As philanthropists, the question always foremost in our minds is, do our grants make an IMPACT? To answer this question, we embarked on a strategic planning process that included the nonprofit community to learn more about its funding needs and priorities. What we heard very clearly is that our long standing directive requiring nonprofits to peg funding specifically to a new or expanded program greatly limited these applicants from using funding in ways that best fulfill their missions. This led us to change our funding model.
To maximize the impact of our grants and to better strengthen the organizations we fund, we will now award $100,000 “Core Mission Grants” instead of “Project Grants”. The core mission support can be used for existing or new primary programs or services, necessary improvements to infrastructure, or other initiatives to strengthen the nonprofit in its work in the Greater Philadelphia area. By broadening the grant criteria and no longer requiring that the grant money be used only for a program,nonprofits are free to decide what they need most to fulfill their mission.
A second significant change in our funding is that we will lengthen the grant period – the time that grantees have to expend the $100,000 from 15 to 24 months. Many of our grantees have advised us that the extended period will allow them more time to plan ahead and to replace our funding. The possibilities are endless. We have the potential to support the nonprofits’ ability to recruit talent and drive progressive human resource practices, to renovate a space or implement technology that will enable them to expand and maximize their services. As philanthropists, we have listened to our community, and we have responded.