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February 1, 2021

News and Highlights, Winter 2021

We’re sure many of you have been using January to catch your breath and think through what happened in 2020—as well as at the beginning of this year. Like you, we are reflecting on how our grantmaking adapted to a changed world, and we are thinking about what worked and what didn’t work. Soon we will be sharing a more comprehensive summary of our 2020 Recovery and Response efforts. In the meantime, we wanted to share a few updates with you and to highlight some of what we have learned from you, and with you, over this past year as we navigate a recovery from both COVID-19 and systemic racism.

  • We’re proud to announce that our board elected University City District President Matt Bergheiser as our new chairman in December. Matt’s insight and expertise in nonprofit leadership and social entrepreneurship will make us stronger and more responsive to our partners and help in moving the foundation forward. Please join us in welcoming Matt to this new role.
  • To allow for reflection on the work our grantees and partners are doing to confront structural and systemic racism, our staff created a four-part series of workshops led by internationally recognized clinician, author, trainer, and consultant Kenneth V. Hardy, Ph.D. The virtual workshops were held in October and November and had great attendance and valuable dialogue. There is a tremendous response for ongoing work with Dr. Hardy. We’ll announce what’s next in the months ahead.
  • To give grantees a chance to listen and learn from each other throughout the pandemic, we asked Philadelphia-based ImpactEd to lead the development and implementation of a survey that gathered nonprofit leaders’ opinions and insights. The results were then shared in a virtual convening  where 45 leaders were given the space to uncover more powerful approaches, creative solutions, and ideas together. The second phase of this work continues with a year-long series of learning sessions, peer community workshops, and an interactive toolkit of resources for executive directors. We will continue to share we what learn from them this year.
  • To support thoughtful approaches for incorporating elements that address social justice and reach new and diverse audiences, support was given through the Catalyst Fund to the Wilma Theater, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and The People’s Light and Theatre Company for projects that are testing new ways to safely present to audiences.

Read on for recent news features about how some of our past and current grantees continue to bring innovative approaches and solutions to their communities.

As we navigate this next phase of recovery, we remain committed to learning together – both in our work with you and in the region.