Eligibility—Who Should Apply
for HFF Funding

In 2011, the Hamilton Family Foundation completed an extensive strategic planning process and review of past funding practices. The primary goals of this review were: to redefine where future Foundation funding would make the greatest impact in the Philadelphia region and to simplify the grantmaking process for all prospective applicants. No LOI (Letter of Intent) is necessary; applicants are encouraged to call the Foundation Office if there are questions about funding priorities or procedures before applying. Please review the following criteria carefully for new HFF eligibility standards:

Tax Exempt Status and Financial Documents

All applicants must produce documentation of 501(c)(3) status. If the organization is part of a larger group, such as a religious affiliate, the ruling organization’s 501(c)(3) letter will suffice. Applicants with budgets over $100,000 must provide CPA-prepared or audited financial statements.

Geographical Focus

The Foundation will fund non-profit educational programming to students in the cities of Philadelphia, Chester, and Camden. The applying non-profit organization need not be physically headquartered within city limits to qualify for funding. Organizations providing programs outside of these cities may apply for a grant if invited by a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors or by the Executive Director.

Population Served

Children and youth served by programming must be in grades Kindergarten through 12. Pre-kindergarten and college programs are not funded. Recipients of direct services are generally economically underserved; groups or classes served should have over 70% of participants eligible for free or reduced rate lunch in schools.

Program Focus

Primary program focus should be on the development of robust reading and writing skills. HFF seeks to fund primarily data-driven literacy-based programs with a strong history of success. Program activities can be administered across school systems but must be nonsectarian if a religious institution provides services. Preference is given to projects which devote at least 70% of program time to direct reading and writing instruction and activities, especially in earlier grades. In high school grades, the Foundation focuses on organizations that take innovative approaches to preparing underserved students for success in college acceptance and completion processes.


The Hamilton Family Foundation does NOT fund the following:

Special Notes for Applicants