Melmark’s growing endowment fund represents the generosity of generations of donors who believe in Melmark’s mission-first work and commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals within diverse communities with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

About the Endowment

Melmark’s endowment provides critical support for our mission-first work and priorities, including:


  • Recruitment and retention of a highly-skilled workforce
  • Continuation and expansion of adult services and programs
  • Innovation to elevate the field and raise the quality of service
  • Support for all individuals to achieve their best outcomes



Mission-First Contributions

In 2024, Melmark received an endowment gift of over $30 million from an anonymous donor.  The gift, the largest of any kind in the organization’s almost 60-year history, will fuel Melmark’s mission to enhance the lives of individuals with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities for generations to come.

This historic gift comes at an inflection point for direct care service providers amidst a national workforce crisis.  It will support Melmark’s commitment to employing a highly-skilled workforce and the continuation of adult services which serve and support countless individuals with autisim and intellectual disabilities who need and deserve Melmark’s specialized programs.  This gift will help close the gap as government reimbursement rates for these services and staff wages have been stagnant for over a decade.

A portion of the gift will also accelerate the development of the EnvisionSMART™ Institute, an extension of Melmark’s commitments to elevating the field and raising the quality of service delivery nationwide.


Read the full press release here.


Click here to watch the announcement video.


In 2020, Melmark received a $21.5 million endowment gift from the Anne and Brutus Kenan Fund.  The historic and generous endowment gift came from two siblings whose lives have been transformed by Melmark’s programs.


Anne and Brutus have benefited from a life well-lived within the Melmark community, as a result of the compassionate care provided by Melmark’s highly skilled workforce. The gift will allow Anne and Brutus’ lives to continue to positively impact countless other individuals who need and deserve Melmark’s specialized evidence-based programs.


As expressed by Anne and Brutus’ family, “it is a circle of deep gratitude for Melmark’s passion and commitment to those they serve” that made this gift possible.  This transformational gift will provide the foundation for Melmark’s campaign to increase its endowment with a primary goal to ensure the future of adult services, while continuing a deep commitment to honor all individuals with disabilities served at the not-for-profit organization and beyond.


Read the full press release here.


Endowment FAQs

What is an endowment? 

  • An endowment is a dedicated source of long-term funding, made up of donated gifts, that supports the mission and work of a non-profit. The principal balance of the fund is restricted and cannot be withdrawn.  Each year, a portion of the earnings that the principal funds generate in the form of interest and/or dividends, can be withdrawn to fund the organization’s work.


Why is an endowment important?

  • An endowment fund is important because it can provide long-term financial support for an organization and provide sustainability during unstable times.


Are there constraints on endowment funds?

  • The majority of Melmark’s endowment funds are “restricted”, meaning that donors have specified that they would like their gift to support a particular aspect of Melmark’s mission.

“The growth and momentous support of our endowment over the last decade will provide sustainability for generations to come and move Melmark forward in a variety of ways – from the programs and services we offer to our ability to elevate our field and impact, all with the goal of ensuring that every individual we serve has a fulfilling life.”

Rita M. Gardner, M.P.H., LABA, BCBA, CDE®
President and CEO


Click here to learn more about the various ways to give to Melmark.


For more information, please contact:


Melmark Pennsylvania
Lisa Ketcham
Director of Advancement
Melmark, Inc.
2600 Wayland Road
Berwyn, PA 19312


Melmark New England and Melmark Carolinas
Ellen Kallman
Director of Advancement
Melmark New England
461 River Road
Andover, MA 01810