The Barra Awards acknowledge and advance exemplary organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. By exhibiting qualities of leadership, performance and adaptability, these organizations must demonstrate that they are keeping pace with a changing environment and continually looking for ways to be more effective.
Awardees are recommended to Barra by nominators—peers selected for their experience and familiarity with the organizations that strengthen the five-county Philadelphia region. Most nominators work in the social sector themselves. Up to ten nominators are selected in each of our four areas of interest (Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services). Nominators are asked to recommend up to three organizations that demonstrate exemplary leadership, performance and adaptability. Eligible organizations are then invited to apply.
In addition to receiving multi-year unrestricted support, organizations’ leaders become members of a diverse network of entrepreneurial thinkers—their fellow awardees. We believe this combination of flexible financial support and the opportunity to share ideas with other leaders from different disciplines and networks helps them discover new ideas and better solutions to problems.
Moving Forward: Changes in 2020
Since 2013, we have had three rounds of the Barra Awards, resulting in 145 grants and $6,180,000 in unrestricted support awarded. During this time, we have gathered feedback and learned from grantees through conversations, applications, surveys, reports and events, that we can do a few things better. In particular, we recognize that we can: more effectively tap into our rich network of grantees and nominators, provide funding for a longer period of time and be more intentional about the Beyond the Money (BTM) resources we offer.
With this learning in mind, the staff and Board have affirmed key aspects of the program and determined a need to adapt others. To learn more about what will stay the same, what will change and find answers to other questions, please refer to the Barra Awards FAQ section.
The next cycle of the Barra Awards will begin in 2020.