Pew Renews Its Commitment to Philadelphia’s Neediest Children & Youth

Around this time each year, we like to remind grantseekers in Philadelphia that the public policy powerhouse known as the Pew Charitable Trusts hasn’t forgotten about you.

As the sole beneficiary of seven individual trusts established by the children of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph Pew and his wife, Pew Charitable Trusts has a mission of improving public policy through analysis and data. But in Pew’s hometown, the grantmaking focus is on the area’s neediest residents, as well as arts and culture efforts that enhance the lives of Philadelphians. Pew has been helping out its local community with health and human services grants for the past 25 years, awarding nearly $207 million in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties over that time period.

Now, Pew has announced $8,588,000 in new grants to 45 local organizations that will be used over the next three years. The big focus of this recent round of grants is on Philadelphia’s low-income children and families, and Pew estimates that this grant money will help more than 22,000 children each year.

Philadelphia's youngest residents are a hot funding target lately around town. Just look at what the William Penn Foundation has been up to with local early childhood education. 

Related: Early Childhood Education Is Also Moving in Philly, With Some Funding Muscle

Overall, these are the core areas that Pew has focused on lately at the local level:

  • Delivering high-quality early education and child care
  • Providing effective prevention and early intervention services to reduce behavioral and academic problems
  • Increasing access to mental health services
  • Expanding quality after-school programs
  • Helping parents secure and retain public benefits and services to strengthen household stability

“A staggering 37 percent of children live in poverty in Philadelphia, which is the highest level among the nation’s 10 largest cities,” Frazierita Klasen, senior director of the Pew Fund for Health and Human Services, said in a press release. “These young people are at serious risk of lagging behind in language, cognitive, and social-emotional development. Pew is pleased to partner with local agencies that are helping to improve the lives of these vulnerable children and their families.”

Most of the recent Pew local grants were between $120,000 and $275,000 each. The top-earning grantees this round were the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation for continued support of PRAISE, a peer bullying prevention program for young people in grades three through five in southwest Philadelphia and Philadelphia Futures for continued support of academic enrichment, mentoring, and college preparation to help disadvantaged high school students in Philadelphia.

A good portion of this round’s recipients were returning grantees who received continuing support of programs that have been successful thus far. Pew does fund new organizations, too, but likes to stick with familiar groups that are doing well but still in need of a boost. You can view a full list of 2016 Pew grantees in Philadelphia on the funder’s website.

To apply for a local Pew health and human services grant, you can submit a letter of intent as long as your nonprofit operates and provides services in the five-county Philadelphia region. In 2015, Pew committed grantmaking to programs that serve the frail elderly, and 2016 was the year for children, youth and families.

This summer, Pew is expected to schedule its next letter of intent deadlines for grants to be awarded in March 2017. The next round of grants will focus on programs that serve vulnerable adults. Get your name added to the Pew mailing list by calling the staff at 215-575-4865 and you’ll be among the first to hear about upcoming due dates.