Welcome to the new Hamilton Family Charitable Trust. We are a private family trust that provides financial support primarily in the area of education— specifically literacy-based, educational programs in underserved Philadelphia area schools. Dorrance H Hamilton, President and Founding Member of the Hamilton Family Foundation, passed away in 2017. Her will directed that the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust be established to fund educational projects, primarily in the Philadelphia region. The Trust will consider applications from non-profit organizations who provide robust data-driven in-school, after-school, and summer literacy enrichment programming. HFCT will provide funding for approved projects serving underserved children and youth in grades Kindergarten through 12 in the counties of Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, and Camden. Our new Trust website will be operational shortly.


Please see below for how to apply.
Call our office at (610) 293-2225 or email Amy Benjamin if you have additional questions about any phase of the application process or login procedure. We offer tutorials to help applicants navigate the online application process. All organizations interested in applying should consult our Requirements for Evaluation (below) to ensure they meet the Trust’s guidelines prior to submitting an application.

Read the Requirements for Evaluation & Deadline Dates

Eligibility-Who Should Apply for HFCT Funding

Please review the following criteria carefully for HFCT eligibility standards. No LOI (Letter of Intent) is necessary; applicants are encouraged to call the Trust office if there are questions about funding priorities or procedures before applying.

Tax Exempt Status and Financial Documents

All applicants must produce documentation of 501(c)(3) status. If the organization is part of a larger group, such as a religious affiliate, the ruling organization’s 501(c)(3) letter will suffice. Applicants with budgets over $100,000 must provide CPA-prepared or audited financial statements.

Geographical Focus

The Hamilton Family Charitable Trust will fund projects serving children and youth in grades Kindergarten-12 in the cities of Philadelphia, Chester, and Camden, and the counties of Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, and Camden. Organizations providing programs outside of these areas may apply for a grant if invited by a member of the Trust’s Board of Directors or by the Executive Director.

Population Served

Children and youth served by programming must be in grades Kindergarten through 12. Pre-kindergarten and college programs are not funded. Recipients of direct services are generally economically underserved; groups or classes served should have over 70% of participants eligible for free or reduced rate lunch in schools.

Program Focus

Primary program focus should be on the development of robust reading and writing skills. HFCT seeks to fund primarily data-driven literacy-based programs with a strong history of success. Program activities can be administered across school systems but must be nonsectarian if a religious institution provides services. Preference is given to projects that devote at least 70% of program time to direct reading and writing instruction and activities, especially in earlier grades. In high school grades, the Trust focuses on organizations that take innovative approaches to preparing underserved students for success in college acceptance and completion processes.


The Hamilton Family Charitable Trust does NOT fund the following:

  • Individuals
  • Capital Projects and Equipment Purchase
  • Endowment Requests
  • Human Service Projects
  • Other Foundations or Family Trusts
  • Museum Entry Fees
  • School Assembly Programs
  • Religious Education Programs
  • Projects with Unpaid Teaching Artists
  • Pre-school or College Programs
  • Political Candidates, Parties, or PACs
  • Organizations outside of the counties of Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, and Camden, unless invited by Board Member or Executive Director
  • Debt reduction

Special Notes for Applicants

  • First time grants are generally in the range of $3,000-10,000 and are usually designated for program support.
  • HFCT grants to continuing partners are generally made for programmatic or operational support.
  • Multi-year grants are rare and requests for multi-year grants must be approved in advance by the HFCT Executive Director.
  • Organizations may only apply to HFCT once a year.
  • Organizations that have received continuous funding for three years or more may be asked to refrain from applying for support for a year or more in order that the Trust might assist other worthy groups.
  • All grantees must provide an evaluation report and financial report on how funds were spent within a year of receiving the grant; another grant proposal or renewal request will not be processed without an interim report.

Application Deadlines

The Hamilton Family Charitable Trust meets four times a year to consider grant requests. Application deadlines are at midnight of the following dates:

September 1, 2018 – January 2019 Meeting

December 1, 2018 – April 2019 Meeting

February 1, 2019 – June 2019 Meeting

June 1, 2019 – October 2019 Meeting