OVERVIEW: The Bread & Roses Community Fund supports racial equity and economic justice programs for nonprofits in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Camden Counties in Pennsylvania.
FUNDING AREAS: Racial equity, economic opportunity, criminal justice, social justice activism
IP TAKE: This is an excellent racial justice funder to know in Philly. Although Opportunity Fund grants are small ($50 to $500 each), this is also a good place to find support for emergencies and special projects.
PROFILE: The Bread & Roses Community Fund is a Philadelphia-focused organization that organizes donors to support community-based groups. The name Bread and Roses was a rallying cry for striking textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, who fought for overtime pay and improved working conditions. The actual phrase comes from a 1911 poem by James Oppenheim.
The funder aims to inspire “people to take collective action and create real change in their communities, the Philadelphia region, and beyond.” Top areas of focus are racial equality and economic opportunity. The funder’s grantmaking includes support for good schools, fewer prisons, better jobs, a safe environment, quality health care, and other related issues.
Bread and Roses supports these issue areas with grantmaking, capacity building, fundraising, and convening. This fund has been on the local grantmaking scene for over four decades and makes grants using a democratic, community-led decision-making process. It also regularly supports people of color, people with disabilities, women, and the LGBTQ community. In addition to grants, the foundation also provides technical assistance, fundraising advice, communications tips, and organizational development services.
Most annual grants fall between $2,000 and $10,000 each. Opportunity Fund grants range from $50 to $500, Future Fund grants are $5,000, and many other funds feature $10,000 grants, including the Racial and Economic Justice Fund and the Gender Justice Fund. View a list of past racial and economic justice grantees here. The geographic region of focus is Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley. Bread & Roses does not provide social services grants. To apply for a grant, nonprofits must be located in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Camden Counties. They must also have an organizational or program budget less than $300,000. The foundation also manages several donor-advised funds, and there is a Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men as well.
The foundation accepts unsolicited grant requests, and it lists open grant opportunities on its website. Grant requests can be delivered, mailed, or submitted online. Check the foundation website for the most up-to-date application procedures. In the past, grant deadlines have fallen on the first of March. Grantseekers can reach the Philadelphia-based staff by phone at 215-731-1107 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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