PhilaSoup, Microgrant Group Supporting Teacher Innovation, Kicks Off School Year - Generocity Philly

Aug. 21, 2014 1:03 pm

PhilaSoup, Microgrant Group Supporting Teacher Innovation, Kicks Off School Year

PhilaSoup brings together teachers, educators and soup connoisseurs at microgrant dinners — fundraising events based around a meal — to fund small, education-focused projects. The grassroots nonprofit is kicking off its fourth year with a celebration at Yards Brewing Company on Sunday. “The first event helps to set the tone for the year and gives us […]

PhilaSoup brings together teachers, educators and soup connoisseurs at microgrant dinners — fundraising events based around a meal — to fund small, education-focused projects. The grassroots nonprofit is kicking off its fourth year with a celebration at Yards Brewing Company on Sunday.

“The first event helps to set the tone for the year and gives us some financial leverage,” said Danielle Wolfe, who chairs PhilaSoup’s development committee.

The kickoff is a chance to talk about what’s positive in Philly education, according to Meagan Ingerson, PhilaSoup’s board president, who also is a fourth-grade teacher

In an environment with limited resources, she added, “The idea is to minimize the impact on teachers’ pockets as much as possible.”

This year, PhilaSoup will host three dinners. Everyone brings $10, half of which is pooled for potential grantees. During the meal, three educators who have submitted proposals pitch their ideas to the crowd. Attendees vote on the spot for the winning project, but all applicants walk away with funds. PhilaSoup matches the total.

The average grant award is between $250 and $350, said Ingerson, and PhilaSoup’s on-the-spot crowdfunding has supported a range of projects, including art supplies, books, props, and literacy initiatives.

Spaced between each soup dinner, PhilaSoup will host “Grapes & Grants” events — workshops to guide potential applicants through the general grantmaking process and to help them hone their fundraising skills. The first session is September 15 at CultureWorks.

“It’s tough to find what the resources are out there, and we’re hoping to demystify that for teachers as much as we can,” Wolfe said. “We want to help them identify other potential sources of funding.”

PhilaSoup also has its own fundraising plans. The group is looking ahead, said Wolfe, “thinking about sustainability and how we can not rely on our immediate network. We’re trying to grow in scale and make sure we have great funding sources to back that up.”

Read Generocity.org previous coverage about PhilaSoup here.

Image via PhilaSoup’s Facebook page

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Erin Kane is a freelance writer living in the Philadelphia suburbs.

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