Member news plus local and national philanthropic reporting

  • October 07, 2020 12:43 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 30, 2020 by Press Release) Highmark Delaware is a member of  Philanthropy Delaware As part of its ongoing initiative to provide over 1.3 million cloth face masks across its footprint, Highmark Inc. is donating over 100,000 masks to community organizations in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The initiative is yet another way Highmark is providing support to its members and the community amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    Across the three states, 145 community organizations will receive face masks, courtesy of Highmark. The cumulative donation includes over 90,000 adult-size face masks and 4,300 youth-size face masks. More than 11,500 face coverings will be given throughout Delaware to various nonprofit partners, who are also helping to distribute them to communities in need.

    “Highmark remains committed to keeping as many people as possible safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Our nonprofits continue to provide important services and resources, and we want to make sure they are able to do so safely, as well as ensure folks throughout our state are equipped with face coverings.”

    This community contribution follows Highmark Delaware’s announcement of committing $1 million to addressing social determinants of health through its grant fund, BluePrints for the Community. Highmark Delaware has also donated face coverings to EMS professionals and PPE kits to many schools throughout the state.

    West End Neighborhood House received a donation of the face coverings, a nonprofit that helps individuals achieve self-sufficiency, reach and maintain their maximum potential, and live responsibly and harmoniously in a healthy community and complex world.

    "The ongoing need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to combat the spread of COVID-19 continues to create additional costs for our organization; but thanks to Highmark's donation of 1,000 masks, we now have the 'breathing room' to provide additional protection for West End's staff, volunteers and customers,” said Paul Calistro, executive director of West End Neighborhood House. “Thanks to Highmark, West End, and other nonprofits, will be able to remain open and serve our community more safely.”

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Highmark Health Plan has taken many proactive measures through coverage expansions, increased options to access to care, support for its communities, providers and customers, and by providing resources to access help and information to ensure that our members, employees and communities are safe and can continue to receive care. Initially, Highmark expanded benefits to cover telehealth and inpatient, in-network COVID-19 treatment with no cost-sharing and has now extended that until December 31.

    To support those affected by the pandemic, Highmark dedicated a web site ( to answer questions and provide insight to the community and launched a stream of podcasts to assist in understanding issues surrounding COVID-19. Through its provider partners such as AHN in western Pennsylvania and health systems in other communities, Highmark has actively supported COVID-19 testing, with a focus on underserved communities through mobile units. Highmark also committed $2 million in grants to food insecurity, safety net providers and COVID-19 relief organizations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.


  • September 29, 2020 3:02 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 28, 2020 by Hannah Cechini, wmdtDelaware – Highmark Delaware is a member of  Philanthropy Delaware Access to healthcare and other social services has become a hot topic amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why Highmark Delaware is working to provide non profits with more money to create solutions to problems around accessing healthcare. “If we can help those organizations to in turn help the folks that they serve, I think that that’s another really great opportunity here in front of us,” said Highmark Delaware President Nick Moriello.

    Moriello says that Highmark Delware is working to disperse a $1 million BluePrints for the Community grant program to study and balance social determinants of health. “We’re focused on several areas in particular. We’re thinking about economic and financial instability, access to education, and transportation,” said Moriello.

    Highmark says that BluePrints for the Community is designed to award non profits with grant money when they pitch unique and innovative solutions. Corporate Communications Manager Denee Crumrine says that many healthcare and social issues that once existed in the shadows were brought to light because of COVID-19. “It’s not that what we’re trying to do is new. It’s just that the needs are now greater. What we’re trying to do with the social determinants of health special grant is to acknowledge that increased need,” said Crumrine.

    Crumrine says that based on their work with Delawareans in the past, she’s confident that those unique ideas will help find solutions to inequities in healthcare. “I’m expecting – because I know the Delaware community quite well – to see some really meaningful and impactful projects. So we’re really excited to see what comes through,” said Crumrine.

    Organizations that wish to apply for the grant money can do so through the Delaware Community Foundation. The deadline to submit proposals is Wednesday, October 21st. Highmark Delaware says they have a virtual workshop on October 7th to discuss the grant program.

