Northwest Fund awards $300,000 to area non-profits

The winners of The Northwest Fund’s Neighborhood Change Agent Award will be publicly honored Monday during a morning event in Germantown.

The ceremony at the Germantown Y will recognize the grant program’s 45 finalists. Each received a piece of a $300,000 award to bolster their work building stronger and safer communities in Northwest Philadelphia.

“The checks have been going out. It’s more of a ceremonial thing,” said TNF’s Executive Director Sylvie Gallier Howard.

Grant recipients, such as the North Light Community Center and the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement, received anywhere from $500 to $17,500 for general operating costs.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, whose district includes much of the Northwest, directed the federal funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Finalists were initially chosen by TNF directors and ultimately approved by its two voting board members. The small nonprofit visited and reviewed the applications of 83 organizations before making its final decision, according to Gallier Howard.

Any 501 (c) 3 organization from Germantown, Nicetown, Mt. Airy, Oak Lane, Chestnut Hill, Olney, East Falls, Roxborough and Logan – was eligible to apply. The only requirement was that the organization satisfied at least one of the grant’s three proposal categories. Those were: staying in school, employment and self-sufficiency and safe communities.

Congressman Fattah will join TNF officials in congratulating the winning organizations Monday. TNF founder and Eighth District Council candidate Cindy Bass, is also expected to attend the event. Bass also acts as a non-voting, honorary board chair.

” This a grant that is meant to empower groups from the community to go out and to do the work that needs to be done in their communities to make the change that they want to see in their communities,” said Bass, also a long-time staffer for Fattah.

The Mt. Airy resident said she has not been involved in the planning or timing of the grant program. She said she made a conscious decision to keep her ties to the nonprofit out of the campaign spotlight.

“I have mentioned The Northwest Fund just on a few occasions and in relevant terms. But I haven’t used it as one of the things I’ve done in the community just to avoid the appearance that we’re doing something that’s timed to play to the election.”

The city’s Democratic Primary is May 17.

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