Planning Grants

At The Barra Foundation, we recognize that many nonprofit organizations in the five-county Philadelphia area work tirelessly to serve their communities and to achieve social impact. So much energy is invested in day-to-day operations that it is often difficult to dedicate the time and resources needed to consider new ways to grow, start a new venture or even alter an organization's mission.

Both anticipated changes and unexpected opportunities can cause organizations to face these critical junctures. Recognizing the importance of taking the necessary time and resources to address and tackle possible obstacles and opportunities, Barra offers Planning Grants to assist
organizations in the fields of Arts & Culture, Human Services, Health and Education.

Planning Grants are not intended to support planning that is typically part of an organization's ongoing activity and annual operating budget.  These grants are to support planning when an organization is at a critical juncture that causes it to address a significant change in the organization or its programming.  Knowing the value of utilizing external expertise at such critical junctures, the Foundation requires grantees to engage outside consulting resources to play a key role in the planning process.

Planning Grants only provide funding for consultants to assist with this planning and do not pay for staff time.

Examples of Planning Grants include (but are not limited to):

  • Strategic re-structuring of an organization
  • Merger and collaborative undertakings which produce efficiencies and economies of scale
  • Pursuit of strategic initiatives in response to revised vision and/or mission statements
  • Design of new innovative programs
  • Unique initiatives to generate earned income

Barra does not provide Planning Grants for:

  • Master facilities plans
  • Stand alone development, communications or marketing plans
  • Capital campaigns
  • Strategic planning not related to a critical juncture

While not required when submitting an LOI, if your organization is invited to complete a full grant application, you will be asked to provide a minimum of two proposals from outside consultants with expertise in the field of interest defined in the application. In the proposal, the consultant should provide a scope of work, which should include the following information:

  • the issues and outcomes the Planning Grant will address;
  • a list of deliverables;
  • a tentative timeline; and
  • an estimated budget.

Planning Grants usually range from $25,000 to $75,000. For more information about our grantmaking guidelines, please visit our FAQ page.

To review deadlines and apply, please click here here.