  • September 29, 2020 11:00 AM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 29, 2020 by Philanthropy Delaware Press Release) WILMINGTON, DE – Last week, TeenSHARP announced its first cohort for The Proximity Project (TPP). The eight-week program to close the gap between community leaders and the people of color they serve.

    Through the program, philanthropic and educational leaders closely connect to the students, families, and community leaders whose truth and insights inform participant’s reflections and actions. Connecting through TPP will provide leaders with the opportunity to examine and reform how they interact with and serve communities of color.

    Of the 48 individuals, ten individuals are current Philanthropy Delaware Members in the cohort,. These philanthropic leaders have a focus on the education sector.  The following organizations are Philanthropy Delaware Members and are represented in the cohort:

    -          Delaware Community Foundation – Sarah Grunewald and Yolanda Rushdan
    -          Laffey-McHugh Foundation – Patty Hoffman
    -          Longwood Foundation – Thère du Pont and Maria Stecker
    -          Rodel – Mark Baxter and Nancy Millard
    -          United Way of Delaware – Schlonn Hawkins
    -          Welfare Foundation – Chris Grundner
    -          WSFS – Kristin Moore
    Click here to see all participants.

    Each of the eight weeks, participants will meet for two-and-a-half hours to discuss assigned readings, complete organizational and leadership assessments, learn from guest speakers, and connect with other institution leaders working toward equity and racial justice.

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    (Photo Source


    About The Proximity Project (TPP): TPP is an eight-week cohort experience for leaders in education institutions (teacher, school, nonprofit, and district leaders) and education philanthropy who want to examine and reform how they interact with and serve communities of color. The Proximity Project is not an isolated, intellectual exercise — leaders connect closely with students, families, and community leaders whose truth and insights inform participants’ reflections and actions.

    About TeenSHARP: TeenSHARP is a regional organization headquartered in Wilmington, DE that is on a mission to prepare talented low-income, African American, and Latino students to attend and thrive at the nation’s top colleges. This mission is in service of a bold vision that one day the diversity of those occupying our nation’s highly-skilled jobs and highest leadership positions will be as rich as the diversity of our population. Founded in 2009, TeenSHARP has evolved into a leading provider of innovative, at-scale college access and success support in the Delaware Valley region (including Delaware, Philadelphia, and southern New Jersey). TeenSHARP has achieved incredible results over the last ten years: 100 percent of TeenSHARP scholars successfully pursue a 4-year college education, with 95 percent of the scholars being admitted to selective colleges and universities every year.

    About Philanthropy Delaware: Philanthropy Delaware advances philanthropy in the first state by connecting key stakeholders to drive meaningful impact for all Delawareans. As the statewide association of grantmakers, Philanthropy Delaware has established a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as one of our key values and continues to increase philanthropic and community learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • September 25, 2020 3:00 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 25, 2020 by Press Release) The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation today awarded $175,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.

    Today’s grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are:

    • Connecting Generations – $10,000 for staff to train volunteers on virtual mentoring.
    • Delaware Zoological Society – $8,000 to purchase video equipment to create a virtual traveling zoo experience.
    • Jewish Family Services – $25,000 to support specialized care for individuals with dementia.
    • Leading Youth Through Empowerment (LYTE) – $15,000 for teachers and curriculum for the fall virtual program.
    • NCALL – $25,000 for a foreclosure prevention program.
    • Ingleside – $25,000 for delivery of meals for frail and low-income seniors.
    • Delaware Theatre Company – $1,750 for technology to provide outdoor theater.
    • Ronald McDonald House – $10,000 for temporary staff to provide guest services normally provided by volunteers. .
    • Harry K Foundation – $13,000 to restock and re-open food pantries statewide that provide for meals for students.
    • Newark Symphony Orchestra – $7,500 for technology to provide virtual symphony programming.
    • The Precision Institute – $2,500 for driving simulation equipment for neurodiverse people.
    • Sewell C. Biggs Trust (Biggs Museum of American Art) – $7,250 for technology, supplies and materials to provide a virtual arts programming.
    • Children & Families First – $25,000 to provide cell phones, tablets and signal boosters for clients receiving virtual services.

