Samuel S. Fels Fund


applying for a grant

Here are some things you need to know and links to relevant details.

funding guidelines

The ideal proposal focuses on the City of Philadelphia and addresses positive social change in one or more of Fels Fund’s areas of focus and works at a policy or grassroots level, involving the community members it seeks to assist. Both general operating and project-specific requests will be considered.

Who is eligible?

The Fels Fund accepts requests only from organizations that are designated tax-exempt 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Code. In certain cases, the Fels Fund will also accept requests from organizations that have a not-for-profit mission who have a fiscal sponsor or national office. We prefer that local offices of national organizations have a local Advisory Board.

What are the deadlines for each funding stream?

Fels Fund will not accept new applications or reopen grant cycles in 2023. Read more about our transition year here.

What does Fels Fund not fund?

The Fels Fund does not make grants for major programs of large institutions, capital and equipment, endowment and the routine or direct services of social service agencies. Individual daycare, after school programs and computer centers cannot be accommodated. As a general rule, we do not fund:

  • Activities or services taking place outside of Philadelphia, PA
  • Grants to individuals
  • National or umbrella organizations except those with Philadelphia offices
  • Endowments
  • Capital programs
  • Deficit financing or emergency aid
  • Purchase of tickets, tables, ads or sponsorships
  • Parties, conferences, fairs, fundraising and one-time events
  • Routine social services/counseling
  • Drug and alcohol addiction programs
  • Healthcare and health research
  • Support groups for individuals
  • Summer recreation programs
  • Individual daycare or after school programs
  • Programs for animals
  • Environmental programs
  • Religious and private education
  • Individual public or charter schools
  • Higher education
  • Community computer programs
  • Scholarships, fellowships, grants-in-aid of travel or research
  • Publications or university presses
  • Arts and Culture organizations without a mission that is primarily social justice-focused

more questions?

See our FAQ page for more information

how it works

The grant application process

You’ve read about our funding focus and think your organization is a good fit. Now what happens?

  1. Check details and deadlines: what funding stream are you applying for?

    Deadline: Proposals will not be accepted in 2023

    Deadline: Proposals will not be accepted in 2023

    Deadline: Proposals will not be accepted in 2023

  2. Review Requirements: Read our Funding Inquiries: What You Need To Apply for an overview of all potential information and documents needed to complete the funding inquiry.

  3. Funding Inquiry Submission: Go to Submit A Funding Inquiry page and complete and submit your funding inquiry (stage one).

  4. Submission Review: Your funding inquiry is reviewed by staff who will follow up with you in about 4 weeks (of the deadline). We will let you know if your funding inquiry has been declined or invited to complete a proposal (stage two).

  5. Funding Proposal Submission: Submit your proposal (stage two), including financials and any required attachments.

  6. Proposal Review: Your proposal is reviewed by staff, who may request additional materials, and/or a call or site visit. The proposal is then reviewed by the Board during the next quarterly meeting. Grant notifications are sent out.

  7. Funding: If your proposal is approved, your grant check and grant agreement letter will be mailed within two weeks. Sign and return the grant terms and conditions.

  8. Multi-Year Grants: Each year, an interim report is due, and staff will meet with you to learn about your organization’s progress. Reports can be done orally or written. Once these requirements are completed and approved the next payment is sent.

  9. Post-Grant Requirements: At the end of the grant period, a final report is due. Final reports can be done orally or written.

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