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Grant Guidelines


Funding Priorities


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Like many across the country, the trustees of the Union Benevolent Association have watched and heard the voices of communities long hurt, disenfranchised and held back from the American dream due to institutional and organizational bias, discrimination and racism. While our organizational history of one hundred and eighty-nine years of philanthropy in Philadelphia has always reflected those with the most need, we understand that our processes for supporting the most vulnerable and the work of those who serve them were formed using ideas that don’t always honor the long-term goals of community building and self-sufficiency.

As a result of this internal assessment, the trustees of the Union Benevolent Association have committed ourselves to further examining and where necessary restructuring our community engagement and giving processes to better recognize where our efforts can be effective in dismantling bias, discrimination and racism in our work, and the work of those we partner with in communities around Philadelphia. Our first effort along these lines is the restructuring of our application process to include the collection of information about the reflectiveness of our grantee partners doing the work and how the work is informed around diversity, equity and inclusion.

For additional information on diversity, equity, and inclusion, please use this link to learn about clear definitions and practice examples.

We look forward to our continued work with you to build stronger and self-sufficient communities in Philadelphia!

What We Fund

The Union Benevolent Association makes grants to organizations that meet basic needs to alleviate the burden of poverty for vulnerable residents of Philadelphia. Basic needs are defined as food, shelter, clothing and other necessities, including but not limited to:

  • Assistance in obtaining identification documents such as birth certificates and State Photo ID;

  • The provision of post office boxes for those who lack an address;

  • Hygiene products and other toiletries;

  • Utilities such as heat; and,

  • Essential human services.


Priority will be given to organizations with operating budgets below $1 million. However, larger organizations that address our funding priorities and can demonstrate the impact of grant funds will be considered.


Types of Grants

General Grants: UBA’s spring grant awards unrestricted funds to support the basic needs of Philadelphians. Grants are awarded based on the organization's success in implementing specific programs which demonstrably contribute to alleviating poverty in Philadelphia. Applicants are expected to identify a practical plan for monitoring progress toward goals, measuring outcomes ,and reporting data. The maximum request considered is $10,000 and no more than 25% of your organizational budget.

Multi-Year Targeted Grant(s): UBA fall grant awards unrestricted funds to provide focused support on a community/neighborhood. The area(s) of focus is at the annual discretion of the board and will be announced prior to the application cycle. Applicants are expected to identify a practical plan for monitoring progress toward goals, measuring outcomes, and reporting data. This grant is awarded every two (2) years. The maximum request considered is $40,000 for 2 years, (20,000/yr x 2 years) and no more than 25% of your organizational budget.



Organizations may only receive one general grant per calendar year. Organizations that receive grants two years in a row must wait a year before applying again.


The Union Benevolent Association:

  • Only makes grants to nonprofit organizations recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Small, new and/or grassroots efforts may be eligible if they partner with a recognized 501(c)(3) organization acting as a fiscal sponsor

  • Only makes grants to organizations that serve people within Philadelphia

  • Does not make grants to individuals

  • Does not make grants to support capital renovations, major building campaigns or endowments

The Union Benevolent Association provides equal opportunity access to its programs without regard to race, gender, disability, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital or partner status, veteran status, disability, HIV/AIDS status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, height, weight, or political beliefs.


Application Instructions

To create a new account you will need to provide your email address and a password. Once logged in, select “Apply,” to complete the application process.

During the application process you will need to scan and/or upload documentation. The “Fax to File” tool functions as a scanner. Select it and follow the instructions.

If you need help navigating, check out this short video tutorial.

Please direct all questions to

2024 Grantmaking

UBA will open its 2024 grant cycle in July 2024. Stay Tuned for updates.

What We Fund
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