OVERVIEW: Pharmaceutical funder GlaxoSmithKline awards grants in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The local focus has been centered on building a healthier Philadelphia through grants, awards, and million dollar nonprofit collaborations.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, health and human services, arts and culture, and civic and community
IP TAKE: As with many major global corporations, navigating the giving strategies of GlaxoSmithKline can leave grantseekers scratching their heads. Keep in mind that the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is an entirely separate private foundation that’s exclusively focused on North Carolina. Nonprofits in Philly will find what they’re looking for on the main GSK website under Charitable Grants.
PROFILE: If you look at the prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet, you'll probably see GlaxoSmithKline's name on a few of them. The pharmaceutical company makes everything from prescription Advair and Zantac to influenza virus vaccines and HIV treatments. But GSK is also making its name known in the world of philanthropy. Charitable programs and partnerships in the US are focused in education, health, and local arts and civic programs in North Carolina and Philadelphia.
Our focus here is on GSK grantmaking in the city of Philadelphia. The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is an entirely separate entity committed to embracing the entire state of North Carolina through various grant programs related to science, health, and education.
GSK U.S. Community Partnerships charitable grants fall into four categories, education, health and human services, arts and culture, and civic and community. Philadelphia is a geographical focus area of the education program, especially within K-12 STEM education and K-12 literacy. Within the health and human services program, GSK IMPACT Awards are given annually in Philadelphia County area. GSK arts and culture grants in Philadelphia are based on local needs and focus on public school educational outreach. Civic and community grants are based on local needs and on the environment.
In the summer of 2014, GSK and The Philadelphia Foundation announced a Philadelphia-specific $5 million, three-year charitable grant program. This grant went to a network of nonprofit organizations collaborating to help disadvantaged youth live healthier lives and contribute to a healthier city overall.
“There are many examples of innovative local organizations that are making a difference in Philadelphia demonstrating that real impact can be achieved through community-based approaches and creative collaborations and partnerships,” Deirdre Connelly, president of GSK North America Pharmaceuticals said in a press release. “Moreover, we believe businesses can and should play a significant role in the overall health of communities.”
Philadelphia has been catching the attention of locally focused funders especially after the city was pegged as the least healthy county in the state of Pennsylvania with serious childhood obesity problems. This $5 million is a GSK IMPACT Grant, one of GSK’s charitable programs committed to building healthier communities across America. GSK Healthy Communities is the national initiative that also has a focus on Denver and St. Louis. GSK has been partnering with the Philadelphia Foundation on several grant and scholarship initiatives since 2009.
GSK has been distributing IMPACT Awards in and around national campuses in Durham, North Carolina and Philadelphia for nearly 20 years. Nonprofits receive these awards for making underserved neighborhoods healthier though programs such as fresh food distribution programs and exercise programs. Each year, up to 10 nonprofit organizations in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties will earn an IMPACT Award and $40,000. Over the years, over $9 million has gone to U.S. nonprofits for these awards.
Moving away from health funding for a moment, GSK Science in the Summer is a free science education program for elementary school students in Philadelphia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C./Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. More than 4,500 middle and high school students participated in the programs in a past year. Also in the realm of education giving, GSK has awarded 135 scholarships to college students who have overcome significant obstacles since 1988. This is another program administered by the Philadelphia Foundation.
To touch briefly on GSK’s art funding, the corporate funder has established a $500,000 endowment with the Barnes Foundation to ensure art education for economically disadvantaged students from the Philadelphia School District.
The best place to start if you’re looking for a GSK grant in Philadelphia is the GSK U.S. Community Partnerships Charitable Grant Request System to determine your eligibility, read through the guidelines, and submit an application. Questions about GSK charitable grants can be directed to the GSK U.S. Community Partnerships staff at Communications@gsk.com.
- Katie Loovis, Director of US Community Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement