Samuel S. Fels Fund

Applications & Guidelines

Cover Sheet

Proposal Guidelines

Outline Checklist

Post-Grant Report Guidelines

Since Fels has a small budget–approximately $2 million in the next few years–we could not possibly provide ongoing operating support to hundreds of organizations. Instead, we try to make grants at critical junctures. Critical junctures are points in an organization’s life when there is a need to change methodologies. This could mean growing, shrinking, trying a new type of programming, experimenting with staffing, piloting a project that might support itself eventually, opening a satellite, seeking new accreditation, retraining staff or board or rethinking the physical plant.

A critical juncture could also be related to policy. It could be the point where a new case must be built to change existing practice to add new services, or to draw attention to problems. Another critical juncture is the appointment of a new head. We often support a new director’s priority with a new director’s grant.

There are times when critical juncture grants are not appropriate. In the Arts, for example, we frequently make grants for specific seasons, productions or exhibitions. In the case of small organizations sometimes general support makes the most sense.

We prefer to make grants on a modest scale, but to try to have a maximum impact on institutions and service patterns in Philadelphia. Grants at Fels range in size from $3,000 to $30,000. Occasionally, we make a larger grant in an exceptional situation. Please review our listing of Recent Grants to get a good picture of our scope.

Things we are NOT interested in funding:

Activities or services taking place outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Amateur or non professional performance groups
Community computer programs
Deficit financing or emergency aid
Disease research or prevention
Drug and alcohol addiction programs
Endowments
Environmental programs
Health care
Higher education
Hospitals
Individual daycare or after school programs
Individual public or charter schools
Individuals
Movies
National, umbrella, or re-granting organizations
Parties, conferences, fairs, fundraising and one-time events
Private schools
Programs for animals
Publications or university presses
Purchase of tickets, tables, ads, or sponsorships
Religious education
Routine social services or counseling
Scholarships, fellowships, grants-in-aid of travel or research
Summer recreation programs
Support groups for individuals
Performing arts organizations without a Philadelphia season

Applications are accepted at any time (with the exception of Arts and Humanities projects which are due by 5 p.m. on January 15th or May 15th).  In 2012, the due date for Arts proposals submitted under the January deadline will be Tuesday, January 17th.  Agencies are asked to refrain from reapplying for a year after the proposal has been declined or until a final report has been accepted if a grant was awarded. Guidelines for applicants, with proposal requirements and cover sheet, are available on our website or by calling (215) 731-9455.

A question about the appropriateness of a particular organization or a particular project can be answered by calling Helen Cunningham at 215-731-9455.