Samuel S. Fels Fund


The Samuel S. Fels Fund, founded in 1936 by Samuel S. Fels, is a private independent foundation with a commitment to improving conditions and opportunities for marginalized communities within the City of Philadelphia.  The Fels Fund provides grants to support services, advocacy and activities that move us towards a more socially, racially and economically just society.

Fels has three funding streams. Specific areas of emphasis include:

Focused Populations– developing services and policies that improve:
• integration, opportunity and advancement for refugees and immigrants
• safety, stability and opportunity for older youth in-and-exiting the child welfare system

Arts and Culture – investing in Arts and Culture organizations whose primary mission is to:
• preserve, strengthen, and/or share social or cultural identities and traditions
• amplify marginalized voices and perspectives in pursuit of social change

Social, Racial and Economic Justice –  new ideas and proven approaches, including advocacy, organizing, legal and other direct services for marginalized communities (that are not the focus of the two streams above) that:
• address societal inequities
• protect civil liberties and human rights

NEW for 2018 two-year grants with deadlines


The Samuel S. Fels Fund was incorporated as a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation on December 17, 1935.  The Fund’s founder was Samuel S. Fels, Philadelphia philanthropist and civic leader who was president of Fels & Company, manufacturer of Fels Naptha, a vastly popular household soap.  Sam Fels was born in Yanceyville, North Carolina in 1860 and died in Philadelphia on June 23, 1950.

Our job, the job of mankind, is so to organize our world that we can live together without fears and without hatred of each other.”

                                                                                                              -Samuel S. Fels