GHCF Benjamin Franklin Trust Fund Grant Guidelines

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790
Benjamin Franklin’s legacy lives on at The Foundation for Enhancing Community (TFEC) through the Greater Harrisburg Foundation’s (GHF) Benjamin Franklin Trust Fund. In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote his last will and testament.  In his will, Franklin directed that after 200 years, half of the accumulated funds of his estate go to the State of Pennsylvania to be used for whatever the public officials felt was necessary. The State Legislature split the money among most of the community foundations across the state, of which The Foundation for Enhancing Communities was included.  Counties that do not have a community foundation are, for the purposes of the Benjamin Franklin Trust Fund, covered by an adjacent county with a community foundation.  For purposes of grantmaking from the Benjamin Franklin Trust Fund of the Greater Harrisburg Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, the Fund serves Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, and Perry Counties, and the Dillsburg area of York County.

Grant Amount

Up to $1,700

Applications Open: June 1, 2024

Applications Close: September 1, 2024

Apply Now

Funding Priorities

The GHF Benjamin Franklin Trust Fund grant opportunity seeks to support programs and services that work to increase knowledge and/or quality of life or that inspire positive outcomes for individuals and families living in the service area of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Mifflin, Lebanon, and Perry Counties, and/or the Dillsburg area of York County.

Grant Eligibility

  • Eligible projects must serve individuals, groups, and/or locations within Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Mifflin, Lebanon, and Perry Counties, and the Dillsburg area of York County.
  • Applicants must either be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a nonprofit organization as recognized by the IRS as such, or have a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization act as a fiscal sponsor for the proposed project.
  • Grant seekers may apply for any project that best fits their needs, the grant year, and the GHF Benjamin Franklin Trust Fund grant guidelines.

Grant Timeline

  • June 1, 2024: Application available.
  • September 1, 2024 : All application materials must be submitted online.
  • Applicants will be notified of their status by December 1, 2024.
  • Proposed projects may take place at any time during the grant year beginning January 1, 2025 and ending December 31, 2025. Only projects taking place during the stated grant year will be considered for this round of funding.

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 GHCF Advisory Committee makes all grantmaking decisions and consists of a dedicated group of individuals committed to the betterment of the GHCF service area.  The GHCF Advisory Committee may request additional information about the grant application prior to making an award or denial.

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

  • (20) – Connection to the Mission of GHCF: Benjamin Franklin Trust 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

If you should have any questions regarding TFEC grant opportunities or your application, please contact the Community Investment Team, at 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