    The fund, which launched on March 18, has awarded $3.4 million to more than 150 Delaware nonprofits so far. Through the Community Needs Grants Program, the fund awarded weekly grants March 27-May 22, two rounds of grants in June, and monthly grants in July, August and September.

    The Community Needs Grants Program will offer three additional rounds of grants in early 2021. For more information, visit

  • September 23, 2020 3:00 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 23, 2020 by Jacob Owens, Delaware Business Times) Wilmington Alliance and Barclays are members of  Philanthropy DelawareWILMINGTON – A coalition of nonprofit partners announced Wednesday that they have disbursed $98,000 in grants to 98 city small businesses through the first phase of the Wilmington Strong fund.

    Created by the Wilmington Alliance, a nonprofit tasked with growing economic opportunity in the city, and West Side Grows Together, a nonprofit that aims to create affordable housing and promote the revitalization of the city’s West Side, the Wilmington Strong fund was created in June to support small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that resulted from government restrictions. It grew out of an early effort by West Side Grows Together and Capital One that disbursed $10,500 to 21 West Side small businesses. 

    The city-wide fund is backed by $100,000 in match funding from Wilmington-based Barclays Bank and has been supported through other fundraising efforts, such as sales from Spaceboy Clothing and Franks Wine. The organizers hope to disburse as much as $300,000 through the fund this year.

    Unlike other types of financial aid, such as the Delaware Division of Small Business’ HELP loans or the U.S. Small Business Administration’s PPP or EIDL loans, the Wilmington Strong fund’s $1,000 grants do not have to be repaid. The funds can cover expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, utility and supplier bills.

    The program also gives priority to Black and Brown small business owners, and the demographics of the first disbursements show that it has been successful. Of the 98 recipients, 67% of awards went to minority business owners, 51% went to women-owned businesses, and 83% of grant recipients have revenues less than $200,000. The awardees also represent a diverse cross-section of industries, including restaurants, retail, construction, and professional services.

    One of the assisted business owners was Eunice LaFate, owner of LaFate Gallery on North Market Street, who called the grant “a lifesaver.”

    After the pandemic-spurred restrictions essentially closed her 5-year-old gallery, LaFate said that she wasn’t sure how 2020 was going to play out. She applied for several other grants but never heard back.

    “In the early stage [of the pandemic], I was so disenchanted but when Wilmington Strong came forward it was a boost to my morale,” she said, noting the $1,000 was used to pay rent and purchase some advertising for her upcoming anniversary sale.

    Since getting the grant, LaFate said that a “miracle” sale of four original paintings to a single patron and the support of the Buccini/Pollin Group and Kenny Family Foundation for her youth painting classes has helped keep her doors open and her spirits high.

    Like LaFate, 80% of awardees reported that the grant increased their confidence in keeping their business open and only 5% a state HELP loan, 29% received a PPP loan, and 18% received an EIDL loan.

    “Across Delaware, small businesses were hit particularly hard by this pandemic, and to make matters worse, many of these businesses did not qualify for federal aid,” said Jenn Cho, head of citizenship at Barclays US Consumer Bank, said in a statement about the grants. “The Wilmington Strong Fund extended a much-needed lifeline to businesses that are struggling to persevere. It is essential that we all come together to support these small business owners that represent the heart of our community.”

    Renata Kowalczyk, CEO of the Wilmington Alliance, said that she’s been encouraged by the first recipients’ stories. The coalition of partners is now preparing how to keep supporting the businesses into the future though.

    “The theory is that COVID-19 is not a sprint, but it’s a marathon and it’s going to stay with us for a while,” she said. “One thousand dollars is great to stop the bleeding, but we’re planning for the future.”

    Kowalczyk said that conversations are beginning about how to best support city small businesses even after the pandemic subsides. Much of that guidance is around the development of e-commerce necessary for businesses to survive and thrive.

