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Money Moves: Giving, getting and p(l)aying it forward

November 18, 2019 Category: ColumnFeaturedFundingLongPurpose

Money Moves is a semi-regular column tracking grants made by local funders, including foundations, giving circles, trusts and corporate entities. Send notices to

1. Bank of America invests $400K in two youth-serving organizations advancing economic mobility.

Big Picture Philadelphia, an education provider that promotes learning through internships, inquiry, collaboration, and mentoring, and Philadelphia Youth Network, which prepares young people to succeed in the workforce through programmatic and collaborative efforts in education and employment, were named “Neighborhood Builders” awardees by Bank of America for their work to address issues fundamental to economic mobility.

L to r: Deborah O’Brien, SVP, market executive, Bank of America; Bassam Awadalla, regional executive, Bank of America; Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend, president and CEO, Philadelphia Youth Network; David Bromley, executive director, Big Picture Philadelphia; Jim Dever, Philadelphia market president, Bank of America. (Courtesy photo)

Each organization will receive a $200,000 grant, along with a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact.

“Big Picture Philadelphia and Philadelphia Youth Network play significant roles shaping workforce development in our city,” said Jim Dever, Bank of America’s Philadelphia market president. “[They] are leading the charge to advance sustainable growth in the community and address systemic issues related to economic mobility.”

2. Citizens Bank contributes $125K to expand West Philadelphia Skills Initiative.

Citizens Bank announced November 14 that it will be investing $125,000 in University City District‘s job training program, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative.

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According to the release announcing the award, “through its employer partnerships and soft skills curriculum, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative prepares and connects unemployed and under-employed Philadelphians to life-changing work while helping employers find and retain the talent they need.”  The program has, until now, worked only with University City employers and West Philadelphia residents, but the award will enable the program to expand its reach.

“Citizens Bank is committed to increasing workforce development opportunities in the Greater Philadelphia region and few organizations have the track record of the team at the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, president of Citizens Bank, Mid-Atlantic Region. “We are proud to support the organization as it takes its efforts to the next level, providing more opportunities for unemployed Philadelphians to get the training and support needed to succeed in the workforce.”

3. Science History Institute receives more than $95K from Institute of Museum and Library Services.

A Civil War-era bank building in Old City Philadelphia houses the free-admission Science History Institute, formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation. ((Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®)

Philadelphia’s Science History Institute, which collects and shares the stories of innovators and of discoveries in the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences, was awarded a grant of $95,247 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff, a special initiative of the Museums for America program. The Science History Institute’s was one only 18 projects selected to receive this grant.

The grant will be used to provide training, mentoring and coaching opportunities for staff and board members. According to the announcement of the award, “staff from across the Institute will work with colleagues and evaluation experts to develop skills in evaluative thinking and outcomes-based program design. The sessions will be recorded to create a training library, ensuring that new staff and board members have access to this work.”

4. East Mount Airy Neighbors Community Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation gives nearly $70K to six nonprofits.

The East Mount Airy Neighbors (EMAN) Community Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation recently awarded $69,700 in grants to six nonprofits providing services to Northwest Philadelphia, with an emphasis on programs serving East Mt. Airy. “This year’s slate of grant winners represents the work East Mount Airy Neighbors is committed to doing within the neighborhood and furthers the organization’s mission to make ‘a good community better’,” said Natalia Serejko, EMAN’s executive director, when announcing the grants.

The grants, which range from $10,000 to $16,700, were awarded to:

  • Artwell
  • Food Moxie
  • Jumpstart Germantown LLC
  • Mt. Airy Business Improvement District
  • Mt. Airy CDC
  • Ralston Center

5. Next Level Trainings raises more than $55K for underserved teens.

Next Level Trainings raised $56,013 in support of the Herb It Forward Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2017 to expand on the work of the the Herb it Forward Scholarship, which honors the memory of Herb Lotman, a self-made businessman whose life was dedicated to helping others and giving back.

