Investing In Innovation

At Barra, we think that both risk capital and core support can be used to acknowledge and advance innovation in the Greater Philadelphia region. We have risk tolerance for organizations exploring, testing or launching novel approaches. But we also recognize the need for strong organizations, positioned for adaptive change, to receive flexible core support.  When we invest in ideas and organizations, we are guided by these principles:

  • We are open to unorthodox approaches to positive change.
  • Building trust encourages frank discussions about risk and failure.
  • Innovation can spring from unlikely partnerships.
  • Exemplary organizations that exhibit qualities of leadership, performance and adaptability deserve support to create further innovation.
  • Effective leadership cannot be overestimated.

We have two primary programs that provide financial support: the Barra Awards and the Catalyst Fund. Beyond the dollars we provide to organizations, and within the capacity of our staff, we seek to provide opportunities for organizations across our areas of interest to connect, share and learn.

Our Areas of Interest

  • Our four areas of interest—Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services—help us organize our grantmaking, but we recognize possible overlaps and resist making them rigid lines of work.
  • Our four areas of interest collectively contribute to creating a stronger and more vibrant community.
  • With the exception of Arts & Culture, projects and initiatives supported by Barra should aim to improve the lives of low-income individuals, families and communities.
©The Barra Foundation
Philadelphia, PA
(610) 964-7601

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