    Applications for phase two of the fund are now being accepted. To apply for the fund or to donate, visit

    By Jacob Owens

  • September 20, 2020 10:00 AM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 20, 2020 by Cape Gazette) Gov. John Carney and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced the $25 million Delaware Nonprofit Support Fund Sept. 9. With the collaborative partnerships of the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, Delaware Community Foundation, Philanthropy Delaware, and United Way of Delaware, a substantive grant program exclusively for nonprofits will support organizations that have provided services to Delawareans and Delaware families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Services include assistance for food, substance abuse issues, job loss, homelessness, and domestic abuse.

    The collaborative group has launched a web portal,, to assist nonprofits with understanding all current funding options for CARES Act money. This portal will enable nonprofits to quickly identify grant opportunities and then link through to detailed descriptions and criteria for qualification.

    During the week of Sept. 21, DANA will release a series of webinars to train nonprofits on completing grant applications for Parts I and II of the Delaware Nonprofit Support Program. For those in need of more in-depth assistance, the DANA team will stand ready to answer questions and walk applicants through the process successfully. Nonprofits can request help by emailing or clicking the Contact Us button on the web portal.

    Applications will officially open Monday, Oct. 5, and the first of three expected funding application rounds will close by Friday, Oct. 16. These grants are compliance-based and noncompetitive. All nonprofits that meet the qualifications are encouraged to apply.

    “We are very excited about the launch of these resources. While working with the state and New Castle County in developing this opportunity, our collaborative was very cognizant to make these grants noncompetitive and equitable among all nonprofits. One of the most important ways to achieve this is to submit a complete application, and DANA can help you do that,” said Sheila Bravo, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement CEO.

    “Our full goal is to get money to every nonprofit that qualifies,” said Delaware Community Foundation President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. “Nonprofit organizations have been playing a critical role in keeping Delaware going. Great work is being done, and this fund should help provide much-needed help.”

    “Getting money into the hands of our nonprofits has been our goal since the minute this crisis hit. Nonprofits are the only businesses dedicated to serving our local communities, and thanks to their work, hundreds of thousands of Delawareans have received vital services and resources during this pandemic. Now, many more will,” said Michelle Taylor, United Way of Delaware CEO.

    “The philanthropic community believes in supporting a vibrant and sustainable nonprofit community,” said Vernita Dorsey, Philanthropy Delaware board president. “This critical funding from the state and county provides an essential resource to help nonprofit organizations respond to the COVID-19 crisis.”

    Click here for more information. 

  • September 17, 2020 6:30 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    WSFS Is a member of Philanthropy Delaware  (September 17, 2020 by Delaware Business TimesWILMINGTON – WSFS Bank, the primary subsidiary of WSFS Financial Corporation(Nasdaq: WSFS), announced a $35,500 pledge from the bank and the WSFS Community Foundation to provide laptops, tablets and internet devices for students from low-to-moderate income families throughout the bank’s footprint.

    As the pandemic has impacted school plans and curriculums, and with many districts turning to virtual or hybrid learning methods to start the school year, the need for technology devices for students has increased. The grants will be awarded to the following organizations and schools:

    • United Way of Delaware for students in New Castle and Sussex Counties (Delaware)

    • Independence Mission School (Philadelphia, PA)

    • Widener Partnership Charter School (Chester, PA)

    • KIPP School (Camden, NJ).

    “During this time of the year, WSFS typically runs a school supply drive with our Associates giving hundreds of baskets of supplies to schools in the most underserved areas,” said Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy at WSFS Bank, Vernita L. Dorsey in a statement. “In the current environment, we understand technology is the most needed school supply to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in online learning. For WSFS, it was the right thing to do, at the right time. This initiative aligns with the WSFS Community Foundation’s mission and our commitment to serve and help those in need in our communities to live a good life.”

    “Delaware, like the majority of the country, has experienced challenges in ensuring children from vulnerable communities have access to the tools necessary to navigate virtual learning in their homes,” said Michelle A. Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Delaware, in a statement. “Many families are not in the position to secure the technology necessary for distance learning. Thanks to WSFS, we’ve been able to galvanize resources to place devices in the hands of families that need them most.”

    The WSFS Community Foundation previously provided $300,000 in grants to 21 local nonprofits engaged in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, WSFS Bank provided a $200,000 donation to four community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to utilize for relief grants to help accelerate recovery efforts of local small businesses within the Bank’s footprint.

