Philadelphia Foundation has $1 million in grants to give away this summer, aiming to accelerate the impact of nine nonprofit initiatives, and folks can cast a vote to say which organizations should receive part of the money.
The voting, live through July 26, is part of the Key to Community grants initiative, a part of the foundation’s centennial celebration. Anyone over 18 can vote once a day for one nonprofit that falls into each of three categories: economic prosperity, opportunity divide, and community and civic engagement.
Nine organizations will be chosen — three from each category — with the top prize in each category receiving $200,000, second place receiving $100,000 and third place with $33,000.
The nine winners will also participate in a “leadership institute” in the fall. The foundation said it narrowed down the 15 finalists from 200 applications.
The opportunity divide category, co-presented by Comcast NBCUniversal, is for nonprofit initiatives that propose ways to improve access, preparedness and equity. Each of the five finalists focuses on career training or tech skills. As described on the foundation’s site, they will:
- Provide HVAC training for returning citizens (Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia)
- Prepare girls to be workforce leaders through STEM (Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern N.J.)
- Raise pay and build a diverse tech workforce (Hopeworks)
- Provide high-quality STEM education through robotics (Steppingstone Scholars)
- Crush the cultural bias: inspire girls to tech (TechGirlz)
In the economic prosperity category, voters can also pick this tech-focused initiative:
- Generate high earnings and economic justice through coding (Year Up)
“All 15 inspiring initiatives are based around building stronger communities, and starting now, we’re asking the public to choose which ideas resonate most with them,” said Pedro Ramos, Philadelphia Foundation president and CEO.
The idea of public voting for nonprofits to receive money isn’t new, although it’s been criticized recently on our sister site, Generocity, for benefitting the grantmaking organization more than the grant recipients.-30-