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The Emerging Philanthropists Program (EPP) goal is to engage Harrisburg’s emerging business and community leaders with philanthropic endeavors by providing resources and educational opportunities.

EPP provides emerging leaders opportunities to be actively engaged in giving back to their community through philanthropy. The class addresses questions like: What does it mean to be philanthropic? How do I understand the needs of our community? How do I make an impact? What are grants and how are they made?

The annual EPP class is entering its 9th year in 2022. The class is open to members of the Harrisburg area community through a competitive application process ending in December, and class size is approximately 15 participants. The class meets once a month after work hours from February through November. Each session is tailored to educate the class on a different aspect of giving back to the community. The class culminates by awarding a $5,000 grant to a nonprofit of their choice. To date, $35,000 has been awarded to the community through grants made by the EPP classes.

The EPP Endowment Fund is a separate fund from the one described above. After learning the power of philanthropy, the inaugural EPP class of 2014 created a second grant opportunity for the community by establishing the EPP Endowment Fund. The EPP Endowment Fund affords additional community impact through competitive grants outside of the annual EPP class grant. The volunteer committee that oversees the EPP Endowment Fund is comprised of EPP class alumni. The first grant was awarded in 2019 and the fund has awarded $5,000 to the community so far.

Much like the EPP Class, the EPP Endowment Fund Committee seeks to provide capacity building opportunities for nonprofit organizations in the Harrisburg area; allowing them to better serve those within their footprint.

Click here for more information on the Emerging Philanthropist Program.

Funding Priorities

The purpose of the EPP Endowment Grant is to build capacity through professional development opportunities: industry-specific training, general leadership training, or other professional education that is not part of the nonprofit’s normal budget. The EPP classes provided these resources to its members; this grant affords nonprofits the same type of opportunity. Professional development in the nonprofit sector is no longer considered a want, but a needed part of retaining excellent employees equipped to handle the many challenges of nonprofit work. This grant opportunity will provide just that.

Grant Eligibility

This opportunity is available to nonprofit organizations serving Cumberland and/or Dauphin Counties. Nonprofits need not be located there but must show proof of service in either county.

Applicants will answer the following questions: 

  1. How would you increase your organization’s professional development/staff training with $2,000?
  2. How would your proposed plan enhance and improve your mission?
  3. Describe your organization, the geographic area it serves, and the audience it serves.
  4. As it relates to your proposal for the $2,000 grant, explain how you can know the plan was successful and how success will be measured? (i.e., collecting value statements, numbers served, surveys, and photos.)

Graduates of the EPP Class have said: 

“The emerging philanthropists program has changed my life.”
Jolene Leisure, class of 2014

“Going through EPP has given me so much inspiration and excitement. It has helped guide me to where I am today with my career, along with giving me a clear mind for the additional work I want to do in the community.”
Jenna Reitz, Class of 2019

Size of Grants

The maximum grant award is $2,000.

Grant Timeline

  • November 1, 2021: Application available.
  • February 1, 2022: All application materials must be submitted through the online application system by 4:00 pm.
  • Applicants will be notified of their status on June 1, 2022.
  • Proposed projects may take place at any time during the grant year beginning July 1, 2022, and ending June 30, 2023.

What We Do Not Fund

  • Advertising
  • Capital campaigns
  • Direct lobbying to influence legislation or funding appropriations
  • Individuals
  • National and statewide umbrella organizations that cannot demonstrate a local presence
  • New staff positions without a substantial plan for sustainability
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Retroactive projects


Follow Three Simple Steps to Apply

  1. ACCESS, download, and/or print the Emerging Philanthropist Program Grant Application here: Emerging Philanthropist Program Endowment Fund Grant Application
  2. LOGIN into the TFEC online application system and begin or update your online profile here:
  3. UPLOAD all required materials to the Attachments tab within the online application system and select submit before 4 pm on the application deadline. This grant opportunity requires attachments. See the Grant Application for full instructions.  All required materials will be uploaded within the Attachments Tab; materials should not be mailed or delivered.

Helpful Hints: Using the Online Application System

  • To begin, you will enter the applicant organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number.  You will not be able to create an Organization Profile without it.
  • You may Save and Finish Later at any time.
  • Some information provided in the online application system is identical to information provided in the grant application; be sure that these answers correspond.
  • The grant application and all attachments, including letters of support if applicable, are to be uploaded and submitted using the online application system.
  • Save a copy of all materials for yourself prior to selecting Submit.
  • Submit all materials prior to the deadline; the online application system will automatically close after 4 pm.
  • TFEC staff cannot access or view your Draft Materials.

Notes to Remember

  • Only projects taking place during the stated grant year will be considered for this round of funding.
  • Applicants with current grant awards from TFEC who are delinquent or non-compliant in grant reporting requirements may have subsequent grant applications denied.

Applicants using a Fiscal Sponsor for this application must also follow the directions below


  • Because your Fiscal Sponsor is the organization who has 501c3 status, you will need to enter the Fiscal Sponsor Organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number, when beginning your work in the online application system.


  • Within the “Application Information” tab of the online application system, you will see a “Fiscal Sponsor” Heading. Within this section, the Organization Name and Contact Information should be for the Organization and Executive Leader of the organization serving as your Fiscal Sponsor.
  • Because your Fiscal Sponsor is the organization who is registered with the Commonwealth, answer all questions about the PA Bureau of Charitable Organizations using your Fiscal Sponsor’s information.
  • For all other elements of the “Organization Contact Information” and “Application Information” tabs, the name of your organization/project is the Applicant Organization and all other questions should be answered using your organization/project information rather than your Fiscal Sponsor.


  • Your application must include a letter signed (digital or original) by the Executive Leader of the organization who is serving as your Fiscal Sponsor stating their agreement to do so. This letter will be uploaded with your application attachments.
  • Upload the IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter of your Fiscal Sponsor.
  • Upload the Board of Directors List for your Fiscal Sponsor AND if your organization/project has its own Leadership Team list, please also upload.
  • Upload the most recent 990 of your Fiscal Sponsor. If your organization/project has a separate budget or financial statement that would assist the grantmaking committee in their review of an application, please also upload it.


  • The organization serving as your Fiscal Sponsor will receive notification of whether or not a grant has been awarded. If a grant is awarded the Fiscal Sponsor will be required to execute the Grant Agreement and will be sent the grant funds to be allocated to your organization appropriately. Your Fiscal Sponsor will be responsible for ensuring the funds are used as indicated in the original proposal and/or grant agreement.


All applicants are invited to contact our Community Investment Team, to discuss a proposed project or application.

Applicants may request a draft review of their application materials by our Community Investment Team prior to submission. To submit a draft review, email all materials to be reviewed as an attachment to  Draft review requests are limited to one review of each grant opportunity and submissions must be received at least two weeks prior to the application deadline.

Questions regarding our grant opportunities?

get in touch with us or
view the grantseeker FAQ