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Great Learning - High School Completion

Grants to Pennsylvania Organizations for Programs
to Increase High School Graduation Rates

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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William Penn Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

07/30/21 - For requests over $110,000; requests under $110,000 are reviewed on an ongoing basis.


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Grants to Pennsylvania organizations in eligible locations for programs that encourage area students to complete their high school education. Funding is intended for projects that improve high school readiness, guide students with college and career planning, and ensure graduation from high school. Eligible programs must benefit residents of Philadelphia.

High school completion is a crucial milestone that predicts later success in life, with high school graduates being more likely to be employed, healthy, and contributing members of their communities and societies. The good news is national and local high school graduation rates have been rising, and the Foundation supports work that helps ensure this positive momentum continues.

What the Foundation funds:

  • Efforts to facilitate successful transitions to high school
  • Specialized pathways and systems to increase rates of high school completion

Projects should demonstrate one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Increased graduation rates.
  • Improved readiness for high school.
  • Increased clarity about and preparedness for post-secondary activity.

The Funding Source focuses on dramatically increasing the number of children from Philadelphia's low-income communities who experience academic success. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184684

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The William Penn Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Not funded:
- Work with primary impact outside of the city of Philadelphia, unless funding also advances another area of programmatic focus for the Foundation.
- Work that is not grounded in relevant data and supported by a strong research base.
- Political lobbying or legislative activities.
- Student aid or individual scholarships.
- Health research or health education programs.

It is Foundation policy not to fund more than 25% of an organization’s operating budget. The Foundation may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis under limited circumstances, subject to approval by its board of directors.

Pre-Application Information:

Review Timeline:

- Inquiries Due: November 30, 2020
Proposals Due: January 15, 2021
Scheduled Board Review: April 23, 2021

- Inquiries Due: February 26, 2021
Proposals Due: April 16, 2021
Scheduled Board Review: July 23, 2021

- Inquiries Due: June 18, 2021
Proposals Due: July 30, 2021
Scheduled Board Review: November 5, 2021

Applicant organizations are strongly encouraged to submit materials by these deadlines. Program staff can provide more information on timing and materials for consideration at a particular board meeting.

Grants at or below $110,000 are not required to be considered at a board meeting, and thus do not follow the deadline schedules above. Grants of this size are accepted on a rolling basis, and program staff can provide more information about the timing and submission process for these types of requests.

The Foundation uses a multi-stage submission process for grant development – the first step is an inquiry, and the second is a full proposal.

Step One: Inquiry

If you would like to share a project concept for consideration, the Foundation strongly recommends you first reach out to the appropriate Program Officer first or to Grants Management who can direct you to the appropriate team.

The Inquiry provides program staff with an overview of a concept/idea and how it aligns with Foundation funding strategies. It determines if a full proposal will be invited. Submission of an inquiry does not guarantee that Foundation staff will invite a full proposal.

Step Two: Full Proposal

The full proposal provides program staff with a detailed description of the proposed work and chosen approach and how it aligns to the Foundation’s strategic focus and goals.

Unsolicited Submissions:
Unsolicited submissions for funding are from organizations that have not discussed a project with Foundation program staff directly nor have been invited by a program staff person to submit an inquiry for consideration. Prior to submitting an unsolicited inquiry, the Foundation strongly encourages reviewing the What We Fund and How We Fund sections of the website to understand program guidelines and eligibility requirements. Proposed work must align with the Foundation's strategic priorities and eligibility requirements. Further questions can be directed to a program staff member prior to submission.

The Foundation accepts unsolicited requests online only through its WPF Grantee Portal.

For additional information on program funding areas:

How to Apply:

About the William Penn Foundation:

Contact Information:

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

Submit inquiry online:

The Grants Management team is always available to assist with any question applicants may have about the process, forms, or expectations. Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Program Officer contact information can be found in the What We Fund section of the website at

Please contact at any time if you experience technical difficulties with the portal.

William Penn Foundation
Two Logan Square, 11th Floor
100 North 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2757
(215) 988-1830

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Philadelphia

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