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Apply to the Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund

Please note this fund is now closed.

Apply Button_Phlly Counts 2020 Census Action Fund
About the Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund

Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund Grants 1.15.20(rev)The Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund is a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, Office of Community and Empowerment and Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia (Philanthropy Network). It was created to support Philadelphia organizations in promoting a complete and accurate count of all residents in the upcoming 2020 Census.

The fund will provide grants up to $10,000 and in certain circumstances above $10,000 to nonprofit community-based organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status that agree to advance the work of the 2020 Census in neighborhoods that are identified to be at risk of being undercounted.

Grant Management
Philly Counts 2020 has contracted Philanthropy Network to provide grant management services for Philly Counts 2020. Philanthropy Network is being paid for this service through the Independence Blue Cross grant to the Action Fund. 

Proposal Review Process
Philanthropy Network will review applications as they are submitted. Pending a positive initial review, the proposal moves into a due diligence process designed to provide Philanthropy Network with a comprehensive understanding of the project—including overall goals, specific outputs, and the measurable impact of the project. During the proposal and due diligence review process, the applicant may be contacted by phone or email for additional information or clarifying questions.

Once the proposal has been reviewed, Philanthropy Network will write a recommendation summary for the review committee. The review committee reviews recommendations every other month. The review committee has 48 hours to review the recommendations and respond. If the recommendation is approved the grant agreement will be signed by Philanthropy Network and grantee, upon which the funding will be disbursed.  Grantees will receive detailed information regarding grant reporting, which will also be outlined in the grant agreement. To expedite funding, Philanthropy Network will send grant agreements for review prior to approval to ensure quick disbursement once the review committee approves the grant.

Review Committee
The review committee is comprised of representatives of Philanthropy Network's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and the City of Philadelphia. Serving on the review committee are:

  • Sarah Martinez-Helfman, Samuel S. Fels Fund
  • Michelle Legaspi Sanchez, Chester County Fund for Women and Girls
  • Dwayne Wharton, Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation
  • Sulaiman Wood, Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO), City of Philadelphia

Members of the review committee will update the entire DEI Committee at meetings about grantees and the status of Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund.

Overview of Grant Opportunity

The Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund will consider proposals that meet the following criteria:

  • Proposals should promote census awareness and completion in a hard to count community within Philadelphia. Examples include:
    > Alleviating language barriers in promoting census awareness and completion
    > Building trust in communities regarding protected Census data
    > Unique marketing campaigns designed to encourage Census participation
    > Building organizational capacity through technology and training

  • Typical grant requests will be between $2,500 and $10,000. Higher grant requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Grant Eligibility and Timeline

To be eligible for a grant from Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund, applying organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Organizations applying for grants must be based in and primarily serve  Philadelphia county
  • The application must be for a grant that will be fully spent by July 31, 2020
  • If awarded funding, the organization must agree to complete a grant completion report and potentially a presentation to the Philly Counts 2020 Corporate and Philanthropy subcommittee
  • Funding will not be approved for general operating costs; only project-specific support is available through this fund
  • Applicants must have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the committee every other month.

 **Please Note: All grants are subject to fund availability. There may be times when applications are held until a subsequent round as funds become available**

Please note that the last round of funding has been completed.


Please direct additional questions to:

Shira Hodges, Vice President, Strategy & Learning, Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia

Olivia Baackes, Philly Counts 2020, Director of Philanthropic & Corporate Engagement, City of Philadelphia