    Click here for full article

  • September 17, 2020 9:00 AM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is a  member of Philanthropy Delaware  (September 17, 2020 by Delaware State News) WILMINGTON – Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware has announced the most recent recipients of its BluePrints for the Community grant funding. A total of nine Delaware nonprofits will receive more than $1.1 million in funding.

    Established as a donor-advised fund at the Delaware Community Foundation, BluePrints for the Community has contributed more than $16 million to the community since its inception in 2007. The fund supports projects that focus on social determinants of health, increasing access to health care, decreasing health disparities, early childhood health and health care workforce development.

    • Highmark Delaware is looking forward to partnering with the newest grantees on their respective programs and projects to improve health outcomes, which include:

    • Bayhealth Foundation: Bayhealth Family Medicine Residency program

    • Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Domestic Violence Community Health Worker Collaborative program

    • Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement: Impaired Driving Simulator program

    • Family Counseling Center of St. Paul’s: Expansion of Continuum of Care program

    • Mental Health Association in Delaware: Community Education and Training program

    • Pressley Ridge Delaware: Expansion of Care for Foster Youth Returning Home program

    • St. Francis Foundation: Enhanced Ambulance Services project

    • University of Delaware: Veterans & College Athletes Together (VCAT) program

    • YMCA: LIVESTRONG cancer support program

    Earlier this year, BluePrints for the Community awarded $1.3 million to 10 organizations in March. It also contributed $100,000 each to the Delaware Does More COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, to join efforts in alleviating community challenges brought on by the pandemic.

    Additionally, more than $196,000 has been disbursed to 13 organizations in the form of BluePrints small grants, for a total of more than $2.5 million committed to the community in 2020 alone.

    “Community is key,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Highmark has always believed that, and it rings true especially now. Our grant fund BluePrints for the Community has been supporting health-related projects in Delaware for more than a decade, and we plan to continue doing so as long as our community needs us.”

    BluePrints for the Community is governed by an external Advisory Council, which recently named Rita Landgraf as its chair, former secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, and current director of University of Delaware’s Partnership for Healthy Communities and professor of practice and distinguished Health & Social Services administrator in residence.

    “I am extremely honored to follow the leadership of Frances West as the newly appointed chair,” Ms. Landgraf said. “The BluePrints Council is important to me as a grant program focused on enhancing the overall health and wellbeing of those who experience inequities and disparities.

    “As a former secretary of Health and Social Services, I am keenly aware of the challenges so many in our state confront on a daily basis. I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service, in partnership with my distinguished fellow council members.”

    The council has the following members providing their expertise and insight: Theodore “Ted” Becker; Vicky Cooke; Zaida Guajardo; Richard Heffron; Janice Tildon-Burton M.D.; Fred A. Townsend, III, Esq.; Terry Wiley; Gregory Williams, Esq.; and Bill Willis, Jr.

    Recognition is given to retiring council chair, Frances West, who has formerly served as treasurer of the National Consumers League, Delaware’s first woman director of Consumer Affairs, president of Delaware’s Better Business Bureau and Delaware’s Highway Commissioner; and retiring member David Roselle, former president of the University of Delaware and director of the Winterthur Museum.

    March 2020 awardees include American Cancer Society – Delaware, Autism Delaware, CHEER, Inc., Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, Easterseals of DE & MD’s Eastern Shore, Lt. Governor’s First Book Initiative, Food Bank of Delaware, La Red Health Center, Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, and St. Patrick’s Center, Inc.

    Small grants, which fund projects requesting $20,000 or less, have been made to Delaware Children’s Museum, Keystone Human Services, Odyssey Charter School, ContactLifeline, Red Clay Consolidated School District, Del-Mar-Va Council Boy Scouts, Friends of Wilmington Parks, Alliance for Eating Disorders, Rodney Street Tennis, Choir School of Delaware, Serviam Girls Academy, KIDS COUNT in Delaware, March of Dimes, and Cancer Support Community Delaware.

