The media company Comcast is based in Philadelphia and has become known as a big local giver here. Digital literacy, community service, and future leaders have all been topics of interest for this corporate funder for quite a while, now. And these are still the issues that are driving Comcast grantmaking.
At the start of the new year, the Comcast Foundation announced that it had committed over $1.86 million to nonprofits in the Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey areas. Let’s take a quick look at where those grants have been going locally.
Forty-nine nonprofits received Comcast grants in what the funder calls its Freedom Region. This region encompasses Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Northern Delaware. All of these grants fall into one of three categories: expanding digital literacy, promoting community service, or building tomorrow's leaders. Jim Samaha currently serves as the senior vice president of Comcast's Freedom Region.
To give you a few examples of where Comcast’s support goes, here are some of the most recent grantees in Philadelphia:
- Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia
- Girls Incorporated of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey
- Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Harvard Business School Club of Philadelphia
- People for People of Philadelphia
- Philadelphia OIC
- Philadelphia Outward Bound Center
One highlighted grant went to the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition (SEAMAAC) to help the group increase computer and internet access for low-income immigrants and refugees in South Philadelphia. It’s grants like this that play into Comcast’s established funding areas as well as current events and the changing political landscape.
In total, the Comcast Foundation gave over $19 million to the communities it serves last year. Although Philadelphia is just one of many geographic focuses, it is a steady one that local nonprofits have come to rely upon each year. Since 1999, this funder has given out over $195 million. A list of groups that Comcast has previously funded, including their locations, can be found here.
But like many corporate funders, Comcast requires a referral for your organization from a local Comcast employee in the Philadelphia area. The foundation website says, “As members of the community, they have an intimate knowledge of local nonprofits and can best allocate the funds to projects that will make the largest impact where it is most needed.” You can’t send in an unsolicited request or grant proposal for consideration here. However, you can send correspondence to the foundation to get your foot in the door by putting a letter in the mail to the local address if you’re in a Comcast service area. Search here for the closest service center address near you.