Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund

Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund banner

About the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund   

The Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund was a partnership between the City of Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) and Bread & Roses Community Fund to support community-based nonprofit organizations that serve communities of color and those with low incomes, which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The program included a community-driven grantmaking process in which residents in the affected communities were responsible for: 

  • evaluating applicants,  
  • determining funding priorities,  
  • and making funding decisions.  

The community-driven grantmaking process advanced equity by placing control in the hands of community members so that people affected by the issues worked toward their own solutions. 

Organizations experiencing financial hardship, are at risk of closing, or have reduced services due to the pandemic were encouraged to apply. Grants of $15,000 were made to organizations that worked with vulnerable populations around issues including, but not limited to:  

  • health education,  
  • food distribution,  
  • family support,  
  • and community organizing to address barriers to support.   

Organizations used funds to support payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, or other operating expenses; and to provide and organize mutual aid projects. This program was partially funded by a Community Services Block Grant through the City of Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. 

Does my group qualify for a grant from the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund?  

The Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund made grants to community groups that:  

  • Have annual operating expenses less than $1 million dollars
  • 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
  • are physically located and providing services in at least one of the following 15 zip codes: 19104, 19120, 19121, 19122, 19124, 19131, 19132, 19133, 19134, 19139, 19140, 19141, 19142, 19143, and 19144       
  • have been operating on March 1, 2019 and continuously through March 1, 2020
  • demonstrate that all funds from this grant will be spent for the benefit of low-income Philadelphia residents with income levels at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines ($53,000 annually for a household of 4)
  • are able to document and report on use of grant funds
  • demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion with respect to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and cognitive ability, immigration status, and religion among participants, board members, leadership team and staff
  • have decision-makers (board members, leadership team, staff) that reflect the communities being served by the organization
  • submit a complete application prior to the deadline (because of the volume of applications we receive, we cannot make exceptions)

Organizations that received grants in the first round were not eligible for funding in the second round.

What is the award size for grants from the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund?  

The Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund made 30 grants of $15,000 in the first cycle. In the second cycle, it made 25 grants of $15,000.  

Who makes decisions about grants?  

Grant decisions were made by a Community Grantmaking Committee comprised of community members, including residents from the fund’s target zip codes and staff members from CEO. Bread & Roses lead a consensus-based decision-making process which will center the voices of committee members who are most impacted by COVID-19.   

Apply for the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund

The deadline to apply for the second round of funding has passed.

Information Session

We held a virtual information session on September 22.

If you have questions about the fund, please contact  

Where does the money come from for these grants?  

The funding for the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund was provided by the federal CSBG CARES Act from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was disbursed through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.