Three Philadelphia Opportunities to Know About from the Bread & Roses Community Fund

Due to recent events and the current political situation, many funders across the country have stepped up with new efforts to back social justice work. But the Bread & Roses Community Fund is a Philadelphia group that’s been engaged in such grantmaking for over four decades. We looked at how this progressive funder operates a few years ago, noting that its priorities and grantmaking decisions are shaped with community input.  

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Today, we’re going to look at three fundraising opportunities with this small but unique local funder: the Racial & Economic Justice Fund, the Future Fund, and the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative. There are also some emergency and special projects grants available through the Opportunity Fund and some donor-advised funds as well, but these are the big three that Philadelphia nonprofits should know about. Funding is restricted to groups in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Camden Counties.

Racial & Economic Justice Fund

Although nonprofits must be based in the Philadelphia area to be eligible for funding, they can operate at the local, state, national, or international policy levels to secure these grants. Examples of past grantees include Asian Americans United and the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania. The funder supports groups that are building a local base for taking action and changing the balance of power between community members and decision makers. Bread & Roses prioritizes direct action community organizing and likes to fund causes that other donors often overlook. These grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 annually.

Future Fund

Social justice activism grants are also funded through the Future Fund, and top areas of interest are cultural work, media advocacy, and political education. A couple past grantees are Good Schools Pennsylvania and Proyecto Sol. Bread & Roses likes to support emerging organizations that are still boosting capacity and building a local base. These grants are between $2,000 and $6,000.

Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative

Criminal justice reform activism is another big area of interest for Bread & Roses, through which it funds causes related to police accountability, racially biased sentencing policies, growth of the for-profit prison industry, criminalization of youth, and the death penalty. Books through Bars and X-Offenders for Community Empowerment are examples of past grantees. Established in 2000 as a partnership between Bread & Roses and the Phoebus Fund Family Foundation, the funder is looking for groups that promote justice within the criminal justice system. Criminal justice grants are between $2,500 to $6,000.

Each of these three grant programs accepts online applications, but unfortunately, the deadline for 2017 has already passed. Templates are available on the funder’s website to prepare for next year. Learn more about this funder and how to get in touch with the right people in IP’s full profile of the Bread & Roses Community Fund, which is part of our Philadelphia Funding Guide.

Related: Bread & Roses Community Fund