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Catalyst Fund

Don’t re-invent the wheel. There are many services and programs for individuals and communities that work—and work well. These approaches are critically important, but they are not for the Catalyst Fund. Instead, the Catalyst Fund is intended to support ideas and initiatives in their early stages of development. We recognize the need to provide financial […]

2020 Grants

Emergency Response March through June Operating Support to 2013-2019 Barra Awardees $270,000 PHL COVID-19 Fund $100,000 Catalyst Fund to Food Connect $50,000 County COVID-19 Funds $100,000 TRACE Generocity Project with Independence Media Foundation $5,000 COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL Fund $250,000 PRI Loan to Women’s Opportunities Resource Center $100,000 EMERGENCY RESPONSE TOTAL: $875,000 Recovery and Response […]

Year In Review: Our Role Throughout 2020

At Barra, we strive to adapt and consider new ways to tackle challenges – and this was no different in 2020, as we responded to the pandemic and the movement to end systemic racism. Though we look forward to what the future may hold, we know it’s equally important to look back on a year […]

News and Highlights

We’re sure many of you have been using January to catch your breath and think through what happened in 2020—as well as at the beginning of this year. Like you, we are reflecting on how our grantmaking adapted to a changed world, and we are thinking about what worked and what didn’t work. Soon we […]

A Message About Our Response to the Effects of COVID-19

April 8, 2020 Barra’s Board of Directors and staff are grateful for the hard work of all nonprofits in our region, particularly given the unprecedented challenges organizations in every sector are facing during the COVID-19 crisis. To better support nonprofits’ work, we are identifying the most effective way for Barra to provide both immediate and […]

Welcome New Staff!

We are delighted to announce our two new staff members: Linda Rich, Senior Program Officer, Learning and Network Stephanie Lerner, Program Officer, Catalyst Fund Linda and Stephanie bring deep knowledge and experience working with nonprofit organizations and in philanthropy.  Linda Rich will manage the Barra Awards process and portfolio as well as learning across the Barra […]

Convening: Innovation High Schools

The Barra Foundation’s Catalyst Fund supported four innovative high schools in Philadelphia – Big Picture Vaux, Building 21, Science Leadership Academy and the Workshop School. During the 2017-2018 year, ImpactED, in partnership with the Foundation, engaged in an intensive year of learning about these school models. There’s no single definition of what is meant by an […]

Striking a Balance

By the time visitors to the Barnes Foundation reached the third or fourth gallery of priceless art, they seemed to have grown weary of the audio headset that guided them through the collection. They took one earpiece off, then both.  They started chatting with their companions. Most importantly, an evaluation showed, they stayed in the […]

Sharing the Story of Impact: Philadelphia Innovation High Schools

The Barra Foundation’s Catalyst Fund supported four innovative high schools in Philadelphia – Building 21, Science Leadership Academy, The Workshop School and Vaux Big Picture. Given Barra’s desire to share learning as part of the innovation process, the Foundation decided to embark on its first “thematic review” to look back across these models to capture […]

Sharing the Story of Impact: Innovation High Schools

Given Barra’s desire to share learning as part of the innovation process, the Foundation decided to embark on its first “thematic review” to look back across four Catalyst Fund-supported education models: Building 21, Science Leadership Academy, The Workshop School and Vaux Big Picture. During the 2017-2018 school year, ImpactED, in partnership with the Foundation, engaged […]

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