbury United Methodist Church, Mountain Brook, Alabama, to apply to the relief of the needy elderly of Jefferson County, Alabama, including medical treatment…Last Will and Testament of Lucille Stewart Beeson, January 8, 2001.

October 15, 2001 began an ongoing and unique program at Canterbury. Long-time member, Lucille Stewart Beeson, died and left a great gift to our community. Her estate, valued in 2001 at $168 million was left to 12 agencies in town. Today, that account is valued at almost $200 million.

Canterbury was granted 10.6% of the interest on this money. Canterbury’s mission was to find ways to address the needy elderly in Jefferson County, including health care. For the last 15 years, there has been dedicated teams of Canterburians who receive proposals from agencies, attend site visits with applying agencies, and meet quarterly  to allocate funds.


Background & Mission

The legacy left to Canterbury United Methodist Church by Lucille Beeson is administered by the Lucille Beeson Team, also known as “the Team.” The Team’s mission is “to enhance the quality of life of the needy elderly in Jefferson County.” 
The Team defines “needy” as “being in want” which can arise from a lack of access to resources and poor health, or otherwise in need of relief.  The Team has established no strict age requirement for qualification as “elderly,” but generally conforms to national standards such as AARP, which recognizes elderly as 55 years or older. 
The Team evaluates each grant request on its own merits; however, with limited funding available, there is a conscious attempt to address “Raw Edge Needs” and adhere to guidelines offered in Matthew 25: :For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.  I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me.”
Although Lucille Beeson vested in Canterbury United Methodist Church the responsibility of administrating her bequest, grants will be evaluated on a non-sectarian basis, without discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, gender, handicap, age, or sexual orientation. Nevertheless, applications will be evaluated in light of the principles held by the United Methodist Church and those set out in Lucille Beeson’s will.

Guidelines for grant applications

*Updated 12/13/16


The Team will review submitted grants quarterly. The submission deadlines are:

  • January 15
  • April 15
  • July 15
  • October 15

All applications must be submitted by email to lesliecarlisle@me.com no later than midnight of the applicable due date. Applications will not be accepted by hand delivery to the Canterbury United Methodist Church. The Team will endeavor to communicate its decisions on applications within eight weeks of each quarterly deadline.

What We Look For

To make the greatest impact with the funds available, the Team prefers requests that address a critical community need in the following areas:                   

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Basic Necessities
  • Education/Advocacy
  • Transportation

Limitations and Restrictions

The Team considers grant applications from agencies with the following criteria:
nonprofit organizations only, that provide services in Jefferson County, Alabama for the needy elderly.
tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code .
must have received its Letter of Determination from the IRS and be able to provide a copy in their grant application.

No grants are made to or for:

  • Political organizations or candidates for public office
  • Lobbying
  • Non-Profit organizations or foundations where grant proceeds may benefit a for profit company

Beeson Trust grant applications

*Incomplete grant applications may not be considered.

The Team has no specific application form. Proposals must be submitted in writing, scanned, and electronically mailed to lesliecarlisle@me.com. Please provide:

  • Why funds are being requested, and how many persons will be affected
  • If approved, how will the funds be used to enhance the quality of life of the needy elderly in Jefferson County
  • How will the success of this effort be measured

What to Include in Your Application

I. Cover letter

One page only, signed by your Director and Board Chair, including:

  • Name, address, phone, fax numbers and email addresses of the organization
  • Name and title of the contact person if other than the director
  • Amount requested
  • An abstract or summary in one paragraph of the proposed project

ii. The Full Proposal

In no more than four pages, please provide the following information:

  • Agency Background including:
    • Its history including major programs or accomplishments where applicable
    • Any links with similar organizations
    • Funding received by the agency in the last 12 months from Canterbury United Methodist Church. Also, any funding requests that maybe currently pending with Canterbury United Methodist Church should be noted.  If funding has been received, or is pending, what was the purpose?
  • The Project or Program Proposed
    • The total cost of the project or program and the amount requested
    • Goals and objectives, including what will change, for whom, by how much, and when
    • The activities that will be carried out to accomplish the objectives and how their success will be measured
    • The qualifications of key personnel
    • Any other organizations involved in this project and/or providing similar services in Jefferson County
  • Project Continuation
    • If the project is ongoing, what plans are there to continue after the funding period?
    • What plans are there for ongoing financial and community support to ensure the future of the project?
  • Project Evaluation
    • Criteria for effectiveness
    • The methods to be used to analyze results (measure progress)
    • Who will assess the results?
    • Are leverage opportunities being used or explored?
  • Financial Information
    • A line item income and expense budget for the project, including in-kind and cash support
    • A list of other foundations or sources to which this proposal has been or will be submitted. Please indicate whether funds have been committed, declined, or are pending from other sources.
    • Organization’s current annual operating budget and an income & expense statement/balance sheet for the last fiscal year (audited financials if available). The financial information should reflect sources of support as well as expenses.
  • Additional Material
    • A list of current Board of Directors including the primary professional and/or civic affiliation of each member
    • Names, titles, and telephone numbers of three professionals familiar with the work of your organization
    • Copy of the organization’s tax-exempt letter (Determination Letter) from the IRS
    • A description of insurance carried
    • A description of known staff members or laity of Canterbury United Methodist Church who hold leadership positions in the organization

Where to Submit Your Application

Email Applications To

Ms. Leslie Carlisle

Attn: The Lucille Beeson Team/Canterbury United Methodist Church


For questions, contact:

Leslie Carlisle
The Lucille Beeson Team
lesliecarlisle@me.com | 205.706.8828

How Your Application is Reviewed

By getting your application in well before the deadline, you afford the Beeson Team the opportunity to provide feedback on your application. Therefore, if further detail is needed to enhance the informative quality of your application, you will have time to provide that before the deadline.

Each request is reviewed before the Team meets. Your agency will be contacted should additional information be required and a site visit may be scheduled. During this same period, please advise us should circumstances arise which would change or affect any aspect of your request.

Recent Grants

On June 14, 2016, the  Beeson Team Met and Approved the Following Grants:

  • PEER | $45,000 | Senior Market Basket Program, Education about SNAP, Special senior days at the Downstairs Diner
  • Brown Bag | $75,000
  • Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham | $15,000 | Provides emergency assistance to seniors
  • Avondale Samaritan Place | $18,750 | Brown Bag and Carpenter’s Hands support
  • Woodlawn Foundation | $30,000 | Senior Homeowner Rehabilitation Program
  • Urban Ministry | $3,663 | Cost of paint for senior housing

In six months, the Team will follow up with these agencies to ensure the funds are being spent appropriately; a year-end in report will be received as well.

What a wonderful legacy Mrs. Beeson has left Canterbury and our community.

Our Team Members are very active with our grant recipients staying in regular contact with the agency to discuss current program needs, suggest networking opportunities, and to anticipate future needs.

If you are interested in learning more about the Canterbury Beeson Committee, please contact Kim Rogers at 205.903.4532.