Swarthmore Foundation grants support students, staff, and faculty to become involved in community service and social action. Initiatives supported by the Foundation focus on a variety of social problems, with emphasis on direct service that addresses the causes and/or consequences of poverty in communities surrounding the College; in grantee's hometowns, and then further a-field to the nation and the world. Note: Foundation grants are primarily intended as "seed funds," which support new campus-community initiated social change activities in communities.
Click here for information about Funding Guidelines
Click here for information about Application Process
Click here for information on Past Projects
The Foundation normally gives priority to first-time undergraduate applicants, and first-time faculty and staff applicants, over graduating seniors making a first-time application, and over individuals who have received previous funding. Graduating seniors must complete their projects within one year of their graduation date. Awards generally range from $200 to $2500 per recipient.
Priority is given to applicants who intend to work in:
· The City of Chester, PA
· The Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area
· Their home town• Other communities with whom the applicant has a significant prior relationship
Exceptions to Service outside of the USA
The Swarthmore Foundation will not support projects to be undertaken in countries on the Department of State's Travel Warning List, when the warnings specifically note dangers to personal safety and/or contain language indicating a breech of best practices in community engagement, such as burdening a system struggling to support those in need.
Awards generally range from $200 to $2500 per recipient. Recipients must retain receipts and keep an expense log of all project-related costs.
Upon completion of the project, an in-person budget reconcilliation and the submission of a report (prompts provided) is required. Granted applicants are encouraged to share their projects with the campus community at various events sponsored by the Lang Center.
- Creation of new projects in collaboration with a community partner to meet a community-identified need. This can include seed money to organize new student-led community service organizations.
- Internships in existing organizations with a community partner to meet a community-identified need.
- Purchase of materials and equipment. Major equipment purchases of more than $150.00 are decided on a case-by-case basis, however, and ownership of the equipment at the completion of the project reverts to the College or to community partners.
- Local commute using the most economical means available.
- Living expenses are available only for student applicants requesting funds for summer break programs, and on a case-by-case basis for graduating seniors and students conducting projects during the academic year. The current cap on living expenses is $185 per week.
- In some cases, Swarthmore Foundation grants may be used to support research, but only if the research involves significant community service and/or provides a direct benefit to the community in which it is conducted; and only if the research addresses questions the community wants answered, and is compliant with all Institutional Review Board guidelines for human subject research.
- Projects in or with communities with whom the applicant has little or no prior experience. Significant prior experience includes, for example, living in that community for at least a semester.
- Travel to and from locations outside Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area.
NOTE: Awards and grants supported by Swarthmore Foundation funds, such as the S2A2, project awards, and Chester Community Fellows, will not pay for travel expenses.
- Partisan political projects.
- Proselytizing religious projects (Projects may be conducted in faith-based communities as long as the applicant is not involved in or required to participate in religious proselytizing.)
- Research projects that do not involve community service as the primary activity of the project, that do not address a research issue generated by the community in which the research is conducted, or that do not meet IRB regulations.
- Projects that have been completed already, or are nearly completed.
- Fees payable to an agency providing volunteer opportunity.
- Tuition-based programs.
Develop Your Project Ideas
Develop your project ideas. Discuss your project with as many resource people as possible, including your proposed agency supervisor or community partners, faculty advisors, and other students.
Make an appointment to discuss your idea with Deb Kardon-Brown, Assistant Director for Student Programs, or other Lang Center staff as appropriate.
Applicants may review copies of successful proposals in the Lang Center. A database of successful applications is available at the Lang Center, and will soon be available on line, with supporting documentation (contact information, reflections and budgets) available at the Lang Center.
Develop Your Budget
Applicants must provide documentation for budgeted costs to be covered by the Foundation. Student applicants whose budgets include living expenses (summer only) should provide documentation of living costs for the geographic locale where the project is to be conducted. Living expenses (food, rent, utilities, phone, local commute) should not exceed $185.00 per week. The Swarthmore Foundation will not support travel, but will support local commuting expenses, from your place of residence to the service site(s).
Collaboration and Joint Applications
Individuals who wish to collaborate with other members of the Swarthmore community on a service project may submit a joint application. Each member of a joint application must complete a separate cover page, personal statement, and a separate budget for living expenses (student summer round application only).
Number all pages, including additional forms, documents, and letters. Make sure that your last name and page number appear in the header of every page, and that each page is clearly numbered. Label the attachment as follows: LASTNAME.SFapp.doc. Incorrectly labeled and incorrectly submitted applications will be returned unread. Submit the application electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit your application on time. Applications received after the deadline will receive the lowest funding priority, and will only be considered after all other funding decisions have been made.
Generally the foundation does not consider applications for projects to be conducted in a later grant cycle.
Sign up for an interview by emailing email@example.com. For joint applications, all parties must participate in the same interview.
The interview with members of the Swarthmore Foundation Committee is your opportunity to present your idea in person. The purpose of the interview is to clarify all aspects of the proposal, and to enable the interview subcommittee to present your proposal to the full Foundation Committee with their funding recommendations. (Applicants who are away for the semester should plan ahead to be interviewed in person or via conference call.) The Committee will review proposals and notify each applicant of its decision.
Note: Because this database only includes a short description of the project, please come to the Lang Center to view the full-length project proposals and project reports that you are interested in. The information is available on CDs located in room 118 in the Lang Center, on the shelves just inside the doorway. You may view the CDs on the public access computers in that same room.
This database is only accessible to users on campus. Access to the Swarthmore Foundation Grant Database requires your Swarthmore College username and password.
Log-in to SF Database now.
Click on "Previous" or "Next" button located at the bottom-right of the page to navigate through the pages of the database
Select the required page of the database from list in the drop-down menu (bottom-right)
Using search form
Select the search menu (located at the top-left of the page) to view projects by a specific field. When done with current search, click on the "Clear Search Criteria" to clear previous search criteria
Some projects in the SF grant database have websites with more detailed information. When available, click on the link (in red font) under Project Name to visit the webpage related to o the SF grant.
Contact Dionne Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or suggestions about this database.