Back to top

The Seybert Foundation Announces New Strategic Direction for Grants, Technical Assistance

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Board of Directors of the Seybert Foundation has engaged in a months-long process to review and revise its strategy for improving the lives of children in Philadelphia.  As a result, the Foundation’s approach to grantmaking and technical assistance will change in significant ways. These changes are all designed to deepen and diversify the impact of the Foundation’s philanthropic investment for maximum community benefit.

The strategic planning process was a natural next step after Seybert completed a historic merger in 2017 with the Western Association, another small, independent foundation dedicated to the support of Philadelphia’s disadvantaged communities.  That merger was an effort on the parts of both Seybert and Western to create operational efficiency and maximize the amount of the resulting foundation’s funds available for grants, rather than for overhead expenses.

Seybert’s new grantmaking strategy aims to reduce the burden on nonprofit partners to constantly fundraise for general operating support by increasing awards in its Core Grants program to $20,000 over a 2-year period. An additional Innovation Grant program will provide a small number of even larger grants, between $20,000-$60,000, to emergent or existing youth-serving nonprofit organizations who require seed funding to test a bold new approach.  According to Board President Rich Sedmak, “By making bigger, multi-year operating grants, we show our nonprofit partners that we take their long-term organizational needs seriously, and we hope to inspire other funders to make more operating grants available to their grantees.” 

Simultaneously, Seybert Foundation will dedicate a portion of its annual budget to providing technical assistance and professional development to leaders of small youth-serving nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia, through a combination of one-on-one information-sharing opportunities and group convenings around topics of interest to nonprofit providers. Wherever possible, Seybert will partner with other foundations and community resources to deliver this technical assistance, maintaining cost-effectiveness and reducing the need for our nonprofit partners to attend multiple events. Board Vice President Obinna Abara, Esq., notes, “Building upon the success of our Annual Summit in 2017, Seybert sees the value of bringing our nonprofit partners together to learn from one another and from other experts in the field, so we are working iteratively with our grantees and funder colleagues to develop right-sized programming that suits not only our constituents’ expressed learning-needs, but also their time-constraints as busy professionals.”

For complete details on Seybert funding eligibility, grant application guidelines and deadlines, please visit