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Maritime Education

W. W. Smith funds maritime education efforts that promote positive youth development and appreciation for local waterways in the Greater Philadelphia area (e.g., Delaware River, Philadelphia waterfront). Historically, funded programs incorporated the following:
  • Academics – supporting improvement in youth academic outcomes, school attendance, participation in out-of-school time activities, and measurable positive development.
  • Life Skills – promoting positive self-concept, personal development, healthy relationships, financial literacy, and other life skills among youth.
  • Maritime Skills – practicing traditional maritime skills and crafts such as boatbuilding and paddling.
  • Maritime History – exposing youth to maritime history, science, technology, culture, environment, and local waterways.
  • Career Skills – providing youth opportunities to practice transferable job skills and gain awareness of careers in maritime-related fields.
  • Youth Leadership – encouraging youth to share their learning through various exhibitions, peer mentoring, or leading on water experiences for the community.
  • Organizations in existence for at least one year are eligible. We do not make grants to private foundations, Type III supporting organizations, or individuals.
  • The organization must have an established service location in the five-county Greater Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia) or City of Camden, NJ.
  • Applicants are limited to one proposal at a time and one grant per year.
  • Funds must be used for youth development activities that promote maritime education.
  • The grant-supported efforts should benefit school-aged youth residing in the five-county Greater Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia) or City of Camden, NJ.
  • Organizations receiving three consecutive years of funding may be less likely to receive an immediate renewal.
  • The minimum award is $5,000.
  • Grants typically range from $25,000 to $50,000. You can contact us to inquire about your request plans.
  • Funds may be used for maritime education programmatic expenses.
  • Administrative overhead may be included at 10%.
  • W. W. Smith does not support capital campaigns, general operating, computer systems, vehicles, new building construction, or retroactive funding of non-emergencies.

Click here to download a PDF preview of our Maritime Education application and guidelines, including eligibility criteria, requested organizational and program details, and the costs the Trust would consider for this program area.

If you are not sure whether your program may be aligned with the Trust’s current priorities and guidelines, you can begin the online application (completing just the program description and request budget sections would suffice), save your draft, and then email to request we take a look at your draft. We can then confirm if your potential request is generally aligned with what the Trust would consider.

  • Applications must be submitted through the Trust’s online portal. The Trust no longer accepts hard copy or emailed applications.
  • Click Apply to access our online application portal.
    • If you are a new organization applicant, you can register for an account.
    • If you are a recent applicant or grantee, you can login your existing account to begin a new application.
    • If you think that you or someone else in your organization may have previously applied to W. W. Smith, please do not create a new account. Instead, email us at, and we will verify your organization’s application history with the Trust and ensure that you have updated login credentials.

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Urban Promise

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