We decided to change this during our centennial year celebration. We took the unconventional step to pull back the veils of grantmaking and showcased nonprofits doing amazing things — all through a first-of-its-kind public voting initiative.
Named the Key to Community grants initiative, we invited nonprofits across the seven county region that were already demonstrating real progress in solving real community challenges to apply for nine grants totaling $1 million. Grants were to be awarded across three categories: Economic Prosperity, co-presented by us and Wells Fargo; the Opportunity Divide, co-presented by us and Comcast NBCUniversal; and Civic & Community Engagement, presented by Philadelphia Foundation. Nearly 200 nonprofits applied, and ultimately 15 finalists were selected by a judging panel composed of local and national nonprofit experts. Judging then opened to the public, with a website page serving as our ballot box.