Social Justice Grant Fund


Caring Clowns International helping children in Peru.

Established in 1981 as an outgrowth of the 125th anniversary celebration of the foundation of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, this fund continues to award grants to organizations that address the basic causes of injustice and promote self-help and empowerment.


  • Enables the Sisters of St. Francis to share their resources and live out their commitment to those who are poor, oppressed, and marginalized in our society.

  • The fund is used for programs/projects that promotes social justice at local, national, or international levels.

Criteria for Grants

To qualify for consideration for funding, the grant application must give evidence that the proposed program/project has directly involved and is supported by those who would benefit from it.  It must clearly be able to achieve one or more of the following:

  • address the basic causes of injustice and foster systemic change;
  • promote self-help and empowerment of communities;
  • respond to the unmet needs of those who are poor and/or marginalized, especially women and children.

Grants are Awarded Twice per year


  • All those who wish to apply for a grant must complete a one-page screening form.
  • The first step is to request a screening form by sending an e-mail with your complete mailing address (be sure to include contact person’s name and name of organization) to
  • This screening form has a dual purpose:

    1. It helps us to process your request and determine possible eligibility for a grant.
    2. It helps you to begin the process without completing a full application, especially if your request does not meet our criteria.


  • Maximum amount given for a single program/project is $5,000.
  • Grants for salaries or operational expenses are not funded, unless they are from outside the United States.
  • Only one grant application per year per organization will be reviewed.
  • Grant applications must be accompanied by proof of tax-exempt status.
  • Overseas applicants must include a letter from the ordinary of the diocese or major superior.
  • Grant applications will be given priority when accompanied by a letter of recommendation by a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia who has an understanding of the program/project. If this is not possible, attach a letter of recommendation from a religious or clergy person familiar with the program/project, including his/her full name, address, and telephone number.
  • Grants must document attempts and results of seeking other funding sources.
  • The grant application must indicate how ongoing operational funding will be obtained.
  • The grant application must provide the objective and scope of the program/project, i.e., the number of people impacted/areas to be served) as follows:


    Mission of the program/project


    Target constituency


    Specific objective of the program/project


    Budget to meet specifically the objective of the grant


    General operating budget (income and expenses) of the current fiscal year

  • The application must indicate how the program/project does not duplicate an existing service in your community.
  • Due to limited funding capacity, normally an organization will be funded for one time.
  • Grant applications must be postmarked no later than November 15 for the spring cycle; May 15 for the fall cycle.  Late and incomplete applications will not be considered or returned. 
  • Once grants are reviewed by the Social Justice Grant Review Committee and approved by the Corporation, all applicants will be notified by mail of the decision.
  • Spring checks will be mailed in May. Checks must be cashed by July 1 or they will be voided. Fall checks will be mailed in December. Checks must be cashed by February 1 or they will be voided.
  • One year after receiving a grant, an organization is required to submit a written project evaluation postmarked no later than the last Friday of March for the spring cycle or the last Friday of September for the fall cycle.

For Questions or Information Relating to Corporate Social Responsibility Contact

Albertus Dougherty, OSF
Secretary, Corporate Social Responsibility
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
609 S. Convent Rd.
Aston, PA 19014


Thomas McCaney 
Associate Director, Corporate Social Responsibility
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
609 S. Convent Rd.
Aston, PA 19014

Nora Nash, OSF
Director, Corporate Social Responsibility
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
609 S. Convent Rd.
Aston, PA 19014