Lincoln Financial: One of Philly District Schools’ Last Philanthropy Action Heroes

Lincoln Financial Foundation (read Lincoln Financial Foundation's IP profile) scraped together $2.1 million for Philadelphia in 2013 despite a recent 50% cut in their total assets. And during a time when most of the region's philanthropic interest gathers behind charters, Lincoln instead favors district schools. This foundation has taken aim specifically at arts accessibility and education with an even — if modest — sprinkling of grants everywhere it does business.

In 2013, Philadelphia Museum of Art will get $136,000 from Lincoln for their work with teenagers, according to a 3blmedia press release. The museum runs a drawing club for teens, taught by working artists, and a summer program in filmmaking. Other grant recipients include a Curtis Institute of Music-run initiative for kids at three North Philly public high schools and Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates, a program that reaches over 600 kids at 23 district schools.

The foundation opened a Philadelphia branch of their Charitable Contributions Committee in 1999. It is "dedicated to improving the quality of life in Philadelphia through responsible and responsive grantmaking efforts." As a franchise constructed in the image of their national program, the committee supports workforce development, arts, education, and especially things that ring more than one of these buzzers simultaneously.

Lincoln's site says it supports

access to the arts for individuals of all ages, economic situations, abilities and ethnicities. The arts can have a powerful, positive impact, and by providing opportunities for people to tap into their creative talents, we can build relationships that help raise the quality of life in our communities.

Grant seekers on the market inside Philadelphia city limits for grants less than $100,000 should contact regional program officer Susan Segal at, or by phone: 484-583-2898. (Read Susan Segal's IP profile).

Lincoln does maintain a laundry list of things it doesn't fund, furnished below:

  • Religious organizations (i.e., churches, temples, synagogues)
  • Public or private elementary or secondary schools or school foundations
  • Hospitals or hospital foundations
  • Fraternal or political organizations
  • General operating support
  • Capital (bricks and mortar) funding
  • Endowments
  • Sporting organizations, sporting events, or national walks
  • Organizations that regrant the funds to other nonprofit organizations