Supporting the Greater Philadelphia Area


Pew Fund Frequently Asked Questions

What types of organizations do you fund?

The Pew Fund for Health and Human Services invests in Philadelphia-area nonprofits that provide research-informed services to reduce poverty or mitigate its effects and promote the well-being of individuals and families.

To be eligible for funding, an organization must:

  • Have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
  • Provide services in Pennsylvania’s Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and/or Philadelphia counties.
  • Have three years of financial statements.

Our current funding focus is on organizations providing services to address the following issue areas:

  • Benefits and income supports.
  • Immigrant and refugee services (particularly to support economic stability and mobility).
  • Older adult housing and homeownership.
  • Workforce development.

How many of each type of grant do you award annually?

This may vary by year; but in general, three to five growth grants and four to eight venture grants are awarded annually.

What is the Pew Fund’s selection process?

The Pew Fund invites select organizations to apply for funding based on our initial review and research. Although we do not accept unsolicited proposals, we are always interested in learning about organizations providing research-informed services to promote the health and well-being of people in the Philadelphia region who have limited access to critical supports. Organizations that meet our funding criteria may provide us with information about their work by completing our online inquiry form. We review submitted forms on a rolling basis and aim to follow up within a few weeks with organizations that have submitted inquiries.

Selected organizations are invited to submit a formal application and supporting documentation, which includes three years of financial statements, a list of the organization’s board members, an organizational chart, and budget projections. The application process includes interviews with the applicant’s leaders, site visits (when public health conditions permit), and a review of the candidate’s materials by Pew Fund staff and one or more external experts. For growth grants, we also request a strategic plan or business plan, if one exists; interviews with board members; and an overview of the applicant’s growth strategy. This process takes place on a rolling basis and does not have predetermined annual application deadlines.

What factors does Pew consider when making funding decisions?

Once an organization has been invited to apply for funding, Pew evaluates the applicant on the following criteria:

  • For growth grants, we examine the impact of the organization’s programs, leadership and management, financial health, operational viability, evaluation and data use, and vision for future growth.
  • For venture grants, we evaluate the potential of the candidate’s innovative approach to positively affect a compelling community need, the organization’s readiness to implement the approach, and its commitment to learning—guided by data—to increase sustainability and impact and to influence sectorwide practices, policies, and/or systems.

In addition, an organization must meet the criteria for at least one of our two types of grants.

  • For growth grants: The organization has an operating budget of at least $2 million and plans to expand its reach and deepen its impact in the Philadelphia region over the next five years.
  • For venture grants: The organization is uniquely positioned to deliver an effective program that meets an emerging need or addresses a critical gap in services. Additionally, the organization must have a budget of at least $400,000.

Why is an annual operating budget of $2 million a requirement for growth grants?

We have found that an organization with a budget of $2 million is more likely than those with less operating revenue to have the foundational infrastructure and leadership that will position it for substantial growth.

Why is an annual operating budget of $400,000 a requirement for venture grants?

We have found that an organization with a budget of $400,000 is more likely to have the staffing and operational infrastructure required to deliver on learning- and impact-related venture objectives.

Are there any restrictions on what you will fund?

Yes. The Pew Fund does not support capital campaigns, endowments, debt reduction, or individuals (e.g., research grants or scholarships).

Can organizations that received funding under the previous grant structure apply for growth or venture funding?

Yes. Previous grantees remain eligible for consideration if they meet the requirements for a growth or venture grant.

Can an organization submit multiple inquiry forms?

We encourage organizations to submit no more than one inquiry per year. The online form allows organizations to inquire about and provide the necessary information to be considered for both a venture and a growth grant. However, if something has changed significantly since your initial inquiry, we are open to considering a funding opportunity with updated information later in the same year.

May I contact you if I have further questions?

Yes. Please email us with any additional questions.


Addressing COVID-19's Impacts on Philadelphia and Our Grantees

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The Pew Charitable Trusts recognizes the enormous human and financial toll that COVID-19 is having on individuals, families, and organizations in the Philadelphia region—and understands that the virus and the resulting economic fallout will have both immediate and longer-term consequences.