Explore. Learn. Connect.

New Resources: Philadelphia 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 models to capture learnings.  A convening of these high schools, Building 21, Science Leadership Academy, The Workshop School and Vaux Big Picture, held on June 18, 2018, shared key lessons learned from this work and explored the necessary conditions (at the school and system level) for fostering school innovation. For more information, including cases studies with findings from this process, click here.

Why Local Nonprofit Leaders Nominate Barra Awardees

12/16/2015 |

Generocity explored the “flow funding” aspect of the Foundation’s Barra Awards in a recent article. “It’s a creative and important way to engage nonprofits in supporting their peers and their work,” Wahl said. “We’re all doing this work together, and it’s a great way for some of the great problem solvers working in our community to support their colleagues also engaging in this important work.” Having last year’s winners select this year’s nominees is a design intended to reel in new organizations with fresh perspective. Read more.

Generocity, December 2015

Barra Awards $2M in Unrestricted Funding

12/16/2015 |

Philadelphia Business Journal covered the announcement of Barra’s 2016-2017 Barra Awards and its nomination process: “We put our trust in leaders on the ground to tell us which organizations are truly outstanding in their fields and making the greatest impact on their communities. Many of our nominators are past grantees themselves, which lets them contribute to the work of their peers and keeps our grantee community engaged and connected,” said Kristina Wahl, Barra President. Read more.

Philadelphia Business Journal, December 2015

Press Release: 2016-2017 Barra Awards Announced

12/16/2015 |

The Barra Foundation has announced $2 million in unrestricted funding for the recipients of its 2016‐2017 Barra Awards, which acknowledge and advance nonprofit organizations that exhibit exemplary leadership, performance and adaptability. Forty organizations will each receive $50,000 over a two‐year period. In addition, leaders of those organizations become members of a diverse network of entrepreneurial and innovative thinkers. The awardees come from the Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services sectors in the Greater Philadelphia region.

“It was an honor to serve as a nominator and to take time to reflect on and recognize the exciting work that my peers are doing in the field,” said Amanda Jefferson, Executive Director of Summer Search Philadelphia. Summer Search was awarded a 2013-2014 Barra Award and Jefferson later served as a nominator for the 2016-2017 grant cycle. Read the complete Press Release.

Redefining Hospitality

11/30/2015 |

Broad Street Ministry has partnered with Steven Cook and Mike Solomonov of Zahav and Federal Donuts to establish a new eatery that, with every order, will help feed the needy. Profits from Rooster Soup Company will go to the Broad Street Hospitality Collaborative, which helps feed Philadelphia’s homeless. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Steven Cook noted “We work in hospitality full-time, but expanding the definition of what that means and whom it applies to is really important.” Adds Solomonov, “Chefs can’t just focus on the top tier.”

Wall Street Journal, November 2015 Grantee: Broad Street Ministry, 2013 Barra Awards

Videos: Innovating. Intentionally.

9/15/2015 |

In a series of Ignite-style presentations at an event on June 24, 2015 for grantees and others interested in innovation, Barra-funded change-makers Chip Linehan (Building 21), Cynthia Figueroa (Congreso de Latinos Unidos), Erin Bernard (History Truck),  Christine Simiriglia (Pathways to Housing PA) and Helen Eaton (Settlement Music School) provided updates on their work and talked about how they innovate with intentionality. Barra President Tina Wahl—also presenting Ignite-style—discussed how the work of these organization ties to Barra’s mission.

To learn more about the exciting work of these thought-leaders, view their presentation videos here:

  Chip Linehan            Cynthia Figueroa            Erin Bernard

Christine Simiriglia            Helen Eaton             Tina Wahl

Event Speakers Large

 

Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days

5/6/2015 |

Harvard Business Review spotlighted Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School in a recent issue dedicated to innovation. Founded in 1908, Settlement Music School is an historic institution that has deliberately embedded innovation into its organizational culture and programs. Even the best-designed programs can face challenges and Settlement shares how they self-assess and adapt. Click here to read their story and learn how to build your own innovation engine.

Harvard Business Review, December 2014 Grantee: Settlement Music School, 2013 Barra Awards

Acting Bigger & Adapting Better in a Networked World

4/16/2015 |

Monitor Institute’s “What’s Next for Philanthropy”

takes an honest look at philanthropy and provides ten emerging best practices to help move foundations into a modern era of grantmaking. Because, as they point out: “Philanthropy today takes place in a context that is radically different from the environment in which many of its current practices and behaviors were developed. Yet many of philanthropy’s core practices and principles remain essentially unchanged from the way they were done a hundred years ago, when Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller first created the foundation form.” Click here to read the report.

Monitor Institute, July 2010 

New Barra Directors

3/24/2015 |

The Barra Foundation’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce its four newest members: Matthew Bergheiser, Donna Marie De Carolis, Ph.D., Valerie V. Gay and Laura A. Williamson.

Click here to read their biographies.

ACCESS Cards Connect Philadelphians to Art

2/13/2015 |

Generocity caught up with Art-Reach’s Melissa Roderman to learn how their innovative program makes art more accessible. “ACCESS Admission is Art-Reach’s latest initiative. It’s a way for us to more deeply engage individuals in the community who are facing financial adversity. The program is tailored to meet the needs of ACCESS Card holders,” said Melissa Roderman,  Art-Reach communications & engagement associate. “It breaks down a huge financial barrier that exists in engaging with the arts in our region, and it has the potential to serve a really large portion of our city’s population,” she added.

Click here to read the full story.
Generocity, December 2014 Grantee: Art-Reach, Catalyst Fund 2014

Philadelphia Furniture Bank Opens Its Doors

2/13/2015 |

Christine Simiriglia, Executive Director of Pathways to Housing PA, was recently interviewed by Generocity for an article about Philadelphia Furniture Bank. “In Philadelphia, it is the first designated space to distribute furniture, a critical need and the cause of long delays for families transitioning from shelters to independent housing. Agencies across the city have been struggling with the issue for years, according to Simiriglia, expending crucial resources and staff time to help individual families track down basic furnishings and household goods. Before the Furniture Bank, Simiriglia said that Pathways to Housing PA was spending $80,000 a year to purchase furniture, a figure that hastened her decision to move forward with the project.” Read the full story.

Generocity, January 2015 Grantee: Pathways to Housing PA, Catalyst Fund 2014

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