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Catalyst Fund FAQs

Frequently asked questions (and answers) for those considering submitting a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) for a Catalyst Fund grant.

How do I apply for a grant?

Begin by reading our Guidelines. If your project meets the guidelines, then submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) using our online system.

Must my organization be a 501(c)(3)?

Our grants are currently limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. We do consider projects from organizations using a fiscal sponsor. We do not fund individuals.

Do you have a specific geographic focus?

We provide funding to organizations located in the five-county Greater Philadelphia region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties).

Must my project be focused on low-income communities?

In most cases, yes. For projects that fall under Education, Health and/or Human Services, there should be a focus on serving under-resourced  individuals and communities. However, Arts & Culture does not have this requirement.

Does my idea need to be completely new or can it be new to the region?

We are open to considering ideas that have already been tested outside of the Greater Philadelphia region. If you propose bringing an innovative idea to the region that is in place elsewhere, we will ask why you think this approach will work here.

What are some of the areas that the Catalyst Fund does not support?

  • individuals
  • budget deficits
  • endowments
  • capital campaigns and projects (unless a component of an innovative project), including feasibility studies for capital campaigns
  • international programs
  • environmental, religious or political organizations
  • scholarships and fellowships
  • stand-alone audio/video projects, publications and catalogs
  • stand-alone symposia and conferences
  • stand-alone marketing or communications plans
  • stand-alone evaluations
  • expansion of existing programs

I applied previously. May I apply again?

Yes, you may apply again at any time.

Does the Barra application process require site visits?

Not at this time. However, when reviewing your LOI, we may contact you for more information. If you are invited to submit a full application, we will arrange in-person, telephone or video meetings to learn more about your idea and how we can best support its development.

We are having difficulty submitting the online LOI. Who should we contact for assistance?

Please contact us at to submit your questions.