Skip to main content

Connelly Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-12-19

At A Glance

Connelly Foundation

100 Front St., 1 Tower Bridge, Ste. 1450

West Conshohocken, PA United States 19428-2873

Telephone: (610) 834-3222


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2013-12-31)

Assets: $262,461,970

Total giving: $8,632,087






Incorporated in 1955 in PA - In 1955 John and Josephine Connelly chose to share their good fortune by establishing the Connelly Foundation with the simple but clear purpose of providing charitable grants to institutions in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley. Born in a working class neighborhood in North Philadelphia in 1905, John Connelly received little formal schooling before entering the business world. After working for many years in the packaging industry, John Connelly founded Connelly Containers, Inc., a cardboard box company located in Bala Cynwyd, PA. In 1956 he joined the board of directors of Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., an international manufacturer of cans, crowns and machinery. Elected Chairman and C.E.O. the following year, he played a pivotal role in transforming the struggling company into an industry leader with operations in forty-two countries. John Connelly passed away in 1990. Josephine Connelly succeeded her husband in 1990 as chairman of the foundation until her death in 1999

Purpose and Activities

The foundation seeks to foster learning and to improve the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area. The foundation supports local non-profit organizations in the fields of education, health and human services, arts and culture, and civic enterprise.

Program Area(s)

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

Connelly Access Program (CAP)

The program provides educational experiences for Philadelphia parish elementary school students in grades 4-8 through: a) Live performances at concert halls, theatres, museums and visits to historic and scientific venues; b) Unique cultural programming that supplements classroom learning provided at their own schools; and c) Coverage of all entrance fees and transportation costs. Approximately 27 Philadelphia parish elementary schools are invited to participate in CAP on a three-year rotating basis.

Josephine C. Connelly Achievement Awards

The program identifies and awards parish elementary school students in Philadelphia who best demonstrate the values of Catholic education while striving to achieve their fullest academic potential. These awards are announced in the eighth grade to assist tuition at an Archdiocesan secondary school or Mercy Vocational High School.

Neumann Scholars Program

With academic excellence as its hallmark, the program invites industrious eighth grade students attending Catholic parish elementary schools to compete for scholarships to attend any of the 17 high schools operated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Approximately 900 students who meet eligibility criteria accept this invitation annually. The young men and women who achieve the highest scores within each of the twelve Archdiocesan school districts in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties are offered scholarships. On average, 35 scholarships are offered each year.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made PRIs in the form of loans for medical research, education, and community development organizations.

Promoting Achievement through Classroom Technology

Initiated in 1996, the PACT Program helps to fulfill parish elementary schools' endeavors to keep pace with new technologies. With continued capital investment provided by the Connelly Foundation accompanied by faculty training, the Philadelphia Archdiocesan schools have one of the most comprehensive and integrative K-12 approaches in the nation. As the result of conversations between Connelly Foundation and the Office of Catholic Education, a new PACT was formed for the years 2010 and 2011 in order to allow each organization to best use its financial resources for the benefit of students. Connelly Foundation explored, developed and implemented virtual learning programs utilizing high definition telecommunications equipment and also continued its commitment to offer the highly acclaimed Summer Tech Academy for teachers. .

Summer Tech Academy

The academy is an advanced faculty enrichment course offered to enhance the ability of Catholic elementary school teachers to effectively instruct 21st Century students. Since 2009, about 300 teachers representing 100 schools throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have taken advantage of this opportunity. About 80 of these teachers have returned in following years to further build upon the skills learned. For application information see foundation web site and/or contact Kimberly Whelihan Simmons at

Fields of Interest

  • Addiction services
  • Adult education
  • Alcoholism
  • Arts and culture
  • Catholicism
  • Child development
  • Child educational development
  • Child welfare
  • Civics for youth
  • Community and economic development
  • Early childhood education
  • Education
  • Elementary and secondary education
  • Elementary education
  • Health
  • Higher education
  • Homeless services
  • Human services
  • Job training
  • Protestantism
  • Secondary education
  • Senior services
  • Women's services
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Children
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Ethnic and racial groups
  • Female children and youth
  • Females
  • Homeless people
  • Immigrants and migrants
  • Low-income and poor people
  • People of Latin American descent
  • People with disabilities
  • People with hearing impairments
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People with psychosocial disabilities
  • People with vision impairments
  • Seniors
  • Students
  • Young adults

Financial Data

Year ended 2013-12-31

Assets: $262,461,970 (market value)

Gifts received: $29,425

Expenditures: $11,812,356

Total giving: $8,632,087

Qualifying distributions: $10,388,366

Giving activities include:

$8,632,087 for 556 grants (high: $375,000; low: $180)