GlaxoSmithKline’s Grantmaking Strategy for a Healthier Philadelphia

Around this time last year, we caught up with pharmaceutical funder GlaxoSmithKline to learn about its local support in the community. A common misconception holds that health-exclusive funders like this are narrow in scope and stick to traditional strategies such as primary care access and professional training. However, GSK has always taken a really broad approach to health funding, supporting nontraditional health topics like fresh food distribution, exercise programs, horticulture, and addiction/abuse support.

Related: What Pharmaceutical Giant GSK Has Been Up to in Philly

They've just announced 10 new $40,000 GSK IMPACT Awards, and the topics in focus are literacy, nutrition and fitness. GSK partnered with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey to make these local grants, which are just as diverse as ever:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Children’s Village
  • Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Education Law Center—Pennsylvania
  • KleinLife
  • Mighty Writers
  • Philadelphia City Rowing
  • Rebuilding Together Philadelphia
  • Senior Community Services, Inc.
  • Urban Tree Connection

“There is an important connection between our health and our community,” said Becki Lynch, Manager GSK Community Partnerships. “The more we understand this connection, the more we can improve it. Today’s GSK IMPACT Award Winners show us how there are many ways to build a healthier Philadelphia region.”

Nearly 60 grantseekers applied for the GSK awards, and 10 were chosen. GSK uses site visits as part of its process, and final decisions are made by local and national community health experts. These are the five health focus areas that GSK looks for in new grantees:

  • Diet & exercise
  • Education
  • Built environment
  • Employment
  • Family & social support

Nonprofits that serve Durham, North Carolina, are also considered for IMPACT Awards because GSK has a corporate campus there. According to the funder, exemplary U.S. nonprofits have received $8.4 million in GSK IMPACT Awards, and over the past 19 years, $6.2 million has been awarded to 155 local nonprofit organizations in Greater Philadelphia.

However, GSK focuses other charitable giving in Philadelphia even more broadly, contributing to education, local arts, human services, civic programs and health. There’s an online grant application you can check out to determine eligibility. Arts education gets its own program at GSK, which is a partnership with the Barnes Foundation to support K-8 education outreach programs for kids in the Philadelphia School District.


The next IMPACT Awards application process for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties will open up in Winter 2016. In the meantime, general questions about the awards and application process can be directed to the U.S. Community Partnerships staff at