General operating support funds a nonprofit organization’s mission rather than specific projects or programs. It provides the working capital needed to sustain day-to-day operations. General Operating Support Grants are separate and distinct from our Innovative Project Support grants. 
The General Operating Support Committee considers requests for general operating support grants typically between $5,000 and $50,000 annually for organizations serving vulnerable and underserved older adults residing in Philadelphia County.  


The Sarah Ralston Foundation invests in grantees’ missions rather than specific programs. General operating support allows partners to use the funds as they see fit to reach their goals. 

Aging organizations know their stakeholders best, know their communities best, and know their needs the most. We respect that knowledge and seek to provide the flexible support that they need to pursue their missions. 


Application Deadline April 1
Decision Notification May 31



  • Organizations and programs that align with the Foundation’s mission to support and enhance the quality of life of vulnerable and underserved older adults residing in Philadelphia County. 
  • Organizations that are based outside of Philadelphia County but provide services in Philadelphia County. In this case, grants would be restricted to the organization’s Philadelphia County-based program/s. 
  • Organizations and programs that reflect the guiding principles of the Foundation. 
  • Organizations, including newly established organizations, of the following types: 501(c)3 public charities, fiscally sponsored organizations or programs, supporting organizations, other 501(c) organizations (within legal limits). 
  • Organizations where older adults can go to receive services and socialization (examples: Senior Centers, Adult Day, and Behavioral and Mental Health Programs), organizations that provide in-home services (examples: Home Maintenance Programs, Food Programs, but excluding those services paid for by insurance), organizations that provide caregiver support and care coordination, and organizations that provide programs that support those older adults living in the community (examples: Information & Resources, Transportation, Food Programs, Housing Programs, Homelessness, Companionship Services, Virtual Programs, and other programs targeting loneliness and social isolation issues). 
  • The Foundation provides general operating support to organizations with less than a $5 million operating budget.   
  • If an organization requests general operating support, its primary focus must be serving older adults residing in Philadelphia County.


  • Programs of applicant organizations must serve older adults residing in Philadelphia County. 
  • The Foundation does not give operating grants to programs and organizations that provide services to older adults who live in institutional settings e.g., a nursing facility or an assisted-living facility. 
  • The Foundation does not give grants to individuals, for-profit entities, or government entities. 
  • The Foundation does not provide general operating support to organizations with an operating budget greater than $5 million.
  • The Foundation does not fund outside of the following funding priorities: Access to affordable, equitable and high-quality care; Food insecurity; Behavioral and mental health issues; Caregiver support (family and significant others); Care coordination; Housing Programs; Homelessness; and Loneliness and Social isolation issues 
  • The Foundation will not purchase tickets, tables, ads, or sponsorships. 
  • The Foundation will not directly contribute to endowments outside of a capital campaign or expenses related to new construction of a building.