The Innovation Fund is a grant opportunity funded by the Philadelphia City Fund and managed by the Public Technology and Innovation 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 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. All final funding decisions are made by the Philadelphia City Fund’s Board of Directors.
The 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.
Only employees of the City of Philadelphia are eligible to apply on behalf of a City pilot project for this grant opportunity. This opportunity is not open to the public.
The Innovation Fund prioritizes proposals for ideas and projects that:
- Have never been tried before in Philadelphia
- Pilot something that is a new and different approach for a given department
- Push Philadelphia to be the first city to solve a broader problem in a unique way
- Leverage partnerships and stakeholder collaboration, either internal or external to City government
- Focus on delivering services more effectively, equitably, and efficiently to all residents
The Innovation Fund is only open to employees of the City of Philadelphia who seek support for City pilot projects. This grant program is not open to the public.
Application Process and Timeline:
As of March 2024, the Innovation Fund has $25,000 to award. Projects can receive up to $10,000 with most awards ranging from $6,000 – $8,000.
The Spring 2024 Innovation Fund cycle launches on March 1, 2024. Grant applicants are required to fill out a short application by April 1, 2024, which serves as a letter of intent.
Please review the Grant Guidelines in full before submitting an application.
Optional Information Sessions:
- Friday, March 8th at 12pm: Link to join this session
- Tuesday, March 12th at 2pm: Link to join this session
Applicants will be notified if they advance to the second round (Pitch Sessions) by the week of April 15. Mandatory pitch sessions will be held virtually between April 22 – May 1. All applicants who advance to the final stage must submit a final proposal by June 5. Final funding decisions will be made by the Philadelphia City Fund’s Board of Directors in late-June.
Please direct any questions about the Innovation Fund to Innovation@phila.gov.
Innovation Fund Grantees
The Philadelphia City Fund awarded three Innovation Fund grants as part of its most recent grant cycle in Fall 2023.
Grantees will launch pilot projects that address the following challenges: accessibility of the City’s public restroom pilot for blind/low vision individuals; financial barriers to participants of a pre-trial felony diversion program; and the gap in language accessible resources for individuals impacted by domestic violence.