2021 Grant Guidelines


Life Science Cares is a collective effort of the life science industry to help address impact of poverty and inequality on our neighbors in the Greater Philadelphia and Boston areas. We unite the human and financial resources of life science companies and industry leaders to support service organizations that do the best work in three areas of focus: basic human survival, education and economic sustainability.


We believe big thinking and creativity will be required to tackle the pernicious nature of poverty, and therefore support innovation in programs and services in order to measurably increase impact. We are also interested programs or initiatives that are the result of collaboration amongst nonprofit organizations or public-private partnerships. We aim to drive creative, collaborative and effective solutions to address poverty.


We seek to fund 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Greater Boston with the following characteristics:

  • A commitment to addressing poverty and the challenges it imposes on residents in Greater Philadelphia. [For more information, see our Areas of Focus, below;]

  • Strong, committed leadership and financial stability;

  • Existing evaluation procedures or willingness to evaluate programs and measure outcomes;

  • Commitment to, and knowledge of, the population served;

  • Respect or standing in its community and relationships with other organizations in the community;

  • Capacity to engage volunteers;

  • A willingness to be transparent about what challenges may exist and how Life Science Cares might help;

  • A commitment to building a creative partnership with Life Science Cares.

We will consider grants for:

  • Operations & general support

  • Programming (existing, expanding, or new)

  • Tangible goods or equipment to advance a program

  • Capacity building (evaluation, organization development, planning, communications, etc.)


Life Science Cares Philadelphia currently considers new grantees every year via a competitive application process.  We are starting an open application process and organizations nominated by our Board of Advisors will be invited to apply for grants.


Survival: Includes organizations doing work in hunger, homelessness, domestic abuse, safety, etc. We believe that effectively addressing these issues is often a necessary prerequisite for education and sustainability efforts to be successful.


Education: Includes early education, STEM education, entrepreneurship education, college preparation and college success, educational enrichment and inspiration, etc. We believe education is the most effective solution to impacting poverty and income disparities over the long term, so the largest percentage of our support goes to those service providers who work in this area.


Sustainability: Includes organizations that work in job creation, job training, mentoring, business support and economic development. We believe that providing support to the best organizations that work to help families and individuals to lift themselves sustainably out of poverty is also an important need for the community.



The Life Science industry and the people employed within have considerable talent and passion for giving back. The Life Science Cares model leverages that talent and volunteer time in service of our partners. Our most successful grant partnerships to date have been built by working together to identify challenges or needs our grant partners face and working to find resources within the industry to overcome those challenges.


Read about some of our early partnership successes in Boston.

We seek partners who can use the human capital in our industry in some way, and seek to work with our partners to develop meaningful and impactful ways to provide support. Grantees should think expansively about how you might be able to use our non-financial resources to help further your mission.


To be eligible for a grant, your organization must be a 501(c)3 public charity or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit. In addition, you must primarily be serving people living in poverty in Greater Philadelphia. An eligible organization must be operated and organized so that it does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or the provision of services on the basis of race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

All applications must be clearly tied to one of the Life Science Cares Areas of Focus.


Life Science Cares does not fund disease-related organizations, hospital or healthcare investments, individual schools (including charter schools), arts & humanities organizations or individuals. We do not make grants for event sponsorship, endowments, medical or academic research, scholarships, religious purposes or to support candidates for political office.


Nomination— All organizations interested in LSC support must first be nominated by a member of our Board of Advisors. LSC solicits Advisor nominations in the summer, but Advisors are free to contribute nominations year- round.

Request for Information—All nominated organizations will be contact with a Request for Information. The RFI is a first filter to determine a nominated organization’s potential to fit the LSC model. RFIs will be reviewed by LSC leadership to confirm two things:

  1. The nominated nonprofit’s mission aligns with LSC’s mission and Areas of Focus.

  2. The nominated nonprofit has articulated a) existing opportunities for non-financial engagement or volunteer engagement with Life Science Cares, its leaders, members and volunteers OR b) proposed new engagement opportunities that are already thought through, found to be meaningful and useful to the nominated nonprofit and supported by leadership of the nominated nonprofit.


Organizations that meet those criteria will be asked to submit an application for grant funding.

Application—Partner organizations will be asked to complete an application which will include requests for: program information and detailed request for funding, organization leadership & budget information, audited financials, etc. LSC will review and evaluate all applications based on their area of focus (Basic Human Survival, Education, Economic Sustainability.) LSC may ask for additional information or seek a site visit or other meeting with applicants. With prior authorization from the partner, LSC may also contact members of the applicant’s board of directors, clients, collaborating or similar organizations and other funders to learn more.

LSC scores requests on five criteria as well as some additional factors:

  1. LSC’s unique ability to create impact through its contribution.

  2. Depth of impact per person

  3. Capacity to track and quantify LSC’s impact

  4. Non-monetary engagement opportunities

  5. Alignment with LSC’s mission

  6. Miscellaneous: innovation, collaboration or creativity

Recommendations—LSC staff will propose grant recommendations to the Life Science Cares Board of Directors for consideration.

Decisions—The Life Science Cares Board of Directors makes grant decisions based on review, research and recommendations. Applicants will be apprised of the date of a Board meeting at which decisions might be made, and will be notified of the Board’s decision following the meeting.


Reporting—All approved grantees will be asked to report on progress toward the goals & outcomes established in the grant process at the six-month and one-year marks. Reports may take the form of a telephonic check in. 

TIMELINES (subject to change)


Summer 2020

Advisor Nominations Due

September 2020

LSC Staff request RFIs from nominated organizations

LSC BOD: Sets Grant Framework (total dollars to grant, amount per segment, any other prioritization)


October 2020

Nominated Organizations: RFIs Due October 2

LSC: Reviews RFIs, respond to qualifying Nominated Organizations with Application request by October 9th

November 2020

Qualifying Nominated Organizations: Applications due November 6

Review applications & meet to discuss
LSC: Communicates questions or feedback to partners
Grant awards to be presented to the Board of Directors

December 2020

LSC BOD: Reviews recommendations and determines final grants ~December 15

LSC: Decisions communicated and grant agreements sent


December 2020 - January 2021

LSC: Checks sent, meetings with partners scheduled


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Learn more about our 2020 grant recipients.