Joseph Kennard Skilling Trust

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To provide support to social welfare agencies for programs benefiting the citizens of the community of Philadelphia.

Annual application deadlines

April 1 and October 1

Program areas

Arts, culture, and humanities
Human services
International/foreign affairs
Public/society benefit

Program limitations

Grants are limited to charitable non-profit organizations.

States served


Geographic limitations

Although there are no geographic limitations, the trust has a practice of supporting organizations primarly located within the community of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Christina A. McKinley
Mary Ellen Landreth
William W. Spalding, Esquire

Grant requests are analyzed by the co-trustees, based on the following criteria:

  • The overall effectiveness of the proposed program.
  • The professionalism and the ability of the organization to deliver the program with a measurable outcome.
  • The ability of the organization’s management to manage the program effectively, including proper financial controls.
  • The necessity rating of the program in the community.


  • To be eligible, organizations must qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Applications must be submitted through the online grant application form or alternative accessible application designed for assistive technology users.


The foundation typically does not fund requests for:

  • Building, construction and reconstruction projects.
  • Equipment, unless for the education of disadvantaged youths.
  • Hospital and health care organizations whose primary income is from third party reimbursement, but expends less than 40% of that revenue for indigent care.
  • Scholarships to private schools without special programs, who do not serve a large percentage of youth at risk.
  • Physical therapy programs, unless associated with the permanently handicapped.
  • National organizations and their affiliated branches.
  • Religious organizations, unless for education of disadvantaged youth, elderly, or for homeless programs.

Grantmaking priorities

Preference is given to requests for the following:

  • Care and support of the elderly
  • Children and youth at risk
  • Spousal and child abuse
  • Rehabilitation of the homeless
  • Care and help for the physically and mentally impaired
  • Education programs for disadvantaged youth and adults
  • Family support, education, and counseling

Average giving

Average grant size: $1,000 to $10,000
Average number of grants per year: 65

Annual application period and deadlines

Applications are accepted year-round. Applications must be submitted by April 1 and/or October 1 to be reviewed at the semi-annual grant meetings that occur in May and November.


Applicants will receive an automated email confirming their submission.

Required agreements and reports

Except as otherwise specified when a grant is awarded, a progress report must be submitted within 6 months after receiving funds.

About the Foundation

Joseph Kennard Skilling was a kind and generous person who cared greatly about his fellow man. In 1963 while still living, Mr. Skilling made the decision to share his wealth by leaving a memorial through the creation of this trust. Although he passed away in 1974, Mr. Skilling’s generosity continues to touch the lives of those in the Philadelphia community, and will continue to do so in perpetuity.