Calling all N.W. Philly non-profits

The Northwest Fund, a non-profit that aims to prevent and combat crime in Northwest Philadelphia, is inviting all community-based organizations in the Northwest to apply for a Neighborhood Change Agent Award.

Thanks to an appropriation from the U.S. Department of Justice, $300,000 in grants is available to community organizations that have programs in crime prevention and community improvement.

Sylvie Gallier Howard, director of The Northwest Fund, says within one week of the Change Agent request for proposals being issued, about 25 organizations expressed interest. She attributes the rapid response to the sluggish economy.

“Individual donations are down, foundations’ endowments have shrunk, so a lot of [foundations] are not able to give out as much, or they’re sticking to the grantees that they’ve been funding,” Gallier Howard said.

So, for a lot of community-based organizations, this money could be useful to support general operation such as salaries and rent.

The Northwest Fund is requesting proposals from organizations in Roxborough, East Falls, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, Germantown, Oak Lane, Olney and Nicetown, but says it will not deny applications from groups in Manayunk and Logan.

To be considered, an organization must propose (or already have) programs that help kids stay in school, offer training or support for under-employed/unemployed individuals, and/or promote safer communities. Gallier Howard says this was part of a holistic approach to promoting safety in the targeted neighborhoods.

“We wanted to have it be a broader reach because we know all these things affect crime in the area,” Gallier Howard said.

Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $20,000 and should not exceed 10 percent of the organization’s annual budget.

“We’re really excited to finally get this money out on the streets,” Gallier Howard said.

A grant information session will be held on Dec. 17 at Mt. Airy USA on Germantown Avenue from 9 to 11 a.m. The first round of proposals are due on Jan. 5 and grant recipients will be notified by Feb. 28.

For more information, visit The Northwest Fund.

Photo courtesy of alamosbasement on Flickr. 

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