Philadelphia Black Giving Circle

OVERVIEW: The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle supports Black-led, Black-serving nonprofits of all kinds in the Philadelphia area.

FUNDING AREAS: All Black-led, Black-serving nonprofit causes in the community

IP TAKE: This is a new, unique, and growing giving circle with a lot of powerful people behind it in Philadelphia.

PROFILE: Established in 2018, the Philadelphia Black Giving Circle (PBGC) is a giving circle that donates pooled funds to Black-led, Black-serving local nonprofits. Civic and philanthropic leaders in the region formed PBGC after a Philadelphia African American Leadership Form study revealed that compared to White-led organizations, African American-led nonprofits have fewer cash reserves and have less access to social networks and grantmaking opportunities. However, the study also found that Black-led nonprofits are more likely to serve the most challenged groups with the fewest resources. The giving circle aims to “cultivate charitable giving within the Black community, build capacity and financial sustainability of Black-led non-profits, and address the most pressing needs facing the Black community in the Greater Philadelphia region.” Grantmaking topics of interest are broad within those specific parameters.

PBGC opened its inaugural grantmaking cycle in November 2018 for the first grants to be announced in February 2019. The funding group is open to nearly any nonprofit cause as long as it is locally based, led by Black nonprofit leaders, and serving the local Black community. To launch, PBGC received support from the Claniel Foundation, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and Wells Fargo. Donors who give at least $250 to the giving circle can vote for new grantees in the upcoming cycle.

Giving circle grants are less than $5,000 each. See the group’s news section to learn about new grantees and grant opportunities. Funding is restricted to groups based in the city of Philadelphia. The giving circle also requires potential grantees to be operating for at least two years and have annual operating budgets of less than $1 million.  

PBGC accepts unsolicited grant applications from local nonprofits, and the application system is online. Direct general questions to the giving circle’s leadership committee via online form.


Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only).