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Core Grants Program

Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits for Programs
that Benefit Children and Youth in Eligible Counties

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Grace S. and W. Linton Nelson Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/28/20 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $20,000 per year to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations to benefit youth and children in eligible counties. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended for programs that help to enhance the character, academic, and leadership development of youth and children in Delaware, Chester, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties.

The Foundation prefers to make general operating grants whenever possible, but will also consider requests for project support. If at least 75% of an organization’s programming (measured by percent of program expenses in your organization’s budget) aligns well with the Foundation’s mission, that organization is encouraged to apply for a general operating grant.

The Nelson Foundation will consider support for the following:

  • Programs and organizations that support the Foundation’s Mission to expand opportunities for children and youth to become responsible, productive and engaged members of their communities. The Foundation does this by supporting organizations that improve the academic, character, and leadership development of children and youth.
  • Programs and organizations that align with the Foundation’s strategic priorities to: fill gaps in life skills education and experiences for children and youth that will prepare them for success in their personal lives, in education, in the workplace, and in their communities; invest in strengthening organizations whose programs are aligned with the Foundation’s mission; provide for unmet needs, the lack of which may hinder the development of children and youth.
  • Programs and organizations that reflect the values of the Nelson Foundation, including Providing Opportunity, Personal Responsibility, Integrity, Adaptability, and Stewardship
  • Programs and organizations that provide direct service to children and youth, with an emphasis on programs and organizations serving socially and economically disadvantaged children and youth, including those from households with low incomes and limited economic resources, and populations that have been historically marginalized or have limited access to opportunities aligned with the Foundation’s mission.
  • The Foundation prioritizes out-of-school time programming, but may consider excellent in-school programming when appropriate. While the Foundation has a particular interest in supporting the development of children and youth ages 6 to 18, support is not limited to that age group.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 145720

Estimated Size of Grant:

Core grants are typically between $10,000 - $20,000 annually ($20,000 - $40,000 total for two years).

Term of Contract:

Core grants are awarded as two-year grants.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible programs /organizations:
- Programs and organizations that support and reflect the Mission, Strategic Priorities, Values of The Nelson Foundation.
- Organizations that have been certified as tax exempt under 501(c)(3) and 501(a)(1) or (2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Organizations serving the following counties in Pennsylvania: Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.
- Organizations with budgets under $5 million. The Nelson Foundation believes that it is able to have the greatest impact when it supports smaller organizations.
- Fiscally sponsored organizations that meet all other eligibility requirements.
- Local affiliates of national organizations, if a local office with an Executive Director and advisory board are in place and the local budget is under $5 million. A local 501(c)(3) designation is preferred.

Ineligible programs/organizations:
- Organizations where children and youth programming is not a primary focus. Specifically, an organization may request support only if a majority of the organization’s program activities align with the mission of the Foundation.
- Organizations with budgets over $5 million. The Nelson Foundation believes that it is able to have the greatest impact when it supports smaller organizations.
- All schools, including public, private parochial, and charter
- Day care or Pre-K centers
- Hospitals
- National or umbrella organizations
- Individuals, including scholarships, fellowships, child care, and funds in aid of travel or research
- Private foundations and supporting organizations designated by the IRS as 501(a)(3)
- Medical and mental health treatment, research, or therapy
- Counseling services
- Substance abuse prevention and treatment
- Drop-in, one-time, or infrequent programming
- Summer camp programs in which participants attend for less than four weeks
- Deficits or debt service projects or organizations where the Foundation would be the sole institutional funder
- Organizations seeking support or sponsorship of parties, conferences, fairs, or other special events, including purchase of tickets, tables, or advertisements.
- Religious or sectarian programs
- Programs for animals
- Organizations whose primary mission is public policy research or advocacy

Pre-Application Information:

The Nelson Foundation has two grant cycles that typically begin in January and July of each year. All applicants are required to submit an LOI prior to being invited to submit a full proposal. The next deadline for LOIs is January 24, 2020. Invitations and instructions on how to submit a full proposal will be extended to applicants within two weeks of the LOI deadline.

Key Dates for Core Grant Application Process:
- January 2-24, 2020: LOIs accepted until 5:00 PM on January 24
- February 28, 2020: Full proposals due by 5:00 PM (if LOI was approved)
- July 2020: Applicants notified of grant award or denial

LOIs for the Fall 2020 grant cycle will be accepted in July 2020.

In the core grant program, site visits generally are scheduled by the Foundation after the LOI phase for new applicants and for other selected organizations.

Please remember that if a request from your organization has been declined, you must wait 12 months from your last LOI submission to re-apply.




Tips for applying online:



Additional information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

The Grace S. and W. Linton Nelson Foundation
150 N. Radnor Chester Rd., Suite F200
Radnor, PA 19087
P: (610) 977-2488
F: (610) 977-0043

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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