Barra Awards FAQ

What do the Barra Awards fund?
The Barra Awards   1) provide unrestricted three-year funding to organizations that demonstrate exemplary leadership, performance and adaptability; 2) provide grants in the areas of Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services; and, 3) use a diverse pool of social sector leaders to recommend exemplary organizations for Barra Awards.

How can I get a Barra Award? 
The Barra Foundation uses a nominating process to identify potential Barra Awardees.

How does the nominator process work?
Nominators are selected for their experience and familiarity with the organizations that strengthen the five-county Philadelphia region. Most nominators work in the social sector themselves. Approximately ten nominators are selected in each of our four interest areas (Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services). Nominators are asked to recommend up to three organizations that demonstrate exemplary leadership, performance and adaptability. Eligible nominated organizations will receive an invitation to apply. Nominators remain anonymous until awards are announced. In addition, they are not permitted to put forward organizations that they have a current affiliation with. We create a new slate of nominators for each Barra Awards cycle to ensure we reach a wide variety of organizations.

Why do you use a nominating process?
Nominators have different perspectives—and typically different networks—from the Barra staff and Board. Their participation strengthens the outcome of the Barra Awards by reaching out farther into different parts of the nonprofit community.  To see lists of past nominators, please click here.

If I am nominated, do I automatically receive a Barra Award?
No.  Eligible organizations will be invited to submit an application via Barra’s online system.  That application is then reviewed and discussed by a Review Panel made up of staff, members of the Barra Board of Directors and outside experts.  The Review Panel recommends a slate of grantees to the Board of Directors, who ultimately approves the Barra Awardees.

Have you moved from a two-year to a three-year grant program?
Yes. We believe that a combination of flexible financial support and the opportunity to share ideas with other leaders from different disciplines and networks can help them discover new ideas and better solutions to problems. But we recognize that this kind of work takes time. Based on what we have learned from grantees through conversations, applications, surveys, reports and events, we believe that a three-year funding cycle will better support the needs of grantees and will enable Barra staff to provide more intentional resources and supports to a cohort of Barra Awardees.

When will grants next be awarded?
Nominators will be contacted in early spring and organizations will be invited to apply in early summer. The next round of grants will be awarded near the end of 2020.

I received a Barra award in the past, am I eligible in the next round?
In order to ensure that a range of organizations across the region have an opportunity to be recognized through the Barra Awards, starting in 2020, organizations will not be eligible to receive two consecutive Barra Awards. If you were a Barra Awards recipient in 2018, you will not be eligible for a Barra Award in the 2020 cycle.

Who should I contact if I have questions?
If your question has not been answered through the FAQs, please reach out to us at

©The Barra Foundation
200 W. Lancaster Avenue, Suite 202, Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 964-7601

Site by Maskar Design.