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Advocacy Unrestricted Grants

Grants to Pennsylvania and New Jersey Nonprofits
in Eligible Regions to Support Advocacy Work

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Philadelphia Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $30,000 to Pennsylvania and New Jersey nonprofit advocacy organizations in eligible regions that are working to advance critical issues on behalf of vulnerable and low-income populations. Funding may be used for activities such as coalition building, education, organizing, contributions to capital campaigns and endowments and operational costs.

Successful applicants will demonstrate a track record of identifying community issues of concern and the specific policies reinforcing these issues, implementing activities challenging these policies and practices and a history of winning policy changes. Priority will be given to those organizations that are able to demonstrate that at least 70% of those they serve or represent are low-income and are considered marginalized.

Grants are available to nonprofits serving this population:

Greater Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey).

Important Considerations:

  • Organizations must support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other historically marginalized and under-invested communities (e.g. low-wealth/low-income communities, women, queer- and trans-identified people, youth, undocumented immigrants, etc.).
  • Collaboratives/coalitions must describe the specific ways this model benefits marginalized and low-income communities as well as overall campaign development including member roles and responsibilities and campaign implementation and outcomes.
  • Statewide and national organizations will differentiate work done in Philadelphia and surrounding counties from its broader advocacy efforts. Grants to these organizations will be pro-rated based upon their work in Greater Philadelphia.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183869

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant amounts range between $15,000 and $30,000. Grants to organizations that are national or state-wide will be pro-rated based upon their work in Greater Philadelphia.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Common Requirements For All Grant Applicants:
- 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter
- List of Board of Directors and their affiliations
- Most recent audit (if not available, IRS Form 990 or Profit/Loss statement)
- One Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Staff Person
- Current PA Bureau of Charitable Organizations Certificate
- Executive summary of current strategic plan or logic model
- Board-approved Nondiscrimination Policy that is in compliance with the Philadelphia Foundation’s non-discrimination policy
- Organizational Budget
- Not an ineligible organization

Special Requirements:
- Operating Budget above $100,000
- No deficit of more than 10% for prior three years
- No more than two years of deficits for prior three years
- Must complete child abuse clearance and criminal background checks for all staff and volunteers who work with youth.

Strongly Preferred:
- Written, board-approved policies regarding whistle-blowing, conflict of interest, and document retention and destruction.
- Interim or permanent executive leadership in place for at least three months.
- Limited familial relationships among board and staff members.

Organizations with interim executive directors must have a board-approved hiring and on-boarding plan for permanent executive director.

Organizations operating less than three years must provide an executive summary of a board-approved strategic plan or a logic model.

Generally, the Philadelphia Foundation does not use discretionary dollars to support organizations where there are familial relationships across the board and staff. For each request, PF will consider the type of family relationship and the controls in place to mitigate any perceived or actual conflict.

PF looks closely at all Forms 990 submitted to the IRS. In order to be considered in good standing for an unrestricted grant, organizations are expected to have the following policies in place, as indicated in the Part VI, Section B of the IRS Form 990.
- Conflict of Interest Policies
- Whistleblower Policy
- Independent process with comparability data for determining compensation
- Providing copy of the Form 990 to board members prior to filing

PF will only consider one request for discretionary funding during a calendar year. PF's discretionary grantmaking programs include Advocacy, Direct Service, Fund For Children Strategic Investment in Youth, Impact, and Leadership. Organizations receiving discretionary grants are still eligible for YOUTHadelphia grants.

Ineligible Organizations:
An organization is ineligible to receive funding through The Philadelphia Foundation’s discretionary grant program if it is one of the following:
- School (K-12)
- College or university
- A center or a program housed in a university that raises less than 75% of its funding
- A local chapter of a national organization or program that raises less than 75% of its own funding
- Cemetery
- Government agency
- General childcare agency
- Library
- Organization that re-grant the funding they receive (umbrella funding organization).

The Philadelphia Foundation gives grants only to eligible nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations; it does not give grants to individuals.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. To be considered for a grant in:

- April 2021, applications should be received by February 12
- June 2021, applications should be received by April 16
- November 2021, applications should be received by September 10

After applying, a program staff member will reach out to you to discuss next steps.

You can expect to hear from someone with the Philadelphia Foundation within a month of when they begin to process your application.


Ineligible Organizations:

Contact Information:

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

All applications delivered successfully will receive an automatic response. If you do not receive an automatic response, please email a Program Officer at to ensure your materials have been received.

The Philadelphia Foundation
1835 Market Street, Suite 2410
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2968


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey: Burlington and Camden counties;   Pennsylvania: Greater Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties)

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