Public Health Fund: Philadelphia Grants

OVERVIEW: The Public Health fund awards small to midsize grants to public health nonprofits operating in the Greater Philadelphia area. Although the foundation has a much smaller budget than many of the other big players in the city, it is a great resource for local community organizations of all sizes.

IP TAKE: This foundation doesn't have a listing of specific focus areas, just the broad category of public health. However, the fund likes to see proposals that benefit the youth of Philadelphia and the elderly living in the Delaware Valley region. Your organization can stand out from the crowd by including initiatives to increase access to care for these vulnerable populations.

KEY INFO: Formerly known as the Philadelphia Health Care Trust, the Public Health Fund aims to improve the health and well-being of the city of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley through public health initiatives. It has been in operation since 1996 and primarily makes grants to community institutions such as the Drexel University of Public Health, the Children's Crisis Treatment Center, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and WHYY FM radio station.

The Public Health Fund awards grants only to organizations based in the Delaware Valley that exclusively serve people from the valley. Make sure your request for funding doesn't exceed $100,000, because the fund will toss out any requests that ask for more. Existing programs, new programs, or expanded collaborations are all on an equal playing field as far as the fund is concerned.

Although this foundation is a big deal for nonprofits working in the public health sector, it isn't a huge player in the city's overall philanthropic landscape. The Public Health Fund rarely gives out more than $1 million a year, and most grants range from $50,000 to $200,000 in size. Past local grants included $211,888 to WHYY radio station, $190,000 to Philadelphia Fight, $150,000 to Saint Christopher's Foundation for Children, and $120,000 to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The foundation website used to have a Grant Applications page and the FAQ page, but now all that remains is a home page with general information. 

In the past, grantseekers have needed to submit a letter of intent via online form during select times of the year. Traditionally, the letters have had to be submitted by the end of May or July. Proposal submission comes next, but only after the foundation responds to your letter and asks you to submit one.

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