OVERVIEW: PenWel is a quiet organization, which makes it difficult to locate information. The majority of its grants support health and education projects in vulnerable and low-income areas around the world.
IP TAKE: PenWel is a good resource for small and grassroots groups. The problem is attracting the Board’s attention. Groups fortunate to do so stand a strong chance of receiving multi-year support. Another plus here is that PenWel offers both project specific and general operating support grants.
PROFILE: Based in Richmond, Virginia, PenWel is a private, non-operating foundation, which explains the lack of available information. Preferring a broad approach, PenWel seeks to help "persons in need in the poorest countries." It dedicates nearly 80 to 90 percent of its grantmaking to such efforts, while the remaining 10 to 20 percent supports LGBTI issues. Tax filings suggest projects that benefit women and children receive the most support.
PenWel does not name particular areas of funding interests beyond its mission to help those with the greatest need. It also does not restrict its grantmaking geographically. Grantseekers should note that while the foundation does not award many grants each year, it does tend to offer multi-year support. This suggests that the fund appreciates creating lasting partnerships.
The fund no longer accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry, and its board decides all grantmaking. Grant amounts are modest, and range from about $5,000 to $20,000.
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