Donor Profile: Phil Straus

portrait of Phil Straus

Donor since: 1979
Occupation: Photographer
Why he gives: “I care deeply about injustice.”
Photo credit: Phil Straus

“What I love about Bread & Roses is that it funds organizations that can’t get funding elsewhere,” says Phil Straus, a Bread & Roses donor since 1979. “As a donor, I don’t have the resources or time to find and evaluate these organizations.” Like Phil, many donors rely on Bread & Roses to identify groups in the Philadelphia region that are organizing, getting people energized, and taking political action.

The way Bread & Roses makes grants is also important to Phil. “I like that the decisions about who gets the money are made by donors and community activists working together,” he says. “This model has been a force for giving the money in unusual ways and directions.”

Phil has lived in Center City for 31 years with his wife, Margaret Harris. “Giving to Bread & Roses is a way I can connect my philanthropy to the city that I live in. I am spread out in terms of interests from local issues to country-wide issues to issues that affect the world,” Phil says. “Bread & Roses funds what I care about locally.”

Phil has been a consistent donor since he first found out about Bread & Roses from his mother, who had been searching for alternatives to traditional philanthropy. At Bread & Roses, Phil has been able to connect to other donors and to discuss money and how to move it to movements. “I trust Bread & Roses because for over 30 years, I’ve seen evidence that funding community organizing makes a difference in our city,” says Phil.