How to spend $1 million? You decide.

Pedro Ramos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation (Provided)

Pedro Ramos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation (Provided)

The Philadelphia Foundation is celebrating its 100th birthday this year by giving away money.

The philanthropic organization distributes about $5 million annually, in addition to administering about $16 million on behalf of individual philanthropists.

Its new Key to Community grantmaking program will let the public decide how to distribute an additional $1 million.

The foundation will soon ask regional nonprofits to apply for a piece of the million-dollar pie, then whittle down the applicants to a still undetermined number.

The grants will be distributed via three categories: civic engagement, economic development, and opportunity divide. In the end, nine applicants will share the money.

“For the first time, for us anyway, we’re having final selection happen by general public vote,” said president and CEO Pedro Ramos. “So people will be able to go to our website and vote on nine grants that will be made, totaling a million dollars.”

The centenary celebration will also include providing $2 million worth of pro bono consulting to area nonprofits, via a volunteer matching company, Catchafire. And it will coordinate a third season of its On The Table Philly initiative, wherein Philadelphians sign up to host informal dinners in order to spark discussions on various civic topics.

“We really want to demystify philanthropy and make people appreciate really how easy it can be to get involved, in some way, whether it’s by volunteering or giving or getting together with your neighbors and coming up with something to do,” said Ramos.

The Philadelphia Foundation will also celebrate its 100 years by partnering with Mural Arts Philadelphia on a public mural and rebranding itself with a new logo and upgraded website.

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