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The Barra Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-10-18

At A Glance

The Barra Foundation, Inc.

200 W. Lancaster Ave., Ste. 202

Wayne, PA United States 19087-4046

Telephone: (610) 964-7601


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $97,152,245

Total giving: $4,310,005






Incorporated in 1963 in DE

Purpose and Activities

The foundation seeks to support and encourage innovation, a key element to discovering new and more effective ways to serve the ever-changing needs in communities. It funds organizations and projects that enable the foundation to achieve greater social impact in the Philadelphia five-county region through strategic grantmaking in the areas of arts and culture, education, health, and human services. The foundation pursues two goals in its grantmaking: 1) to advance the health, education, well-being, achievement, and life prospects of low-income, underserved individuals and communities, and 2) to enrich the quality of life for all by promoting the sustainability of a vibrant arts and cultural community.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Barra Awards

The Barra Awards provide core support that rewards exemplary organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. By exhibiting qualities of leadership, performance and adaptability, these organizations must demonstrate that they are keeping pace with a changing environment and continually looking for ways to be more effective in strengthening the communities they serve. In addition to receiving unrestricted funding, the leaders of the organizations become members of a diverse network of entrepreneurial thinker, their fellow awardees. This combination of flexible financial support and the opportunity to share ideas with other leaders from different networks helps organizations discover new ideas and better solutions. Please note: Barra uses a nomination process to identify exemplary organizations. Organizations that have been nominated are contacted by Foundation staff and invited to apply. Barra Award nominators are leaders in their communities, selected by Barra staff for their experience and familiarity with the institutions that strengthen the five-county Philadelphia region. Visit website for complete information.

Catalyst Fund

The Catalyst Fund provides early-stage funding to new or existing organizations aiming to test or launch something new or seeking to creatively adapt an existing program, process or organizational model. Whatever the idea, it should be new, different, better and significant. Ideas and initiatives should have the potential to spur change beyond an individual project or organization. The ideas can be big or small. They may fall into four areas of interest (Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Human Services), they also may cross one or more. And they do not have to be safe-we are interested in risk-taking. Please visit website for complete guidelines.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Education
  • Health care access
  • Human services
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $97,152,245 (market value)

Gifts received: $1,186,513

Expenditures: $5,067,256

Total giving: $4,310,005

Qualifying distributions: $4,887,133