The Plants Make Positive Places team, who received an Innovation Fund grant in 2015.
The Plants Make Positive Places team, who received an Innovation Fund grant in 2015.

The Innovation Fund is a grant opportunity funded by the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, and managed by the Innovation Management team in the City’s Office of Innovation and Technology. The Innovation Fund provides grants to launch pilot initiatives proposed by City employees that have the potential to improve the services and functions of municipal government.

The Innovation Fund application process is coordinated by the Innovation Advisory Group – a cross-departmental advisory team of City employees who are trained and invested in seeding innovation – and all final funding decisions are made by the Board of the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia.

The Innovation Fund’s application process is unique and is meant to be inclusive, equitable and accessible to any City employee who would like to request funding for a pilot or proof of concept project.

As of September 2021, the Innovation Fund has $25,000 to award. Investments are comprised of donations from the Mayor’s Fund. Projects can receive up to $10,000, with most awards ranging from $6,000 – $8,000.

2021 Funding Priorities:

  1. Have never been tried before in Philadelphia
  2. Pilot something that is a new and different approach for a given department
  3. Push Philadelphia to be the first city to solve a broader problem in a unique way
  4. Leverage partnerships and stakeholder collaboration, either internal or external to City government
  5. Focus on delivering services more effectively, equitably, and efficiently to all residents 

Grant Guidelines:

Please review the Grant Guidelines in full before submitting an application. You can download the grant guidelines here: Fall 2021 Innovation Fund Grant Guidelines

Timeline and Process

Grant applicants are required to fill out a short application by September 24, 2021, which serves as a letter of intent. You can access the application here: Fall 2021 Innovation Fund Submission Form

Applicants will be notified if they will advance to the next round by October 4. Pitch sessions will be held remotely between October 18th – October 22nd, and all applicants who will advance to the final stage will submit a final proposal by December 3rd. Final funding decisions are made by the Mayor’s Fund Board in mid-December. 

Please direct any questions about the Innovation Fund to Stephanie Orlando, Innovation Coordinator, at