    Organizations interested in applying for a BluePrints grant should visit

    Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at

  • September 16, 2020 2:00 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 14, 2020 Delaware Business Times) Wilmingon DE – After hosting U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in a Monday visit highlighting the impact of the Trump administration’s Opportunity Zones program, Second Chances Farm (SCF) founder Ajit George had one more card up his sleeve.

    George, who has long touted that the hydroponic farm model could be replicated elsewhere, announced that he has reached an agreement to bring SCF to North Philadelphia. The operation, which grows organic herbs and exclusively hires those leaving prison, only began in late 2019, but has quickly blossomed into one of HUD’s most frequently cited success stories on Opportunity Zones, a redevelopment program that focuses on underserved communities through tax-deferred investments. Located in the Riverside community in Wilmington’s northeast, SCF is located in an Opportunity Zone, which has helped it attract investors.

    “Opportunity Zones are serving their purpose: Empowering the private sector to find new solutions to elevate America’s forgotten people, who live in places that have simply been economically neglected and where people don’t really see a reason to invest,” said Carson, whose department oversees the program.

    George announced that he has reached a deal with Philadelphia developer Michael Bailkin, who will invest the capital needed to open a 30,000-square-foot farm – roughly 10 times larger than SCF’s current operation – with enough space to eventually expand to 100,000 square feet. The farm will be part of the North Station redevelopment of several million square feet of vacant buildings and land near the Temple University campus being led by Bailkin’s Arete Group. 

    George said that SCF would not be putting capital into the project but was considered a minority partner because staff from the Wilmington operation will be sent to Philadelphia to help get the new farm up and running. The new farm is slated to open in 2021, he added.

    Bailkin said that he intends to use Philadelphia as a headquarters site, while opening satellite farms in “older industrial cities” throughout Pennsylvania.

    “I’ve always had a romance for those cities, but I could never figure out a way to do economic development there because essentially the market has collapsed and the industries have left,” he said. “I think what the Second Chances operation does is provide a very interesting business that can help recreate that market catalyst and relevant activities in those areas.”


    The new expansion continues a string of rapid growth for the startup company managed by George, a well-known fundraiser and marketer, and Jon Brilliant, an experienced entrepreneur who co-developed two health care technology companies. Earlier this year, SCF obtained $1.5 million in investor funding toward its 350-module Farm 2, which will create a 700% increase in yield for the company and an expectation to harvest a total of about 4.4 million plantings a year. The operation grows varieties of kale, lettuce, and arugula; basil, bok choy, Swiss chard, cilantro, dill, parsley, sorrel, and leaf broccoli.

    For those who tend to the plantings, SCF is a way to restart their lives after incarceration. Several of the employees shared their life experiences with Barr and Carson, noting that the family-like atmosphere at SCF helped them break a cycle of recidivism that often plagues those trying to return to society.

    Kalief Ringgold told the Cabinet chiefs Monday that he had just received a text notifying him that a friend was shot and killed in Wilmington last night.

    “If I wasn’t here, I [would have been] there,” he said. “Everybody I know dies from gunshots and overdoses, and that could be my life … I’m just grateful to be here.”

    After the presentation, Barr said that he was impressed by the way SCF has integrated with the larger Riverside community, with housing, employment and social services becoming available for residents, calling it a “recipe for success.”

    “What we need is training and programs in prisons to prepare people, but we also need places outside of prison willing to hire them,” he said, commending SCF for doing so.

    Although the federal officials’ visit highlighted the success of an Opportunity Zone investment, the program has drawn its criticisms, including a June report by the Urban Institute that found many of the program’s investments have flowed to real estate projects rather than operations like SCF. Part of the larger Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress did not require robust public reporting for the program.

    Carson touted the program’s investments reported this summer by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, including that $75 billion has been invested into qualified funds in two years while the original expectation was $100 billion in 10 years. Those funds have the potential to lift 1 million people out of poverty, he noted, adding that designation of a zone also increases property values there by 1.1% on average.

    Last month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order instructing the General Services Administration to prioritize Opportunity Zones when considering the relocation or opening of federal offices. When asked by Delaware Business Times whether GSA had identified any potential projects under that order, Carson didn’t answer, but noted that other initiatives have helped get investments to projects in underserved communities.

