The Germantown Relief Society (GRS) was founded in 1873 and incorporated in 1892. Its stated corporate purpose was “to relieve the . . . poor of Germantown and its vicinity by contributing to their aid money, clothing, provisions, medicine and other necessaries of life . . . . and to encourage them to become self supporting."

The Society’s charter restricts the Society’s expenditures to residents of Germantown and its vicinity who are in desperate need.

Since the founding of GRS, social services have changed dramatically over time. Accordingly, the Society has changed the way that we reach out to help others. There is no longer a headquarters or a superintendent to oversee direct donations. We are a volunteer organization with little to no overhead.

With the guidance of a board of directors whose make-up reflects the broad diversity of Germantown, GRS is now a charitable foundation that looks to other non-profit corporations that provide direct services to Germantown residents in need. Each year, the Society considers applications from 501(C)3 corporations for modest grants. Through these non-profits, the Society continues the work of its founders.

GRS of Philadelphia appoints a Board of Directors who each have connection to and knowledge of the needs of Germantown. The self-perpetuating Board meets annually and functions through three standing committees: 1) a Dispensing committee which reviews the reports of the expenditures granted for the ensuing year, 2) a Nominating committee, and 3) a Finance Committee.