Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Foundation
Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Foundation.

Open applications for $1 million key to community grants for nonprofits

The Key to Community is one of four new initiatives the Philadelphia Foundation is launching this year.


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In honor of its 100th anniversary celebration in March, The Philadelphia Foundation revealed the launch of four new community engagement initiatives, focusing on various key service roles.

One of those initiatives is the 'Key to Community', which is an opportunity for Philadelphia community members to select local nonprofits to receive $1 million worth of grants.

In total, nine grants will be awarded across three different categories. The categories are:

  • Economic Prosperity
    • These grants are co-presented by Wells Fargo and the Philadelphia Foundation, and will seek to create and enhance avenues to financial stability and success, especially for those in low-to-moderate income communities. 
  • The Opportunity Divide
    • These grants are co-presented by Comcast and the Philadelphia Foundation, and will improve equal access to the advantages of technology and digital skills that propel economic mobility. This includes anything from foundational literacy at every age to career pathways in technology and real-world applications, like workplace learning. 
  • Community and Civic Engagement
    • These grants are presented by the Philadelphia Foundation, and will support efforts that are actively engaging and directly involving residents in developing, leading and sustaining ongoing solution. 

The distribution of the $1 million in grants will comprise of three first-place $200,000 grants; three second-place $100,000 grants; and three third-place $33,000 grants. 

Diane Melley, executive director of Second Century Initiatives & Corporate Partnerships at the Philadelphia Foundation, said the initiatives that fit within those three categories will address some of the most significant community needs in the Philadelphia area. 

"The connecting thread between them is helping our region’s residents live better lives," she added. "We’ve intentionally made these categories broad because we are seeking to scale up existing effective solutions, whether they’re based in the arts, education, health, human services and beyond."

The application for submissions can be found here, and proposals will be accepted through Monday, April 29, 2019 at 5pm. 

This is the first-of-its kind public grantmaking initiative. 

"Our goal is to show people of all backgrounds and means that they can be changemakers in the community by getting involved, in this case by voting for effective solutions," said Melley. "Of course volunteering, giving or getting together with your neighbors and brainstorming an idea to solve a challenge are also ways to get involved in making a better region. Our goal is to inspire more people in our community to take action."

After the application period closes, the public voting will open shortly thereafter and the grant announcements will be made in late July. 


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