Our Mission

  • Our Mission

    July 21, 2009

    The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation exists to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. Through the funding and creation of programs and partnerships, we support innovative community efforts to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

    It is the organization’s goal to recognize and maximize the human potential in those affected by poverty and homelessness by offering assistance in establishing programs that provide food and affordable housing while supporting social services and job training programs.

    The Foundation started its work through the localized efforts of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team and its celebrity owners (which included Jon Bon Jovi). The Foundation quickly expanded its work to have a national presence in it’s commitment to develop role models for our city on the individual level, corporate level, and community level by developing, promoting, and assisting in innovative and long-lasting solutions to rebuilding pride in one’s self and one’s community – one SOUL at a time.

    This website currently includes archived news items documenting the work we’ve done since the Foundation’s launch as the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation in October 2006. The site will be updated as we continue to make a difference in the City of Brotherly Love and beyond… and ask you to join us in changing lives, one SOUL at a time.

    For grant information, please click here.

    View our tax exempt Form 990 here.

Our History

  • Our History

    July 21, 2009

    Founded in 2006, THE JON BON JOVI SOUL FOUNDATION (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need ONE SOUL AT A TIME.

    With the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football League (AFL) franchise launching in 2004, the owners (Jon Bon Jovi and Craig A. Spencer) were adamant that they’d represent a new model for sport franchise ownership. From the very beginning, the goal was to utilize the Philadelphia Soul organization as an agent for good within the greater Philadelphia community.

    Believing it was their responsibility to lead by example, the Soul ownership group sought to recruit members who would be winners on the football field but also, winners off the field. Everyone affiliated with the Philadelphia Soul – players, dance team members, franchise management and office staff – were to represent the team’s mission to help the community in which they were establishing themselves. Everyone was to be a positive role model.

    And so, the soul of the Soul, would be their commitment to help the people of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Soul’s Community Relations Mission Statement set the bar:

    ” The Philadelphia Soul organization is dedicated to enriching the lives of under-
    privileged children, teens and adults in the city of Philadelphia. Soul players, coaches
    and staff acknowledge their unique public role and are devoted to working with charities,
    schools and civic groups to make positive contributions throughout the area. The Soul
    welcomes the opportunity to give back to its community which has embraced them whole-

    Furthering the agenda of creating a positive influence on the young children in the Philadelphia community, SOUL players, SOULMATES (members of the dance squad) and SOUL MAN (the team’s mascot) regularly made public appearances at local non-profit organizations and charitable events, summer camps and community gatherings. Visits to local schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey stressed the importance of reading and education, as well as the dangers of drugs and alcohol. More than a dozen local hospitals were visited by SOUL representatives in hopes of helping lift the spirits of the children being treated for illness.

    Between the official announcement of the team’s creation in September 2003 and their first home game in January 2004, the Philadelphia Soul had raised more than $200,000 in funds to help local charities and organizations. By strategically partnering with outside entities, the Soul was able to position itself to play ‘Robin Hood’ within the city of Philadelphia. Just a few examples of this role:

    • The local Covenant House was in need of beds; the Philadelphia Soul donated them.

    • Northern Home For Children, a century’s old orphanage, had no playground
      on their extensive property; the Philadelphia Soul, in partnership with members
      of the corporate sector, build a customized, state-of-the-art playground. The
      Soul’s Community Relations interns (who were also castmembers of MTV’s The
      Real World 15: Philadelphia) designed and constructed the playground themselves,
      garnering nationwide attention for the Northern Home For Children, the Philadelphia
      Soul and the team’s devotion to giving back.

    • Jon Bon Jovi’s status as the Entertainment Ambassador for Samsung’s Four Seasons
      of Hope Charities during the first three Philadelphia Soul seasons enabled the team
      to funnel monies into a wide array of local charities including C.A.D.E. (Corporate
      Alliance For Drug Education,) The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, Northern Home For
      Children, Philabundance, Covenant House, Inn Dwelling, Project H.O.M.E., 2nd Floor
      Youth Helpline and the Delaware Valley Adoption Center.

    The team’s Community Relations department made extensive research inquiries into worthwhile organizations and selected the groups and charities with whom the team worked each season. But the Soul looked to make a positive impact on the community by reaching out directly to the youth.

    The Soul Moving Experience was an annual effort which encouraged private companies and individuals to financially sponsor local under-privileged children, allowing them attend Soul homes games to witness the sport of arena football in person but also experience the leadership, teamwork and community focus the Soul represented. Since its launch, more than 40,000 tickets have been donated and distributed to more than 200 non-profit organizations and charities to bring children, who otherwise might never have the funds or opportunity, to a Philadelphia Soul home game.

    Every SOUL home game was treated as an opportunity for the team and their fans to lend a hand. Announcing the “Drive Schedule” at the same time the team’s home game schedule was publicized, SOUL fans were encouraged to bring specified donations with them to the arena on gameday. By way of example, the following are just some of the Charity Drives initiated by the Soul:

    • Teddy Bears for abused children treated through Philadelphia Children’s Alliance
    • New Socks for Covenant House
    • New & Used Books for Philadelphia Reads!
    • New Baby Clothing for Peoples’ Emergency Center
    • New School Supplies for Northern Home For Children
    • New Gym Supplies for Gulfport, MS elementary school devastated by Hurricane Katrina
    • Spare Change for Kids With Cancer

    Everything the Soul did included an element of charitable effort. It was the cornerstone of the team’s identity.

    The natural progression was then to create the PHILADELPHIA SOUL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, 501(c) non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference by changing lives ONE SOUL AT A TIME.

    The Official Mission Statement of the PHILADELPHIA SOUL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION reads as follows:

    “Through the creation of programs and partnerships targeted at breaking the cycle of poverty
    and homelessness, the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation exists to combat issues that
    force families and individuals into economic despair.”

    The foundation was formally introduced on October 5, 2006 at a massive Press Event in North Philadelphia, where it was also announced that the Foundation’s first major initiative was to rebuild fifteen rowhomes on that very rundown block.

    Fast forward: The work of the Foundation has honored their Mission Statement and expanded its scope to reach beyond the City of Brotherly Love and help battle the cycle of poverty and homelessness wherever we can and help those who are most in need.

    On August 1, 2009 the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation underwent a name change and became the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

    If you read through the many archived news articles posted on this website, you’ll learn much more about the projects in which the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has been participating (including the construction of affordable housing in locations as wide-ranging as Brooklyn, Colorado, Detroit, Louisiana and South Africa.)

    We believe YOU can be part of the effort to make a change. We will let you know how YOU can help the Soul Foundation. Whether it’s monetary donations, charitable drives, sponsorships and partnerships or volunteer opportunities, information on how you can join the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation’s good works will be shared on this website.