Emerging Philanthropist Program Endowment Fund Guidelines

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?

Grant Amount

Up to $2,000

Applications Open: November 1, 2023

Applications Close: March 1, 2024

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The annual EPP class is entering its 10th year in 2023. The class is open to all young professionals in South Central PA 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, more than $40,000 has been awarded to the community through grants made by the EPP classes.

The EPP Endowment Fund is a separate grant opportunity 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 $9,000 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.

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

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. Nonprofit need not be located there, but must show proof of service in either county

Grant Timeline

  • November 1, 2023: Application available.
  • February 1, 2024 : All application materials must be submitted online.
  • Applicants will be notified of their status by June 1, 2024.
  • Proposed projects may take place at any time during the grant year beginning July 1, 2024 and ending June 30, 2025.

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

*Grant proposals that include these should describe the scope, purpose and guidelines.

Criteria for Evaluating Proposals

The EPP Endowment Committee makes all grantmaking decisions and consists of a dedicated group of individuals.  Committee members evaluate each applicant submission and make valuable suggestions to ensure that work supported by the EPP Endowment Fund will make a difference. The Grant Review Committee may request additional information about the grant proposal prior to making an award or denial.

Below is a list of the criteria utilized to evaluate applications.

  • (20) – Connection to the Mission of the EPP Endowment Fund
    • Need and target audience is clearly stated.
    • Narrative provides a clear picture of all proposed actions and activities.
    • Project/program dates and locations are clearly addressed and anticipated.
  • (5) – Roles and responsibilities are defined and work to strengthen/enhance the project.
    • Partnerships, collaborations, services and affiliations are clearly defined if applicable.
  • (5) – Funding:
    • Project has a funding diversification plan and is not 100% dependent upon grant award.
    • Budget Worksheet clearly defines where awarded funds will be applied.
  • (10) – Project success is clearly defined and measurable.
    • Goals are measurable and anticipated outcomes are clearly defined.
  • (10) – Diversity Equity and Inclusion:
    • Project demonstrates how it will be inclusive/accessible to all applicable audiences.
    • The board, staff and/or volunteers reflect the community and the people being served.

Would you recommend funding this project? Yes/No


  • Application Tutorial
    • How to register and apply
  • Draft Reviews
    • Applicants may request a draft review of their application up to 2 weeks prior to the deadline. To request a draft review contact the Community Investment Team, at grants@tfec.org.

If you should have any questions regarding TFEC grant opportunities or your application, please contact the Community Investment Team, at grants@tfec.org or 717-236-5040. Questions are welcome at any time!

Questions regarding our grant opportunities?

get in touch with us or
view the grantseeker FAQ