The Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) has launched a new funding opportunity known as the Promise Zone Sustainability Fund. The Promise Zone Sustainability Fund will provide one-time grants to community groups and non-profit organizations that are located within or that serve the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. The goal of the Fund is to support organizations and programs that advance the community’s shared vision for a safe, healthy, affordable, and prosperous West Philadelphia.

Background on the Promise Zone Sustainability Fund

The West Philadelphia Promise Zone (WPPZ) aims to reduce poverty and bring greater opportunity to people living and working in West Philadelphia. The initiative helps organizations work together to connect residents to high-quality education, family-sustaining jobs, affordable housing, and health services. Since the WPPZ’s inception in 2014, CEO has served as the backbone organization for this collaborative work, providing support, leadership, and connection to resources.

In addition to CEO’s role in the Promise Zone, CEO is also Philadelphia’s Community Action Agency, with a unique role in promoting racial equity, greater financial stability, and self-sufficiency for the city’s most vulnerable populations. Our mission is to ensure that all Philadelphians can share in the city’s prosperous future, regardless of race or where they were born. Through this role, and with this mission, we are launching the Promise Zone Sustainability Fund to support local grassroots partnerships in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone.

West Philadelphia Promise Zone boundaries

The West Philadelphia Promise Zone boundaries go from the Schuylkill River to 48th Street, and from Girard Avenue to Sansom Street. It includes the neighborhoods of Mantua, Belmont, Powelton Village, Saunders Park, and West Powelton, and portions of Mill Creek, East Parkside, Walnut Hill, Spruce Hill, and University City.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be based in or serve the West Philadelphia Promise Zone community and meet the criteria outlined below. Organizations that serve a larger geographic area that includes all or part of the West Philadelphia Promise Zone are welcome to apply.

      • Current 501(c)(3) IRS status or a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) IRS status and in good standing with the IRS
    • Able to 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 (income limits provided below)
Household Size Maximum Income (200% FPL)
1 $27,180
2 $36,620
3 $46,060
4 $55,500
  • Able to document and report on the use of grant funds
  • Decision-makers (board members, leadership team, staff) that reflect the communities being served by the organization

Eligible Use of Funds

Funds may be used for the organization’s program, operational, and administrative expenses. Funds must be used for the benefit of low-income Philadelphia residents and/or communities with income levels at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Costs already incurred between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, can be considered if they are otherwise unfunded and eligible under the guidance herein. Otherwise, funding must be expended by May 31, 2023. Applicants must provide an estimate of funds the organization can use and include specifics in their budget narrative, directly calling attention to any costs already incurred.

Application Process

Eligible organizations can apply through an online application portal beginning October 17, 2022. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, November 14, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., EST.

List of Required Documents for Submission:

  • Completion of online application
  • Proof of 501(c)3 status
  • IRS W9 form
  • Itemized Budget
  • Most recently reported audited financial statement (e.g., 990, independent account report, annual audit)
  • Non-Profit Diversity Report

You can find a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding this opportunity.

How Grants Will Be Awarded

Applications will be evaluated by a review panel comprised of representatives from CEO, other City departments, and community partners. All review panel members will be required to disclose potential conflicts of interest prior to participation. Selection criteria are listed below:

  • Quality of the application submission
  • Demonstration that the proposed use of funds will support quality programming or resources
  • Evidence of commitment to the West Philadelphia Promise Zone community
  • Qualifications and experience of personnel
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Award Amounts

The typical award is expected to range between $15,000 and $25,000, however, applications requesting up to $50,000 will be considered. Applications submitted by partnerships of two or more eligible organizations are encouraged for maximum funding requests.

  • Maximum award: up to $50,000
  • Anticipated number of awards: 8 to 10
  • Typical award is expected to range from $15,000 to $25,000

Reporting Requirements

Grantees will be required to collect and submit a final report including details of funds expended and a summary of all activities. Funding is specific solely to the West Philadelphia Promise Zone community, and evidence of proof of geographic area served and the location of program activities will be required.

If you have questions about this announcement, please contact our office at

Apply through the online portal. You must create a login to apply.