Basic Needs Grant - Food, Clothing, and Shelter

W. W. Smith Charitable Trust

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Grant amount: More than US $5,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jun 15, 2020 1:30pm PDT

Later anticipated deadlines: Dec 15, 2020 1:30pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Camden County, New Jersey, Counties in Pennsylvania: Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County Show all

Location of residency: Camden County, New Jersey, Counties in Pennsylvania: Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County Show all

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The W. W. Smith Charitable Trust is a private foundation established by William Wikoff Smith. The Trust is specifically focused on areas involving basic needs for food, clothing and shelter; supplementing higher education scholarship programs; supporting maritime education/maritime heritage preservation; and basic medical research primarily in Heart Disease, Cancer and AIDS.

Basic Needs

Meeting the challenges of the young and elderly through the direct provision of food, clothing and shelter is the priority of this program. It makes available basic necessities that are required to sustain life.

For more than thirty years, the Trust has funded projects and programs of non-profit organizations from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties as well as the City of Camden, New Jersey.

The Trust assists organizations that deliver solid approaches to solving problems. In practical terms though, the depth and extent of the needs continue to be too large for the Charitable Trust to fund on its own. Consequently, the Trustees look to become partners with particular organizations that present opportunities to better serve certain projects.

The Trustees continue to concentrate Trust resources where the most need can be discerned and where government or private assistance has not been available. They look for evidence of innovative and smart approaches that address community problems.

The Trust has assisted a wide range of organizations that meet varied needs. For example, funds were supplied to purchase new warm winter coats for disadvantaged children in the Delaware Valley region. The cost of building materials and supplies to repair the homes of low-income families and the elderly living in substandard housing in Chester County, PA was covered. A nursing home was able to replace their aging walk-in refrigerator and freezer, which were beyond their useful life expectancy and in danger of complete breakdown. Numerous organizations and food cupboards that provide nutritious food choices and home cooked meals to low-income families, children and the elderly throughout the Delaware Valley were supported.

The aforementioned are but some recent examples of the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust’s efforts to help people in need. The Trustees realize that the staffs and volunteers of these organizations, who are providing these services, are the heroes.

The Trustees are pleased to help these dedicated, untiring individuals achieve their goals in making life a little better for children, their families, and the elderly.

Grant Guidelines


The W. W. Smith Charitable Trust is a private foundation established by Mr. William Wikoff Smith with a mission to help organizations and individuals achieve their goals, hopes, and dreams. Through our Basic Needs program, we fund efforts to provide direct assistance to those in our community who are in need of food, clothing, or shelter. The Trust prioritizes requests that benefit disadvantaged and vulnerable children (school-aged) and older adults (ages 60 and older) who reside within the five-county Greater Philadelphia region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) or the City of Camden, NJ. The Trust recognizes the variety of Basic Needs "safety net" efforts in the region. While we make ongoing investments in a number of longstanding partners and projects, the Trust maintains a continual learning posture and monitors trends to help us assess and adjust our grantmaking as needs and efforts evolve. As a result, we may temporarily or permanently shift resources to new partners and programs, and may reduce or cease funding prior ones. We encourage you to contact the Grant Administrator for a preliminary review of your planned request prior to applying. 

Funding Duration & Award Size

  • Grants are awarded for a one (1) year term.
  • Organizations that receive three (3) consecutive years of funding must then wait two (2) years before being eligible to reapply. We make this determination based on the calendar year of your notice of award.
  • The minimum award is $5,000.
  • There is no maximum award limit. Grants typically range from $10,000 to $40,000. Higher-dollar awards are possible for certain projects. Please contact the Grant Administrator when planning your grant request amount.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Nonprofit organizations in existence for more than one (1) year and tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible to apply.
  • The organization must have an established service location within the five-county Greater Philadelphia region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) or the City of Camden, NJ.
  • Applicants are limited to one (1) proposal at a time and one (1) grant per calendar year.
  • Funds must be used to address food, clothing, and/or shelter needs of residents living within the Trust's targeted geographic region.
  • The majority of grant-supported services should benefit low-income and/or otherwise disadvantaged children (school-aged) and older adults (ages 60 and older).
  • Grants that primarily target late teens and younger adults are also considered on a case-by-base basis.
  • Allowable uses of funds include:
    • Food - perishable and non-perishable food, produce, baby food and formula, prepackaged or prepared meals, related supplies or equipment deemed essential for food distribution program, grocery gift cards and vouchers;
    • Clothing - direct purchase of clothing for children or adults, clothing gift cards or vouchers;
    • Shelter - home furniture for clients (e.g. beds, cribs , housing payments or utility bills paid directly to vendor, materials for home repair programs, supplies or items (e.g. furniture, equipment, appliances) deemed essential for the provision of housing services (e.g. emergency shelter, transitional housing, residential programs for children or seniors); and
    • Facilities Improvements – facilities renovations or repairs costs related that directly impact clients' ability to access and benefit from a food distribution program (e.g. pantry) or housing services (e.g. emergency shelter, transitional housing, residential program).


  • We do not make grants to private foundations, Type III supporting organizations, YMCAs/YWCAs, child day care programs, or individuals.
  • The further away any request is from direct provision of literal food, clothing or shelter benefiting children or seniors, the less likely funding will be granted.
  • Unallowed uses of funds include: capital campaigns, general operating expenses, salaries/benefits, pre-development expenses for housing projects, purchasing or enhancing computer systems, purchasing vehicles, requests for new building construction, retroactive funding of non-emergencies.