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Recovery and Response: Round 3

12/2/2020 |

To respond to the needs of our nonprofit partners during this time of crisis, prioritize under-resourced communities and collaborate directly with colleagues and others in the region, Barra shifted our grantmaking approach to focus on recovery and response at the beginning of last summer.

For the final round of our Recovery and Response Efforts in 2020, Barra’s Board of Directors approved $620,000 of unrestricted funding in December to nonprofits and citywide efforts that serve marginalized communities by providing them with more equitable access to supports to education and health and human services throughout the pandemic. This round also included awards to economic development projects with the goal of planting some longer-term seeds for recovery, as well as a partnership aiding BIPOC-focused cultural arts nonprofits.

Through conversations with education partners, our staff learned of the need for funding access centers that give students a safe place for digital learning and other enrichment opportunities. Ten organizations and one citywide initiative were awarded $235,000 to improve access to learning supports:

  • Community Navigators
  • WHYY (Education Department)
  • Access Centers
  • Philadelphia Community Stakeholders
  • Partners for Sacred Places
  • Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County
  • Greater Philadelphia YMCA
  • North Penn YMCA
  • YMCA of Bucks County
  • YMCA of Greater Brandywine
  • YEAH Philly

A total of $385,000 was given to 25 health and human services nonprofits and one citywide initiative that are community-based and have operating budgets less than $1.5 million. Their work centers on behavioral health/trauma, access/disparities, multilevel support, housing stability, workforce/employment and economic relief. Additionally, Barra contributed to two county funds and made several reinvestments from the second Recovery and Response round. Organizations receiving funding included:

  • The Uplift Center
  • Healing Hurt People (Drexel University)
  • La Puerta Abierta
  • New Leash on Life
  • Salvation Army New Day Drop-In Center
  • Sankofa Healing Studio
  • The Creative Resilience Collective/CRY Program
  • Black Doctor’s COVID-19 Consortium
  • Miriam Medical Clinic
  • African Family Health Organization (AFAHO)
  • Agape African Senior Center, Inc.
  • Ardella’s House
  • KITHS (Integrated and Targeted Human Services)
  • Morris Home
  • VietLead
  • Why Not Prosper
  • Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
  • Ones Up
  • Dignity Housing
  • Potter’s House Mission
  • PAR Recycleworks
  • PowerCorpsPHL
  • Trades for a Difference
  • The Merchants Fund
  • The Foundation for Delaware County
  • Brandywine Health Foundation

We know that small, local businesses face significant challenges in today’s economy. In addition to the general operating grants made in round 3, Barra planted some longer-term seeds for economic recovery with a few multi-year Recovery and Response grants to support communities disproportionality affected by COVID-19 and systemic racism. We awarded $400,000 to three larger nonprofit projects:

  • The Greater Philadelphia Economy League (Philadelphia Anchors for Growth & Equity Procurement Prep Program)
  • The Enterprise Center (Disinfect US Coalition)
  • Community First Fund (Economic Justice Fund)

Finally, we partnered with the William Penn Foundation and the Ford Foundation to support America’s Cultural Treasures with $500,000 over five years. This funding will go toward the Greater Philadelphia region’s partnership in the America’s Cultural Treasures initiative which aims to support the long-term relief and recovery of local BIPOC-focused cultural organizations.

Our Recovery and Responses Efforts gave us an opportunity to streamline our grantmaking process, focus on efforts with at-risk communities and consult with partners. We look forward to considering this experience to further improve and evolve our future work.

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