This article was originally featured in Philadelphia Magazine on March 27, 2015.
Every Friday, we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, The Spruce Foundation, which aims to redefine philanthropy and cultivate the next generation of philanthropists through community giving and grant-making in support of Philadelphia’s youth.
Who are you? My name is Matt Kurilla, and I am the President of the Spruce Foundation.
When was your organization founded? Spruce was founded in 2007 by a group of friends who were looking to make a difference in Philly. They pooled their money together and made a donation to one of their favorite area nonprofits, SquashSmarts. Today the Spruce Foundation has grown quite a bit from its origins. I think that this story of friends is very unique to Spruce as an all-volunteer structure is still what propels Spruce forward. I, too, got involved in Spruce though a friend and neighbor as we shared snow day waffles (we both work in public schools) and discussed why we love Philly and ways to give back. Spruce is about giving back to the community, but it is also about creating that connection, that bond, that friendship among like-minded philanthropic Philadelphians. Today, Spruce is an operating 501(c)(3) non-profit that is engaging Philadelphia’s millennials in philanthropy to grant $20,000 annually to four emerging, innovative, and impacting Philly youth-serving nonprofits. Throughout the year we host our Engagement Events – one in each of our granting areas of Arts, Education, Health & Wellness, and LGBTQ. The Engagement Event series is a means of bringing millennials together in a setting to activate them around Spruce’s mission. We culminate our events with Spruce Gala, where we recognize one nonprofit in each of our grant-making areas that is doing exceptional work to make a difference in the lives of Philly youth — and where we also dance the night away, celebrating the collective good of all who are Sprucin’ up Philly.