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Our Approach

Using innovation as our primary tool, and equity as an integral lens across our work, we aim to support early-stage ideas that are challenging the status quo.

Our region is home to incredibly smart, creative changemakers who want to tackle problems and seize opportunities in new and different ways. To be successful, they need early-stage funding to re-imagine how things work and to test novel approaches.

This is where Barra comes in—we aim to provide risk-capital, and other resources to support intentional innovation. We know this kind of funding is hard to come by. And, we think this kind of early-stage funding can spark and inspire transformative change to address the needs and opportunities of under-resourced communities.

We aim to engage in next practices in philanthropy, such as impact investing, that have the potential to create bold, durable change in the social sector. We plan to share what we are learning as we work to align a portion of our endowment with our mission and values.

Beyond grants and impact investments, we do our best to deploy our resources—networks, relationships, knowledge and experience—to build connections and share information that cultivates innovation in and across Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services. Our approach to philanthropy is not just about what we fund but how we fund. Learn more about what guides our work.

We believe that if innovators have the resources they need to test out early-stage bold ideas, then there is the potential that their efforts will lead to outsized impact and a more equitable Greater Philadelphia region.

Meet the changemakers who are inspiring others to think and act differently.

Mission Statement

The Barra Foundation invests in innovation to inspire change that strengthens communities in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Barra’s vision for success will be to advance thriving, equitable communities in the region. Our primary strategy for achieving this goal is to support and advance innovative ideas and practices as well as the changemakers who lead innovation in the social sector in and across Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services.