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 March 2021, the Innovation Fund has $37,000 to award. Investments are comprised of donations from the Mayor’s Fund. Projects can receive up to $7,000, with most awards ranging from $5,000 – $7,000.

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: Spring 2021 Grant Guidelines_update

Timeline and Process

Grant applicants are required to fill out a short application by April 7th, which serves as a letter of intent. You can access the application here: https://forms.gle/eB792r5q4zmWBRiZA  

Applicants will be notified if they will advance to the next round by April 19th. Pitch sessions will be held remotely between April 20th and April 30th, and all applicants who will advance to the final application stage will submit a final application by June 11th. Final funding decisions are made by the Mayor’s Fund Board in mid-June. 

Please direct any questions about the Innovation Fund to Stephanie Orlando, Innovation Coordinator, at stephanie.orlando@phila.gov