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Special Grants

While Barra’s main mission supports innovation that promotes long-term social change, we reserve some funds for timely and collaborative “good citizen” efforts.

This funding is primarily used when Barra is involved in partnerships with other funders or to help attract additional resources to the region. It is also considered when there is a need to move quickly in an emergency situation.

Rather than force such exceptions into established funding programs and thereby dilute their intent, the Foundation will maintain flexibility to provide funding through this “special grants” category. Any special opportunities will be foundation-initiated; there will not be an open application process.

Pooled/Collaborative Fund

At times, Barra collaborates with other funders in the region in situations where combined efforts can be more impactful and efficient. Such local efforts may also attract national funders to the region. Examples include: Philadelphia’s Cultural Treasures, Nonprofit Repositioning Fund, and Black Leaders/Black Communities.

Responsive Funding

As recent years have shown, there are urgent and timely issues, such as COVID-19, when foundations must adapt their grantmaking to meet the immediate needs of communities. In these limited instances, Barra considers areas where we might make a particular difference (e.g., providing additional operating support to existing grantees, funding organizations outside our official grantmaking priorities, etc.). Examples include: Emergency COVID-19 funding, Recovery and Response Efforts, and Community Violence grants.

Recovery and Response Efforts (RARE)

Our Recovery and Response Efforts grants were awarded to a select number of nonprofits in 2020 and 2021 that we believed were quickly and effectively responding to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism on communities of color. A total of $5,110,000 in grants has been awarded.

See a full list of RARE grants

Community Violence Grants

Barra recognizes the urgency and the multi-faceted nature of the gun violence epidemic in our city. In an effort to take action in the near-term, Barra made rapid grants in December 2021 and the summer of 2022 to 17 nonprofit organizations serving disproportionally impacted communities throughout Philadelphia.

We will continue to listen and learn from our grantee partners and funding peers to understand how philanthropy can contribute to some of the deeper change needed to ensure that all communities can thrive.

See a full list of Community Violence grants