    Carson noted that the first round of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program didn’t reach many minority-owned businesses because large banks used up the majority of the billions in funds. The second round of funds had more earmarked for credit unions and small lenders that many minority-owned businesses utilize.

    The secretary also noted that federal funds were being dedicated for the expansion of broadband internet in or near Opportunity Zones, which could in turn attract investments.

    By Jacob Owens

  • September 14, 2020 5:00 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

    (September 14, 2020 by Press Release) Wilmington, DE – On September 9, in conjunction with Governor John Carney, County Executive Matt Meyer, the collaborative partnerships of DANA, the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, the Delaware Community Foundation, Philanthropy Delaware, and United Way of Delaware, a substantive grant program exclusively for nonprofits was announced. $25 Million has been set aside for nonprofits through two grants as part of the Delaware Nonprofit Support Program.

    Today, the collaborative group launched a web portal ( to assist nonprofits with understanding all of the current funding options for CARES Act money. This portal will enable nonprofits to quickly identify grant opportunities and then link through to detailed descriptions and criteria for qualification.

    Coming the week of September 21, DANA will be releasing a series of webinars that will train nonprofits on completing grant applications for Parts I & II of the Delaware Nonprofit Support Program. For nonprofits in need of more in‐depth assistance, the DANA team will stand ready to help with answering questions and to walk nonprofits through completing successful applications.

    Nonprofits can request help by emailing or by clicking the “Contact Us” button on the web portal.

    Applications will officially open on October 5, 2020. It is expected that there will be three rounds of funding, with the first round closing on October 16, 2020. These grants are compliance‐based and are non‐competitive. All nonprofits who meet the qualifications are encouraged to apply.

    “We are very excited about the launch of these resources. While working with the State and New Castle County in developing this opportunity, our collaborative was very cognizant to make these grants non‐competitive and equitable among all nonprofits. One of the most important ways to achieve this is to submit a complete application and DANA can help you do that,” said Sheila Bravo, CEO of DANA.

    “Our full goal is to get money to every nonprofit that qualifies,” Delaware Community Foundation President & CEO Stuart Comstock‐Gay said. “Nonprofit organizations have been playing a critical role in keeping Delaware going, great work is being done, and this fund should help provide much needed help.”

    “Getting much needed money into the hands of our nonprofits has been our goal since the minute this crisis hit. We are so appreciative that Governor Carney and County Executive Meyer were willing to partner with us to distribute CARES Act funding and reimbursements to these critical community‐based organizations. Nonprofits are the only businesses dedicated to serving our local communities and thanks to their work, hundreds of thousands of Delawareans have received vital services and resources during this pandemic and now, many more will too,” said Michelle Taylor, CEO of United Way of Delaware.

    “The philanthropic community believes in supporting a vibrant and sustainable nonprofit community,” said Vernita Dorsey, Board President of Philanthropy Delaware. “This critical funding from the State and County provides an essential resource to help nonprofit organizations respond to the COVID‐19 crisis and Philanthropy Delaware is proud to be a partner in this collaborative initiative.”


    The Delaware Nonprofit Support Program consists of a government/nonprofit/philanthropy partnership to bring $25 Million of funding to the nonprofit sector in Delaware through the Federal CARES Act. The partners include the State of Delaware, New Castle County, DANA, the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, The Delaware Community Foundation, Philanthropy Delaware, and United Way of Delaware. The program consists of two grants – known as Part I and Part II – which are compliance‐based, noncompetitive, and have measures in place to ensure equity among nonprofits of various sizes. There will be three rounds of funding. The first round of funding will be open from October 5 – 16. Qualification criteria and applications can be accessed through

    • The first grant, Part I, is specifically for the reimbursement of operational expenses incurred because of COVID‐19, such as PPE and technology. This fund will be managed by United Way of Delaware.
    • Part II recognizes that many nonprofits saw an increase in caseloads due to the pandemic and this grant addresses the incremental costs associated with those increased service levels. This part will be administered by the Delaware Community Foundation and Philanthropy Delaware.

    Click here to learn more. 

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