W. Penn offers grants to small education orgs led by people of color

The Racial Equity Grant Fund is a pilot initiative of the William Penn Foundation, designed with an explicit racial equity lens and a commitment to sharing grantmaking power with the community. This Fund represents an important learning opportunity for the Foundation as it explores more equitable grantmaking approaches and practices.

Unrestricted operating grants of up to $40,000 over two years are available. Approximately 10-15 organizations will receive funding to help grow or sustain their impact in communities.

The Racial Equity Grant Fund will award unrestricted operating grants up to $40,000 over two years to organizations that are at least two years old and have annual budgets under $400,000. We aim to build new relationships through this fund, so organizations that have received WPF funding in the last 12 months are not eligible for this particular opportunity.

The deadline to apply is June 25, 2021.

Purpose of this Fund:

  • Support organizations led by and primarily serving people of color.
  • Support the growth and/or sustainability of small organizations.
  • Support organizations working with Philadelphia children and families in at least one of the following areas:
  •    Kindergarten readiness
  •    Third grade reading proficiency
  •    High school graduation
  • Share grantmaking power with community members. A six-member Community Review Committee (CRC) has helped us shape the criteria, application, and scoring rubric. The CRC will review proposals and select grantees.
  • Build new relationships with organizations whose work aligns with the priorities of our Great Learning program.

Organizational Criteria for Funding:

  •     Led by and primarily serving people of color.
  •     Experience improving kindergarten readiness, third grade reading proficiency, and/or high school graduation.
  •     Primarily serve Philadelphia residents.
  •     Have been in existence for at least two years.
  •     Annual budgets under $400,000.
  •     Legal status as a 501c(3) public charity or fiscal sponsor that qualifies as a 501c(3) public charity.

    The following organizations are not eligible for this opportunity:

  • Individual early learning centers, public schools, charter schools, colleges and universities, city government agencies, and/or home visiting programs.
  • Organizations that have received William Penn Foundation funding within the past 12 months.
  • The following types of grant requests are not eligible:
  •         Work with primary impact outside of the city of Philadelphia.
  •         Political lobbying or legislative activities.
  •         Student aid or individual scholarships.
  •         Health research or health education programs.
  •         Purchases or activities that occur prior to grant decisions.
  •         Large capital projects.
  •         Debt retirement or budget deficits.
  •         Annual campaigns, fundraising campaigns or events.

The deadline to apply is Friday, June 25, 2021. For more details on the application process, go here.

Optional: Attend a webinar on Wednesday, June 9 at 12 p.m. to learn more about the process. Register for the webinar here. The recording will be made available to view on this page following the webinar.

If you cannot attend the webinar and would like to talk with a member of our team, we are happy to talk with you by phone or Zoom. Email to request a meeting with a member of our Great Learning team to ask questions or learn more about eligibility for this fund.

Apply Here


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