Grants & Scholarships

Kensington community organizers march for public safety solutions.
Photo: Impact Services/Cassandra Avila

Annual Grant Funds

Upcoming Special Issue Funds

Rapid Response Fund

Our Approach to Grantmaking

The core role of Bread & Roses is to bring together donors, community organizers, and other allies to move money into grassroots community organizing groups in the Philadelphia region.

All of the decisions on where the money goes are made by members of the community. We believe it is the people doing the work and impacted by injustice who know best where the money needs to go.

Our grants are funded by donors who give money each year to support local community organizing. We also serve as a partner to institutional and family foundations looking to direct their giving into the social justice movement.

Organizations must meet all of the following basic requirements to be eligible for a grant from Bread & Roses:
  • Must be located in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Camden counties
  • Must be designated by the IRS as a 501(c)3 organization or have a fiscal sponsor that is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)3 organization
  • Must be current with all progress reports from previously awarded Bread & Roses grants
  • Must submit a complete application prior to the deadline (because of the volume of applications we receive, we cannot make exceptions)
  • Must be using community organizing to create sustainable social change
Bread & Roses makes grants to organizations that have a long-term vision for social justice and engage in strategies that promote sustainable social change, including:
  • A focus on community organizing and activism (not social service, self-help, or educational programs)
  • A clear understanding of the root causes of the problem or issue that they are working to resolve
  • A vision that emphasizes changing the systems that create or perpetuate the problem or issue being addressed
  • A strategy that includes building a local base for taking collective action by the community affected by the problem or issue and results in concrete outcomes at the neighborhood, city, state or national level
  • Leadership that is primarily composed of people most affected by the problem or issue that is being addressed
Bread & Roses does not make grants for:
  • Direct service work/social services, self-help/empowerment programs, educational programs, or advocacy
  • Research
  • Schools
  • Capital campaigns or building projects
  • Scholarships, fellowships, or grants to individuals (except through the Lax Scholarship Fund)
Bread & Roses Community Fund has been making grants to grassroots organizations since 1977. Organizations that exemplify the best of what makes a Bread & Roses grantee have, or aspire to have, many of the following characteristics:
  1. People most affected by injustice are leaders, and the groups have broad membership and leadership bases that can survive when key leaders step down.
  2. They understand power differences and can talk about how they are trying to challenge power imbalances within their organizations and in their communities, as well as between community members and policy makers. They have a shared vision for what that change looks like and can articulate that vision.
  3. They prioritize ongoing education/consciousness raising for constituents and allies that broadens their membership base.
  4. They have a plan, including short term and long term goals that are specific, achievable, and relevant to the issue they seek to address and their overall vision for justice.
  5. They are knowledgeable about other organizations working on the same issue, and are able to work collaboratively across movements, issues, and communities to amplify impact.
  6. Because of their commitment to challenging power and prioritizing the leadership of marginalized people, they are less likely to be funded by more traditional funders; therefore, a grant from Bread & Roses Community Fund is critical to seeding or sustaining their work.
We define community organizing as community-led collective action aimed at shifting the balance of power between community members and policy makers and making changes in policies or practices at the institutional or systems level. Examples of community organizing include:
  • Civil disobedience
  • Mass protest
  • Mobilizing community members to voice community concerns by attending meetings with or writing letters, sending emails, and making phone calls to public officials
  • Mobilizing community members to pressure individual public officials to change their position on an issue
  • Hosting town hall meetings and conducting listening projects or using other methods to gather community input on a particular issue with the intention of building a base of community members and taking collective action to create change at the policy or institutional level
  • Training community members to disrupt harmful practices that government or corporate entities are using to maintain existing systems
  • Creating alternatives to existing government or corporate systems or practices that are harmful and making those alternatives available in ways that have a measurable impact on the larger community
  • Providing space for political education that builds the leadership and skills of members of an affected community, enabling them to analyze harmful systems, develop strategies for social change, and take collective action to create sustainable social change
Organizations can apply for a grant in every fund for which they are eligible. Organizations can receive up to $50,000 total in grants from Bread & Roses within a 12-month period.


Past Special Issue Funds

If you have questions about our grants and scholarships, contact If you want to get updates when we put out calls for applications, subscribe to our email list.