Process Back To Top

How the Fund Makes Grants 

The Fund responds to requests for support on a rolling basis. To be eligible for review, each partnership must designate one specific ‘lead’ organization. Successful applicants must engage in the following steps to receive Exploratory or Implementation grants:

  1. Referral or direct inbound inquiry
  2. Introductory phone call with Fund Director and the executive directors and/or chairpersons of respective nonprofits
  3. Confidentiality agreement (if requested)
  4. Director invites proposal
  5. Proposal completed using online grant application
  6. Fund Director proposal review and analysis
  7. Due Diligence calls/meetings with Director (as needed)
  8. Development of mutually agreed-upon grant terms and metrics of success
  9. Director to prepare internal grant recommendation documentation for Governance Committee review
  10. Approval of grant commitment by the Governance Committee
  11. Recommendation of grant by Director to The Philadelphia Foundation, and issuance of grant with funding agreement
  12. Monitoring and reporting (for up to two years after completion of Implementation grants)

How the Fund Assesses Grant Proposals

The Governance Committee and Investors of the Fund consider Exploratory and Implementation requests from organizations that contribute to a stronger, more vibrant five county region by focusing on the development, culture, health, environment, education, and stability of local communities and their residents.


The following general criteria are used to assess applications for Exploratory and Implementation grants:

  • The degree to which the Fund can play a catalytic role in the process;
  • Alignment of purpose among the partners;
  • Commitment to the success of the potential collaboration among the partners;
  • The collaboration has the potential to meaningfully increase the capacity, service delivery, effectiveness, or financial health of the nonprofit(s) involved;
  • Thoughtful pre-planning and research among partners, as demonstrated in a well-conceived scope of work;
  • A realistic budget with accompanying narrative explanation, that also describes the organizations’ ability to raise supporting funds from existing supporters, new funders, and/or from their own resources to undertake a repositioning project;
  • Proposed sustainability plan, where success can be measured over time;
  • Opportunities for sustained, long-term impact among partners and/or the community, that can be measured over time; and
  • Opportunities and potential for sector-wide learning regarding repositioning activities that may be shared, informally or formally with other nonprofits and funders.

Specific Prerequisites for Implementation Grant consideration include:

  • Formal board approval for the planned transaction by each organization;
  • A formal written plan detailing the scope of the transaction; implementation steps such as establishing a timeline, and pre- and post-transaction budgets, and;
  • An agreed-upon set of metrics to measure the success of the transaction (and the associated reporting templates and governance structure to ensure that such metrics are produced and acted upon).
  • Implementation grants cannot be used to pay for any ongoing programmatic, operational or capital costs of the organization(s).

In rare instances, the Fund will also consider dissolution planning for individual nonprofits (i.e., a dissolution that does not transpire in conjunction with a merger/acquisition). Dissolution support will only occur where there is: 1) intellectual and/or human capital of unique and significant value to the region; 2) sufficient reserves to be able to undertake the planning and completion of dissolution without becoming insolvent; and 3) a board committed to engaging in a responsible closing process.



The Fund Does Not Provide Support to:

  • Projects where its resources will not play a material and catalytic role in the exploration, structuring, or successful completion of the collaborative transaction. Therefore, in general, the Fund’s financial resources will not be used in projects that appear to already be on track and well-funded.
  • Transactions involving only one organization (e.g., internal reorganization/repositioning), or any short-term activity (e.g., organizing a conference in partnership, working together on an informal basis).
  • Program-level only collaborations that do not involve a fundamental shift in the organizations’ business model (e.g., a nonprofit providing afterschool programming is not eligible for a grant because it “works” with a school).
  • Staff time or any ongoing programmatic, operational or capital costs of the organization(s).


2020 Grant Deadlines

  • February 12
  • March 23
  • May 11
  • July 13
  • September 14
  • November 9