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Philadelphia Foundation’s Black Community Leaders Fund Makes $800,000 in Grants to 24 Organizations

Monday, November 8, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PA (11/8/2021) — Philadelphia Foundation today announced the latest cohort of grant recipients from its Black Community Leaders Fund, which supports Black-led nonprofits that serve Black communities in Greater Philadelphia. A total of $800,000 in grants will be awarded to 24 nonprofits.  

An additional $1.5 million in support for the fund also was announced. William Penn Foundation has contributed $1million, Wells Fargo has provided $250,000, TD Bank gave $100,000 and Philadelphia Health Partnership, Santander Bank and the Samuel S. Fels Fund have each provided $50,000.

To date, $1.15 million has been awarded to 29 organizations through the Black Community Leaders Fund, which has raised more than $3.3 million toward its $5 million goal. Additional private, foundation and corporate gifts are being sought to help meet the vast needs of undercapitalized, Black-led organizations.

“More than a year ago – in the wake of George Floyd’s murder — organizations across the country, including ours, reaffirmed their commitment to racial equity and promised to do more,” said Janet Haas, Board Chair of the William Penn Foundation. “One of the ways we are delivering on that promise is through our support of the Black Community Leaders Fund, providing multi-year support for this impactful group of organizations that are strengthening communities across Philadelphia.”

“To foster an inclusive economy and community, we believe it’s important to be intentional about supporting Black-led nonprofits and other organizations with diverse leadership,” said Stephen Briggs, Wells Fargo Vice President, Community Relations, for Pennsylvania and Delaware and a member of the fund’s advisory board. “Our goal is to build communities so that they can be their own agents of change. The Black Community Leaders Fund is a strategic way to build capacity and resources for vital services and programs while also addressing the equity gap in funding within the nonprofit sector.”

“Our goal with this fund is to expand on Philadelphia Foundation’s long history of supporting Black-led nonprofit organizations serving Black communities – to use the generous support we have received to move the needle further and faster,” said Philadelphia Foundation President and CEO Pedro A. Ramos. “For too long, too many Black-led organizations have been scraping by financially even though they are essential to residents of our region. We must invest more in their resilience and growth.”

“We are honored by the generous funding we have received – most recently through William Penn, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, the Philadelphia Health Partnership, Santander Bank and Fels Fund, as well as the boost provided by Facebook’s inaugural $1 million commitment and that of other initial supporters,” Ramos added. “We thank them for sharing our perspective on the importance of investing in the resilience and leadership of organizations that play critical roles in Black Communities.”

Black-led nonprofits typically have smaller staffs, have fewer cash reserves and are more dependent on government grants than white-led organizations. These factors can make Black-led organizations more vulnerable to recessions and changes in government, and thus more financially precarious than white-led organizations.

These 24 organizations, which were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, include:

Black Child Development Institute – Philadelphia & Vicinity
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Inc
Brandywine Health Foundation
Coalition for Black Trans Economic Liberation (CBTEL)
The Center for Black Educator Development
The Colored Girls Museum
The Colours Organization
The Eco Foundation
The Enterprise Center
The Evoluer House
Graduate Philadelphia
Montgomery County OIC
Multicultural Community Family Services
National Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society
Ones Up
Overbrook West Neighbors
Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists
Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable
Philadelphia Parent Organizing Project
Sisters Returning Home
Theatre in the X
UrbEd Advocates
Why Not Prosper, Inc

Anchor institutions that received inaugural grants were the African American Chamber of Commerce, Philadanco, the Urban Affairs Coalition, the Urban League and OIC of Philadelphia.

The general operating support and capacity building grants are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year and range from $5,000 to $100,000, depending on the nonprofit’s needs and budget. The Black Community Leaders Fund will offer one more round of grantmaking in 2021. For grant eligibility criteria and to apply for future funding, visit

For additional information about how to support the Black Community Leaders Fund, contact Philip Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Grantmaking, at

About the Black Community Leaders Fund

The Black Community Leaders Fund was launched in May 2021 to fortify Black-led nonprofit organizations serving Black communities in Greater Philadelphia. It provides Black-led nonprofits with operational and capacity-building support to enable strong leadership, resilient operations and finances, and greater infrastructure to weather unexpected adversity.

Support includes $1 million dollars from Facebook, which selected Philadelphia Foundation as its regional partner in the company’s $20 million “Supporting Black Communities” initiative.

About Philadelphia Foundation

Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit: