Backed by $1M Facebook gift, Philadelphia Foundation establishes fund for Black-led nonprofits

Pedro A. Ramos (Provided)

Pedro A. Ramos (Provided)

This article originally appeared on Philadelphia Business Journal.

A new fund from the Philadelphia Foundation aims to raise $5 million and will offer grants to Black-led nonprofits that work to enrich the lives of predominantly Black communities.

The Black Community Leaders Fund will launch with $1.8 million, which includes a $1 million contribution from Facebook. The tech giant has committed $20 million to 20 organizations around the country as part of an effort to support Black communities and selected Philadelphia Foundation as one of its recipients.

Established more than a century ago, Philadelphia Foundation has long been focused on supporting the region’s Black communities through scholarships, volunteerism and supporting local nonprofits. Through its new Black Community Leaders Fund, the organization aims to provide support to strengthen leadership, operations and finances, and help build infrastructure “to weather unexpected adversity.”

While Facebook’s gift kickstarted the fund, the Philadelphia Foundation is contributing $500,000 from its discretionary funds and $100,000 from its S. Albert Fund. An additional $200,000 in support from the Barra Foundation – a Wayne innovation investor established in 1963 – will be made over the course of two years.

The Philadelphia Foundation is looking to raise the additional funding through corporate, private and foundation gifts.

“Through this focused effort, we want to raise awareness of the critical roles that highly effective Black organizations play in Black communities and how important it is to invest in their resilience and leadership,” said Philadelphia Foundation CEO Pedro Ramos.

Grants, which are expected to range from $5,000 to $100,000 based on operating needs, will go toward operating support and capacity building. Eligible nonprofits must have 501(c)(3) status and provide one year of financial data. Applicant nonprofits must be located in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia counties, or Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey and be helmed by a Black executive or board chair. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis.

“We’re providing funding directly to the Philadelphia Foundation to build on its track record of supporting Black-led nonprofits and ensure that people locally are making the decisions about where these dollars are most needed and can have the most impact,” Marcy Scott Lynn, Facebook’s (NYSE: FB) director of Global Impact Partnerships said in a statement.

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