Media Coverage: Center City-based nonprofit adding 6 centers, competing for $1M grant


Center City-based Benefits Data Trust announced Friday the expansion of its BenePhilly program – news that comes as the nonprofit is vying for a grant worth up to $1 million from the Communities Thrive Challenge, a funding opportunity by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

A decade ago, Benefits Data Trust (BDT) launched BenePhilly, an initiative that connects low-income older Philadelphians with resources to better access federal, state and local benefits through staffed centers around the city. In 2014, the program began operating out of about a half-dozen locations. The expansion announced Friday will add a BenePhilly physical location to four community schools, as well as a health center in the Fishtown neighborhood and another in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.

“[This] announcement is a first step in our larger vision to enroll low-income Philadelphians in benefits worth $1 billion over the next decade. Doing so is a foundational element to helping low-income families across the city achieve economic mobility,” said Ginger Zielinskie, BDT’s president and CEO.

The nonprofit reports assisting thousands of individuals and families over the last 10 years, delivering an average of $6,000 in benefits per household per year.

“Over the past 10 years BenePhilly has helped more than 110,000 Philadelphians heat their homes, feed their families, and enroll their kids in childcare,” said Mayor Jim Kenney on Friday.

The addition of six new locations (listed below) comes less than a month after BDT learned the Communities Thrive Challenge named its BenePhilly: 2.0 program as one of its 20 finalists competing for grants of $1 million. Selected out of about 1,800 applicants, BDT and its fellow finalists were selected based on a rubric that measured several categories: impact, potential for scale, leadership and community-based/informed.

The two funding organizations are now sending representatives for site visits with each finalist. Once those are complete, up to 10 of the 20 finalists will receive a grant of $1 million. For those that do not win grant-funding, the Communities Thrive Challenge will award them $5,000. The winners are expected to be named before the end of the year.

New BenePhilly centers

  • Mary McLeod Bethune School, 3301 Old York Road, Philadelphia, Pa. 19140
  • William Cramp School, 3449 N Mascher St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19140
  • Edward Gideon School, 2817 W Glenwood Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19121
  • James Logan School, 1700 Lindley Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19141
  • Philadelphia Department of Health’s Health Center #6, 321 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.19123
  • Philadelphia Department of Health’s Health Center #9, 131 E Chelten Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.19144

Republished from Philadelphia Business Journal. Read the original article.