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New Community-Driven Grant Program Available for Community-Based Organizations

Friday, May 7, 2021

The community-driven grantmaking process will support community-based nonprofit organizations serving neighborhoods most impacted by COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA, May 7, 2021 | The City today announced the launch of the N, a partnership between the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) and Bread & Roses Community Fund to support grassroots neighborhood nonprofit organizations that serve communities of color and those with low incomes, which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund is a community-driven grantmaking process in which residents in the affected communities are responsible for evaluating applicants, determining funding priorities, and making funding decisions. The community-driven process, the first of its kind for CEO, advances equity by returning control to the community so that people affected by the issues work toward their own solutions.

“Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic hit communities of color and those with low incomes the hardest, but it has also highlighted and exacerbated the inequities created by systemic racism that many community-based nonprofit organizations have long been challenging,” said Mitchell Little, executive director of CEO. “As CEO supports our communities during the recovery, we must center the experiences and priorities of residents to ensure that the solutions come from the ground-up and not the other way around. This kind of inclusiveness is both rare for government and philanthropy, but critical to an equitable recovery.”

Nonprofit organizations that are experiencing financial hardship, at risk of closing, or have reduced services due to the pandemic are encouraged to apply. They must have annual operating expenses under $3 million and be physically located in and provide services in Philadelphia. Grants of $15,000 will be made to organizations that work with vulnerable populations around issues including, but not limited to: health education, food distribution, family support, and community organizing to address barriers to support.

Organizations may use funds to support payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, or other operating expenses; and to provide and organize mutual aid projects. This program is funded by a Community Services Block Grant through CEO.

“We believe it is the people doing the work and impacted by injustice who know best where the money needs to go,” said Casey Cook, executive director of Bread & Roses Community Fund. “That is why all of the decisions at Bread & Roses on where the money goes are made by members of the community. We’re proud to bring our expertise in community-driven grantmaking to this new partnership with CEO.”

The deadline to apply for this fund is Monday, June 7 at 11:59 p.m. EST. All applications must be submitted through an online application portal. More information is available at There will be a second cycle of grantmaking through this fund in fall 2021.


About the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO)
CEO provides leadership on issues of economic justice by advancing racial equity and inclusive growth to ensure that all Philadelphians might share in the city’s prosperous future. It serves as the Community Action Agency (CAA) for the City of Philadelphia. As a CAA, CEO awards Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds to more than 20 programs that serve an estimated 40,000 residents each year, with a focus on benefits access, financial empowerment, housing security, and other priorities that may emerge over time. Learn more at

About Bread & Roses Community Fund
Bread & Roses Community Fund is the leading funder of grassroots organizing for racial, social, and economic justice in the Philadelphia area. Bread & Roses brings together a community of donors, community organizers, and other allies of movements for change around a shared goal of radically transforming individuals and society. Every year, Bread & Roses raises from the community every dollar that they give out, and the community decides where those grants go. Learn more at