Name: The William Penn Foundation
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact Info: www.williampennfoundation.org Phone: 215-988-1830
Coverage Area: Primarily the Greater Philadelphia area; Pennsylvania region.
The Foundation emphasizes three primary areas of interest: cultural vitality, disadvantaged children, and environmental sustainability.
Assets: $1.9 billion (2011)
Last Year Total Giving: $85 million (2011)
In a Nutshell:
In 1945 Otto Haas, a 20th century entrepreneur, and his wife Phoebe created the Phoebe Waterman Foundation to provide for their philanthropic concerns. The foundation initially focused on relief in post-War Europe, scholarships for fatherless children, and support for medical and educational institutions. Over the last several decades the foundation has grown exponentially and eventually evolved into the William Penn Foundation in 1974, named after the 17th-century Quaker whose pursuit of an exemplary society led to the founding of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.
The William Penn Foundation is large-scale, well-established foundation that awards grants annually and is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region. Its efforts strive to close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in Pennsylvania. In partnership with community-based organizations, the Foundation works to advance opportunity, ensure sustainability, and enable effective solutions.
A primary goal of the Foundation is to increase the number of children from low-income families performing on par with national academic success norms. Their commitment to closing the achievement gap spans early childhood through secondary education, with a primary focus on expanding models with demonstrated excellence in student achievement. In the past they have made grants to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Attic Youth Center, the Institute for Safe Families, the Philadelphia Youth Network, and the Pennsylvania Association for Education of Young Children.
The Foundation also strives to advance Philadelphia as a leading center of creativity. They support sustainable arts and cultural organizations, high-quality creative works and cultural programs, arts education for school-age children, and great public spaces. In honor of these values, it has awarded grants to the International Association of Performing Arts for Young People, Inc., First Person Arts, the National Guild Community School of the Arts, Inc., and the Philadelphia Education Fund.
- Closing the Achievement Gap
- Early Care and Education
- Invest in K-12 Education
- Creative Communities
- Increasing Arts Education
How to Apply:
The Foundation generally requests full grant proposals from organizations only after detailed discussions and a proposed concept has been reviewed by staff.
For organizations interested in submitting ideas to the Foundation, they offer a less time-intensive process through their general inquiry form. Before submitting an inquiry, please review the program guidelines and confirm that the proposed work aligns with the Foundation’s strategic priorities. Once an idea has been submitted, Foundation staff will review the submission and notify the organization of next steps.
You can get started here.