Educational Institutions

Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia

  • Philadelphia, PA

Mission Statement

CSFP is a privately-funded program whose mission is to provide children from low-income Philadelphia families with financial access to quality, safe K-8th grade schools, thereby increasing their long-term economic and social success. CSFP grants need-based scholarships to children from low-income Philadelphia families, all of which are awarded by random lottery.

Main Programs

  1. K-8th Grade Scholarships
Service Areas



Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

ruling year


Executive Director


Ms. Ina B. Lipman



low income, Philadelphia, elementary education, scholarship, private schools, children

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Also Known As







Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

CSFP has found that the impact of providing these early academic scholarships is positive and long-term. For the last fifteen years, CSFP has been conducting an annual longitudinal study. This ongoing evaluation looks at test scores at various grade levels and follows our 8th grade graduates throughout high school and beyond. These evaluations show that CSFP students perform at or above grade level in standardized testing. After they leave our program in eighth grade, 96% of CSFP alumni graduate high school prepared and on time, and 85% of our alumni enroll in college or vocational school within one year following graduation. In comparison, Philadelphia public high schools' graduation rate is 61%, and about 24% of Philadelphia's public school students enroll in post-secondary education or training programs.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

K-8th Grade Scholarships

Scholarships: CSFP has awarded over 12,500 new, scholarships to children of low-income, Philadelphia families over more than ten years. CSFP is the largest provider of early education (K-8th grades) scholarships in Pennsylvania. All scholarship support provides hope and opportunity to Philadelphia children from low-income families. Most administrative costs are covered by the CSFP Board of Directors. CSF National leverages individual and foundation gifts by providing matching funding. Our program requires that parents co-contribute a minimum of $500 to their child’s tuition annually. With an average household income of just $29,000, this contribution demonstrates the commitment parents are willing to make to their child’s education. CSFP is destination-neutral; families choose the schools that meet their needs. CSFP has over 175 participating private, parochial, and other religious or community based schools. CSFP does not have any religious or political affiliations.


Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)


Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    CSFP's primary goal is to improve educational and social outcomes for Philadelphia children from low-income families by providing access to safe, quality K-8th grade schools. We firmly believe in the power of quality elementary education to transform lives, and our program proves this success. In 2016, we have reached a huge goal by fulfilling our Campaign for 10,000 Children objective to expand our strong scholarship program by offering 2,000 new scholarships/year to children new to our program through 2016. We aim to close the education gap for thousands more Philadelphia children through this Campaign.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    In order to guarantee a fair chance for all Philadelphia children from low-income families to afford a quality K-8th grade education, CSFP distributes needs-based scholarships by random lottery. To ensure this goal, our only program eligibility requirements are that families live within Philadelphia city limits and meet designated low-income guidelines. CSFP also provides supplemental programs based on recipient feedback, which provide CSFP families and children with additional support specific to their needs.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    As the largest provider of K-8th grade scholarships in Pennsylvania, CSFP has provided over 20,500 scholarships from a pool of 155,000 applications since 1999. Our random lottery ensures a broad base of scholarship recipients, and we allow the parents of children who receive CSFP scholarships to choose their child(ren)'s schools. This create a diverse base of 160 area partner schools. In terms of our reach and mission, CSFP remains a stand-alone scholarship organization.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    CSFP scholarships work: our diverse student body of K-8th grade students consistently outperforms their peers in our long-term program evaluations. While Philadelphia public high schools' graduation rate is about 61%, CSFP alumni, after leaving our program in 8th grade, graduate high school prepared, and on time, at rates exceeding 96%. Further, 85% of CSFP alumni attend college or a vocational school within one year following graduation which compares to only 24% of Philadelphia's public school students who do the same. Our long-term program evaluation has clearly established the positive and long-term impact that a quality early education provides.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    CSFP has tracked our students for eleven years to learn about the experiences of our scholarship students and measure performance outcomes of those students. In addition to consistently outperforming their peers in our longitudinal evaluations, and achieving at or above grade level in math and reading on standardized tests, our most recent program evaluation demonstrates that CSFP students maintain an attendance rate exceeding 96%. CSFP alumni translate this firm educational foundation into later success, graduating high school prepared and on time, at rates exceeding 96%, and going on to attend college and post-secondary education within one year following graduation at an 85% rate. Results like these clearly demonstrate the positive impact CSFP scholarships have on the lives of Philadelphia children. CSFP and is currently working on our next program evaluation study, and we expect similar, outstanding results from our students and alumni.
Service Areas



Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

Social Media

Funding Needs

With thousands of Philadelphia children desperate for better educational opportunities turned away each year, there is a tremendous need for additional scholarship dollars. CSFP's goal is simple: to award as many need-based K-8th grade scholarships as possible. In 2011, we launched the Campaign for 10,000 Children, with the goal of awarding 2,000 scholarships a year from 2012 through 2016. In 2016, we successfully completed the Campaign and with the increasing demand we will strive to continue serving children and families at the same level of scholarship support in the near future.


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Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Ms. Ina B. Lipman


Ina Lipman has over twenty years of diversified experience beginning with the practice of law and including many aspects of leadership, management, organization building and communication. She is known for outstanding accomplishments in community and educational advocacy. Prior to joining Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia, she headed the Peggy Browning Fund, a national nonprofit legal organization. Ina received her J.D. from Temple University School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude from University of Connecticut.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"We have seen the lives of our participating families change when they are able to provide their children with access to high quality, effective and safe schools. CSFP believes that all families deserve an equal opportunity to get a good education for their children. By providing this minimal support for low-income children, at an early age, the impact has been tremendous on the children, families and communities in which they live."



Mrs. Evie McNiff

No Affiliation


GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization



Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?