Community Impact

Achieving positive community impacts through asset growth and smart grantmaking

Sustaining Health

Good health makes almost everything else possible. Delivering good health requires both an immediate and long-term approach.

Our $25,000 in 2016 support to Kids Smiles – which offers innovative education programs and preventive and restorative oral health care to children in under-served communities -- is a tangible illustration of how we promote health for members of our community.

Our Brody Family Medical Fellowships – which support cutting-edge research in incurable diseases – celebrated a five-year milestone in 2016.

Its recipients have studied ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Type I diabetes, heart disease, fibrosis and spinal cord injuries.

An inaugural recipient – Andy L. Johnson, Ph.D. – was part of a University of Pennsylvania team whose research was published in Immunity in 2016.

Thanks to his work, doctors have a better understanding of how to boost the body’s ability to fight cancer, HIV and other infections.

Supporting the LGBTQ Community

Helping Homeless Youth

When we convened meetings among homelessness providers and others to build awareness of the specific needs of homeless LGBTQ youth, the need for dedicated housing and programming quickly became clear.

We leveraged support for capital construction of 30 units of housing for homeless young adults between the ages of 18 and 23. Groundbreaking for Project HOME’s Gloria Casarez Residence for Inclusive Housing at 1315 N. 8th Street took place in 2018.

Documenting Progress

We were proud to help underwrite “The Pursuit: 50 Years in the Fight for LGBT Rights” – a WHYY original documentary which went on to win a Mid-Atlantic Emmy. It reflected on 50 years of victories and ongoing challenges since protesters first gathered in front of Independence Hall.

Providing Resources for Immigrants

Helping newcomers have access to quality legal immigration services is the role of our PA Is Ready! Fund. It was created to help those eligible under the federal DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) programs receive the information and assistance they need.

After a tie vote in the Supreme Court in June 2016 failed to extend the programs, the coalition expanded into a robust and organized network of immigrant groups.

In late 2016, public rhetoric created additional fear and uncertainty among immigrant and refugee communities that this service model was able to address.

By the end of 2016, PA is Ready! had distributed over $200,000 through organizations that reached 3,401 individuals in 17 Pennsylvania counties.

TPF was also a sponsor of the October 2016 Welcoming Economies Global National Network Convening, where we hosted a funders roundtable. The gathering drew 300 attendees from two dozen Rust Belt cities where community leaders are working to welcome, retain and empower immigrants as valuable contributors to local economies.

Philadelphia is known as a city of neighborhoods, and in 2016, our support made several communities better places to live, work and play.

Strengthening Neighborhoods

Through our East Mount Airy Neighborhood (EMAN) Community Fund, we awarded $100,000 to ten nonprofits serving Northwest Philadelphia. The money helped address needs in the areas of literacy, the arts, health and nutrition and youth sports. Visible improvements to the neighborhood — from beautifying the commercial corridor, to making a natural area handicap-accessible, to providing vital repairs for low-income seniors – also were supported through the fund.

Thanks to support through additional donor funds, we also improved pocket parks on Germantown Ave. and the Gateway to Smith Playground’s playhouse.


Offering Safe Fun for Kids

We fund summer fun!

Thanks to our donors, the Mayor’s Fun Safe Philly initiative celebrated its provision of meaningful summer opportunities and free meals.

Our donors also supported Girls Play Chess, through which young women had an opportunity to compete with their peers – and excel!

Improving Education

Childhood Literacy Partnerships

In a conversation of impact for our donors, Team First Books, Springboard Collaborative and Ricard Calderón, Director of the Youth Commission of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, explained how they partner to ensure students have summer opportunities to maintain their reading skills.

Enhancing Financial Literacy

Our Building Financial Futures Fund – supported by Trumark Financial Credit Union – provided teaching tools on money management and personal finance to 14 area schools, including eight in the Philadelphia School District. The nearly $300,000 in grants it has made since the fund was founded includes almost $80,000 in 2016.

Child raising hand in classroom

We are all enriched by interactions with other species and with the natural world.

Aiding Animals and the Environment

In 2016, our Giving Circle of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Transition Network Fund awarded a $10,000 grant to New Leash on Life. The grant supported a collaboration with JEVS Human Services on a program in which female inmates train at-risk shelter dogs to enhance their adoptability while the women gain employment skills.

Spirits soared on the wings of raptors thanks to the Gloria M. Young Ornithological Fund, which in 2016 approached $200,000 in total grants to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and The Peregrine Fund.

We provided welcoming routes for individuals with disabilities to visit Awbury Arboretum’s Agricultural Village, along with accessible raised planting beds, ensuring that all can enjoy the rejuvenating power of plants.

Children in garden

Arts and cultural opportunities bring us together, and generous support from our donors makes an array of such experiences possible.

Sharing Arts and Culture

Actors on stage sitting at a table

Our Virginia Brown Martin Fund supports an annual Barrymore Award for productions that enlighten us and help us to better appreciate different points of view. Simpatico Theatre’s Time Is On Our Side was the 2016 winner.

Still image from the documentary Black Ballerina

Several of our funds support documentaries. Black Ballerina, which tells the story of several black women from different generations who overcame challenges to pursue their dreams of dance, was released in 2016.

Our Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund provides major support for the STAMP Program, which highlights arts and culture as leisure-time options for Philadelphia teens. In 2016, teens enjoyed audio tours created by their peers for select museums, including the Barnes Foundation.

Our Old Jamestown Windmill Endowment Fund ensures that a landmark continues to inspire awe 229 years after its construction -- including through an annual turning of the sails.


Building Nonprofit Capacity and Leadership

As nonprofits go, so go the services and amenities that impact the quality of life, and often the health and safety, of residents of the Greater Philadelphia region.

For that reason, during the last decade The Philadelphia Foundation has focused much of its efforts on “organizational effectiveness” – examining, promoting and funding sound fiscal, governance and leadership practices.

In 2016, we made $102,000 in such grants to support projects including board leadership development, fundraising training, strategic planning, information technology assessments and marketing plans.

Our partnership with Catchafire was inaugurated in 2016. Nonprofits serving the community benefit from the expertise of skills-based volunteers on a wide range of projects through a matching program.

We also supported the Nonprofit Repositioning Fund – of which we were a founding funder – as it aided nonprofits exploring collaborations, formal alliances or mergers.

The field of philanthropy as a profession was enhanced through our support of EPIP, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. This organization empowers up-and-coming leaders interested in building a more just, equitable and sustainable world.

Together, these projects demonstrate the value we place on sustaining the delivery of valued community services by bolstering the organizations that provide them.