Gloucester, MA—In an extraordinary commitment to the well-being of the communities it serves, the Institution for Savings, headquartered in Newburyport, has made a charitable donation of $1,000,000 to Sawyer Free 2025 (visit, a philanthropic capital campaign to fund a comprehensive renovation, modernization and expansion of Cape Ann’s oldest public library. The seven-figure gift underscores the bank’s business outlook that success extends beyond profitability, growth rate and brand recognition, and further demonstrates its goal of effecting social change with its corporate values, practices and profits. 

“This is such an important project for the City of Gloucester, the residents, the schools and the many non-profit organizations who have partnerships with the library,” said Institution for Savings President/CEO Michael Jones. “This project, when completed, will establish the library as a state-of-the-art hub for innovation, history, learning, arts and culture—right in the heart of Gloucester. We are thrilled and honored to partner with the Sawyer Library Foundation on this initiative and we graciously challenge others in the community to step up and help make this vital project a reality for the people of Gloucester.”

The Sawyer Free 2025 project will preserve the original exterior of Sawyer Free Library, which will house a fully redesigned interior, and will also double the size of the existing library’s footprint with a 15,000-square foot addition. The Institution for Savings’ donation represents the largest single corporate gift to the Sawyer Free 2025 campaign to date. 

“The Institution for Savings’ goal of raising standards of living and advancing quality of life in the communities it serves is clearly evidenced by this astounding show of generosity,” said Barry Weiner, a retired attorney and the campaign chair for Sawyer Free 2025. “The bank’s commitment to exemplary corporate citizenship and social-mindedness is a powerful endorsement of our vision to fund this once-in-a-lifetime investment in a vital community resource. By giving back so unsparingly to the people who live here and by supporting growth for generations to come, the Institution for Savings has provided a huge tailwind for this philanthropic campaign. We urge our fellow citizens of Gloucester as well as residents across Cape Ann to be guided by this show of support and rise to this occasion with donations both big and small.”

The design principles of Sawyer Free 2025 are grounded in the human experience and an ambition to put people first. The newly renovated and expanded Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library will stand as a model for what a 21st century civic hub can and should be in terms of architecture, accessibility, sustainability, the use of natural resources and light, layouts, lines of sight, air quality and public safety. The end product will exponentially amplify the library’s ability to deliver critical services and outcomes not only for Gloucester, but for communities across Cape Ann and the North Shore as a place of equity, inclusion, connection, creation, compassion, renewal and advancement.

The Sawyer Free 2025 project’s total cost is $28 million, a sum that includes built-in inflation costs through the project’s completion in 2025. The Sawyer Library Foundation, the fundraising arm of the campaign, has already inspired $14.3 million in pledged donations and grant awards. The new facility—featuring a sound studio, a film studio, a digital tech lab and 110-seat community meeting space—will result in a 25-percent increase in annual visitors, a 25-percent increase in the number of public programs offered each month by the library and a 50-percent increase in the number of programs hosted at the library by partner agencies.

Since 1820, the Institution for Savings, the largest mutual savings bank in Massachusetts, has played an integral role in supporting the communities it serves. The bank’s Sawyer Free 2025 gift was made possible by the Institution for Savings Charitable Foundation. Through its Grant Committee, the foundation awards funds to organizations designated as charities under IRS section 501(c)(3) in Amesbury, Beverly, Boxford, Byfield, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Ipswich, Middleton, Newburyport, Newbury, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Topsfield, Wenham, West Newbury and the surrounding communities.

Students from Gloucester’s Veterans Memorial Elementary School gather at the Sawyer Free Library to celebrate the Institution for Savings’ $1 million donation to the Sawyer Free 2025 campaign to renovate and expand Cape Ann’s oldest public library ( (front row, l to r) Aurora Puryear, Hannah Loiacono, Emmia Tuinei, Guiseppe Favazza, Jayden Soini and Kaydon Babine; (back row, l to r) Library Assistant Leah Svennson, Library Administrator Lisa Jonas, Sawyer Free 2025 Campaign Manager Sarah Oaks, Library Board of Trustees President Mern Sibley, Sawyer Free 2025 Campaign Chair Barry Weiner, Institution for Savings President/CEO Michael Jones, Library Director Jenny Benedict and library patron Emily Mercurio with daughter, Lucie.

✓ How do I learn more or contact Sawyer Free 2025?


Call 978.225.0363 or 978.225.0915

Facebook: Sawyer Free 2025

Instagram: Sawyer Free 2025

YouTube: Sawyer Library Foundation 2025

✓ How Do I Give to Sawyer Free 2025?

  • Visit
  • Text to donate: Text “325182” to 1-855-575-7888 and select an amount
  • Checks: SF2025, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester, 01930 (Checks payable to: “Sawyer Library Foundation”)
  • Volunteer! Reach out if you want to pitch in at the library or with the capital campaign, either in person or virtually. Help your neighbors, serve your community and share your expertise. No matter what kind of volunteer work you do for us, you are contributing in invaluable ways.


  1. The Sawyer Free Library is a crucial piece of Gloucester. The Institute for Savings clearly understands this and has brought us closer to ensuring that the Library will continue to provide critical programs and services for the coming decades. Thank you for your impressive gift and commitment to the citizens of Cape Ann!


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