The Community Champions Awards & Grants Challenge is an initiative by the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity to celebrate individuals and community-based organizations that have served communities of color and those with low incomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those selected will receive one-time grants or cash assistance.
Individuals must be nominated by a non-profit, community-based organization, elected official, and/or City commission or board, and be able to demonstrate financial hardship. If selected, individuals will receive one-time cash assistance of $2,500.
Nonprofit organizations that have served marginalized communities during the pandemic or are experiencing financial hardship related to the pandemic may apply. If selected as a finalist, organizations will advance to online public voting. The 10 organizations with the most votes will receive a $20,000 grant. Ten runner-ups will receive $12,500.
Eligibility Criteria for Individuals
Must be nominated by a non-profit organization, community-based organization, elected official and/or City commission or board
Must live in Philadelphia as a permanent, year-round resident
Must have provided community service or volunteerism during the pandemic (between March 17, 2020 and March 14, 2022)
Must be able to demonstrate that they are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (i.e., supplying a 2019 or 2020 tax return or similar documentation that demonstrates income)
Must be able to demonstrate an emergency financial hardship (i.e., a utility shutoff notice, eviction notice, or similar financial crisis)
Must not be currently employed by the City of Philadelphia
Must be eligible to receive Financial Assistance under Section 17-1404 of the Philadelphia Code
Eligibility Criteria for Nonprofit Organizations
Must be based in Philadelphia and benefit Philadelphians
Must submit documentation demonstrating an annual budget under $1 million
Must have current 501(c)(3) IRS status or a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) IRS status and be in good standing with the IRS
Must serve Philadelphians at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
The activities this grant will fund must have begun during the period of March 17, 2020 to March 14, 2022.
Note: Nominees and applicants are only eligible to receive financial assistance in one category.
Where and How to Apply
Entries can be submitted through an online application portal, beginning Monday, March 21. The deadline for entries is Monday, April 11.
To learn more about this funding opportunity, click here.