UBA offers grants up to $10k for programs addressing basic needs

Union Benevolent Association (UBA), a Philadelphia-based philanthropic foundation, has announced its Fall 2021 grant cycle, aimed at providing funding to organizations whose work alleviates the burden of poverty in Philadelphia neighborhoods. Grants of up to $10,000 are available. Applications can be submitted here through September 30, 2021.

Organizations led by or with strong representation of the people and constituencies served receive priority for UBA funding.

For the last three years, the organization has targeted its charitable giving to organizations that help Philadelphia’s poorest residents meet basic needs.

According to Sigrid Lundby, President of UBA’s Board of Managers, the foundation’s funding priorities and grant size reflect the board’s recognition that the vanishing safety net means that far too many Philadelphians struggle on a daily basis to obtain the basic necessities for survival.

Philadelphia is the nation’s poorest big city and has the highest rate of deep poverty -- that is, people whose income is below half of the federal poverty level.  Roughly one in five Philadelphians experience food insecurity and the number of homeless individuals living on the streets is rising, especially among youth and young adults, according to the results of the city’s annual count.

To help address these issues, UBA will provide grants to organizations that provide shelter, food and clothing as well as other practical needs.

The foundation was established in 1831 to assist the suffering poor of Philadelphia by providing coal, money, food, clothing and medicine during an unusually harsh winter. Unlike many of the city’s alms houses at the time, UBA provided money, food, clothing, and medicine to families all around the city, regardless of race, religion, or nationality.

UBA funds are unrestricted, meaning that funded organizations can choose where to spend the funds without direction from the foundation. “Many nonprofits doing important work are struggling to keep the doors open because they receive no general operating funds.  We want to support organizations that demonstrate strong impact by allowing them to utilize funding in ways that will allow them to pursue their mission most effectively,” says Lundby.

UBA’s next grant cycle will open on September 1, 2021 and all applications must be submitted through a form online at UBAphilly.org by September 30th.


Union Benevolent Association provides has provided critical funding and support to organizations that assist and enrich the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged Philadelphians since 1831.   In recent years, the foundation has also begun providing an annual targeted grant to provide timely support addressing emergency issues impacting Philadelphia residents.