Samuel S. Fels Fund


applying for a grant

Here are some things you need to know and links to relevant details. The grantmaking timeline including application process and submission deadline will be announced in Spring 2024.

funding guidelines

The ideal proposal focuses on systems change work in the City of Philadelphia and uses the movement building strategies. Every grantee partner awarded a general operating grant will automatically receive an additional grant for Leadership Development and Wellness.

Who is eligible?

Organizations must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a tax-exempt 501c3 designation OR a not-for-profit mission and use a fiscal sponsor OR a parent organization that is a tax-exempt 501c3.
    • Fels Fund will only consider local offices of national organizations that have a local Advisory Board.
  • Serve the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Be actively engaged in movement building and systems change work.
  • Understand and acknowledge the racial history of the United States and Philadelphia.
  • Have a racial and class analysis of the inequities that continue to harm communities served and use this analysis as grounding for the design of their work.

When is the deadline?

The grantmaking timeline including application process and submission deadline will be announced in Spring 2024. Sign up for our mailing list to be alerted when the grant application goes live. For more information visit the grant deadline page.

Who is a strong fit for funding?

Organizations that are a strong fit will be led by individuals impacted by social, racial, or economic injustice and/or members of the unique community they serve, and be able to:

  • Identify communities served.
  • Describe the movement building strategies used in the work.
  • Explain how the racial history of the United States and Philadelphia impacted and continues to impact the work and communities served.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of race and class in the work.
  • Describe how the organization actively shares power amongst staff and with the community served.
  • Share details of work done collaboratively or in coalition with local nonprofits.
  • Show an unwavering commitment to cultural competency and a culture of care for staff, volunteers, and communities served.

What does Fels Fund not fund?

As a general rule, Fels does not fund:

  • Activities or services taking place outside of Philadelphia, PA (unless it has a significant impact on Philadelphia)
  • Organizations not involved in social justice, movement building and/or systems change work
  • Grants to individuals
  • National or umbrella organizations except those with Philadelphia offices
  • Endowments
  • Major programs of large institutions
  • Capital programs and or equipment
  • Deficit financing
  • Direct service only, including but not limited to:
    • 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
    • Routine social services
    • Community computer programs
  • Purchase of tickets, tables, ads or sponsorships
  • Parties, conferences, fairs, fundraising and one-time events
  • Religious and private education
  • Individual public or charter schools
  • Higher education
  • Scholarships, fellowships, grants-in-aid of travel or research
  • Publications or university presses

more questions?

See our FAQ page for more information

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