Welfare Foundation: Grants for Mid-Atlantic States

OVERVIEW: The Welfare Foundation supports for social services, housing, health, hospitals, environment, arts, education, and civic causes in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

FUNDING AREAS: Social services, housing, health, hospitals, environment, arts, education, civic causes

IP TAKE: Although this locally focused funder has broad interests, it has historically given for social services causes more than anything else.

PROFILE: Established in 1930, the Welfare Foundation is a private foundation based in Wilmington, Delaware. Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) founded this philanthropic organization and was a local engineer, industrialist, conservationist, farmer, and designer. His great-grandfather, Irenee du Pont, founded the DuPont Company. This funder aims to use “its assets and the income they generate to promote the social welfare of people and communities across the state of Delaware and in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.” It funds local efforts for social services, housing, health, hospitals, environment, arts, education, and civic causes.

The Welfare Foundation typically awards $4 million to $5 million per year to support local causes and continue the legacy of giving of its founder. It most often provides capital grants rather than grants for programs or general operations. The funder requires grantseekers in need of operating support to contact the staff to discuss his need prior to submitting an application because this type of funding is an exception and not the norm. It also prefers for organizations to wait three years to apply for a new grant after receiving one from the Welfare Foundation.

Grants range between about $10,000 and $500,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving on the foundation’s recent grantees page of its website. Grantmaking focuses on communities in Delaware and in southern Chester County of Pennsylvania. Past local grantees include the Delaware Botanical Gardens, Reading Assist Institute, and the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits via online application. Although it is not a requirement, the foundation strongly recommends meeting with the staff to discuss a proposal before submitting an application. There is a spring cycle with applications due April 15 and a fall cycle with applications due October 15. The trustees meet in June and December to review applications. Direct general questions to the staff at info@welfarefoundationde.org or 302-250-4966.


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