How this all-volunteer foundation gets and grants dollars - Generocity Philly

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Jan. 7, 2016 12:48 pm

How this all-volunteer foundation gets and grants dollars

The Spruce Foundation is making grants of $5,000 to four programs in education, health and wellness, arts and LGBTQ with a personal touch.

Goofin'.

Photo courtesy of the Spruce Foundation via Facebook

The Spruce Foundation wants to redefine philanthropy, and they’re doing it $5,000 at a time.

Comprised of 23 millennial volunteers, the foundation annually grants that amount to four organizations implementing programming for youth in one of four areas: education, health and wellness, the arts and LGBTQ. Grantees are also supplied with a team of volunteers and PR assistance.

That $20,000 is largely coming from donations made by fellow millennials — relationships the foundation fosters through “the grassroots organizing and ask-making” of its board members, according to Grantmaking Committee Chairperson Colleen Curren.

But it’s a little more personal than that — Curren said many of the board members make significant pledges on their own dime. It’s one way the foundation is cultivating the city’s next generation of philanthropists. As the foundation continues to expand, Curren said its members intend to increase the amount. But for now, $5,000 is the best fit for their capacity constraints. The process of granting that amount can be rigorous enough.

Curren said each committee person reviews each individual application using a “robust holistic rubric” before engaging in the “discussion and debate” that determines awardees.

Applications for this year’s youth grants should be submitted by Jan. 18.

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