“The money raised by Next Level Trainings will fund a full Leadership Camp weekend for up to 48 students,” said Jen Jones, the Herb It Forward Foundation’s executive director. “Over three days, students spark connections with one another that develop into lifelong friendships, participate in immersive workshops by leading experts from around the country, and feel the support behind them as they journey into and through their higher education experience.”

6. Leeway Foundation awards $55K to 31 artists and cultural producers in its fall 2019 Art and Change grants.

Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change Grants provide project-based funds of up to $2,500 to women and trans artists and cultural producers who propose a project that impacts a larger group, audience or community, have financial need, and live in the Greater Philadelphia region.

The cohort of grantees announced in October “highlights a trend in cultural preservation from South Philadelphia to Norristown, Overbook to Port Richmond, and neighborhoods in between. They also showcase a powerful, intergenerational cross-section of artists, with grantees ranging from early-20s to mid-70s,” according to the Foundation’s newsletter. Click here for a full list of grantees and their projects.

7. Violinist Hilary Hahn selects Project 440 as the recipient of a $25,000 gift.

Hillary Hahn made her orchestral soloist debut with the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in 1991 when she was 11; she made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at 14, and at 16, she was the orchestra’s soloist at a Carnegie Hall performance. When Hahn won the Glashütte Original Festspielpreis award five years ago, it came with the stipulation that the accompanying $25,000 grant be donated to any music education initiative of her choice. In September of this year, the violinist, who was a Philadelphia resident until 2004, selected Project 440 as the sole recipient.

“Project 440 serves a crucial purpose within the arts world,” Hahn said. “They reach across a broad socio-economic spectrum to high school students, helping them to take leadership roles in their communities and rehearsing life skills within the shared language of music. Many organizations are doing great work around personal leadership, but the way Project 440 goes about it is different from anything I’ve seen. Project 440 is poised to implement their projects on a larger scale, and I hope this grant will help them to reach their goals for the 2019-20 school year. They are a small organization with a big impact.”

8. Greenmore Farm Animal Rescue secures funder to match donations to $20K to build new adoption center.

Greenmore Farm Animal Rescue volunteer with a rescue dog. (Courtesy photo)

Greenmoore Farm Animal Rescue, a nonprofit, no-kill rescue in West Grove, Chester County, secured a donation pledge from a local, anonymous donor to match funds dollar-for-dollar, up to $20,000, in the Farm’s effort to build a new new indoor adoption center. Funds will be matched through the end of 2019, when the capital campaign closes.

According to Julia Altman, the Farm’s director, many of animals at Greenmore come from high-kill shelters in southern and midwestern states that lack resources and amenities to care for the animals. Greenmore coordinates rescue transportation through a network of dedicated volunteers, and provides veterinary, rehabilitative, and perinatal care in an effort to prepare animals for adoption by local families. Since the rescue launched in 2010, it has saved and found homes for over 2,700 animals.

“Our adoptions have been held outside, sometimes in inclement weather,” Altman said in announcing the matching funds. “The adoption center will provide a safe, calm environment for potential adopters to meet their new four-legged family member.” The Farm expects to break ground on the adoption center in November. For more information about the effort, click here.

9. Philadelphia 76er James Ennis gives $15K to ACHEIVEability.

James Ennis. (Courtesy)

Philadelphia 76ers player James Ennis gave a $15,000 donation to ACHIEVEability in October to support the nonprofit’s work helping families break the cycle of poverty in West Philadelphia. In addition to the donation, Ennis invited ACHIEVEability youth to the 76ers game versus the Washington Wizards on October 18.

According to ACHIEVEability’s October newsletter, Ennis chose to support the nonprofit — that seeks to permanently break the generational cycle of poverty for low income, single parent, and homeless families through higher education, affordable housing, supportive services, community and economic development, and accountability — because of his own experiences growing up.

“I feel like this program was a lot different than the program that I was in (growing up), because basically once you got on your feet, they think you’re OK and they put you back on the street,” Ennis said in an interview with NBC Sports. “But [ACHIEVEability] makes you accomplish things to stay there. I think that’s really good. I wish they had that back then.”


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