Wells Fargo Regional Foundation: Philadelphia Grants

OVERVIEW: Wells Fargo operates a regional foundation that focuses on Philadelphia and the more rural parts of Pennsylvania. Priority is given to grant proposals that focus on community development and education, although other program areas are considered on a yearly basis for grants.

IP TAKE: Don't be intimidated by Wells Fargo just because it has a prominent reputation. Philadelphia and other areas of Pennsylvania are given special attention through their own regional program. You will have to compete, though, with organizations from the entire state.

PROFILE: Although the Los Angeles-based Wells Fargo Foundation is a huge player on the national philanthropy scene, the financial giant operates a separate regional foundation right here in Philadelphia. This foundation's assets are much smaller, but the grant program is much narrower and more accessible for local nonprofits.

The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation serves all of Pennsylvania, including Greater Philadelphia, central Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, northeast Pennsylvania, and western Pennsylvania. Here's a list of the Pennsylvania counties that the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation serves: Adams, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, Wyoming, and York.

The two primary funding areas are neighborhood planning and neighborhood implementation. The foundation used to consider grant requests from education entities , arts and culture organizations, civic engagement causes, human services needs, and the environment. However, the foundation has recently is concentrating resources on comprehensive, neighborhood-based economic and community development initiatives. 

Learn more about neighborhood planning grants and neighborhood implementation grants on the foundation website.

Wells Fargo uses an online application system for its grant proposals, which are accepted between January and November each year. The board of directors gets together at quarterly meetings to evaluate applications, and you can expect to receive notification about your proposal within two weeks of one of these meetings.

Historically, most Wells Fargo regional grants have ranged in size from $1,000 to $100,000, so don't expect millions of dollars to flow from the foundation's pockets. For example, past local grants included $83,500 to the Enterprise Center and $75,000 to the Chester Community Improvement Project.

Questions can be directed to Kimberly Allen, the vice president and senior program officer. According to her foundation bio, "Allen oversees the foundation’s grantmaking processes. She was instrumental in the founding of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and has been serving as a Program Officer since its inception. Kim holds a BA from University of Maryland in organizational psychology and dynamics and is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Philadelphia."


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