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The Philadelphia Foundation 2018 Grantmaking

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Message from Philip Fitzgerald, Director of Grantmaking

It is a privilege to be in our 99th year of service to the Philadelphia region, advancing our strategy to grow effective philanthropy and improve the quality of life for Philadelphians throughout the region. We are entrusted by community philanthropists with funds focused broadly on the well-being of our region as well as more specific causes and organizations.

Each year about 80 percent of grants by The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) are advised or designated by donors or their estates and 20 percent are "discretionary" grants recommended by the TPF staff. This letter describes our priorities for discretionary grants in 2018.

While The Philadelphia Foundation works on a range of interests supported directly by community philanthropists, discretionary funds are focused primarily on the effectiveness and sustainability of direct services received by our neighbors living in poverty.

In 2018, we will continue to support well-run, well-led organizations serving the high-poverty and vulnerable populations in our region, primarily in the five counties of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Most of this support will be in the form of unrestricted grants to direct-service organizations.

Given the extent to which people served by these organizations depend upon government policies and practices, some programmatic grants will be made to support advocacy for vulnerable populations and the organizations that serve them.  We will also provide programmatic grants to strengthen the skills, capabilities and diversity of nonprofit leaders and organization. Each grant applicant's demonstrated commitment and strategy for diverse staff and board leadership will also be considered.

Our community relies on a strong nonprofit sector with a sufficient infrastructure to advocate, partner and address the daily needs of vulnerable populations. As you consider applying for funding, I encourage you to talk with us and others about how together we can provide programs with a measurable and sustainable impact for Greater Philadelphia's neediest residents. At our core, we remain dedicated to serving and empowering communities.

We value our relationship with our nonprofit partners, and TPF's grantmaking team looks forward to working with you. As always, we are available to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at

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