• Ralph Thurman

Spotlight on Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia


There comes a time in life for most people when they might begin to question what legacy they’re leaving behind. It’s natural to think about our children and wonder what we can do to make the world a better place for them. Many people also consider the neighborhood they grew up in or the community they call home in this regard.


Some volunteer for social causes, give to charities, or look for other ways to make a difference. There are those who put their heart and soul into a humanitarian issue. It’s to serve these individuals that Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia exists. Read on to find out what this laudable organization does and how it helps those who are driven to help others.


Reason for being


Philadelphia has a rich array of enterprises that focus on the arts, culture, education, and community development. These groups bring a vibrancy of resources to inhabitants of the state, promoting health and well-being. Essentially, Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia connects this diversity of funders so that knowledge can be shared and collaboration encouraged.


When people leading and working in like-minded organizations are brought together, inspiration happens and a synergy amplifies their actions. This has been the network’s reason for being for the past 30 years. It’s the only membership-related organization for philanthropy in the city of Philadelphia.

Essentially, the goal is to be a leading force in promoting altruism that results in meaningful change for communities and helps members to reach their objectives.


Membership profile


There are an impressive number of divergent organizations that hold membership in the Philanthropy Network—more than 140 actually. Together, these groups invest in excess of $500 million in the Philadelphia region each year. It won’t come as a surprise that many of the city’s wealthiest and most influential citizens participate as donors.


Those who join the network range from family foundations to companies who sponsor specific charitable programs to giving circles and benevolent associations to social impact investors. Notably, each year those groups that have been members for 20 years are formally recognized and, to date, some 50 members have reached this status. The longevity of so many of these organizations that belong attests to the value that the network brings to the Greater Philadelphia area.

Contributing to good works


Let’s take a look at what Philadelphia’s Philanthropy Network does that has such merit.


Forum for networking – There are many opportunities for people to connect with one another through the network. They include attending conferences and workshops where introductions are made and collaborative efforts are born. In addition, the network puts individuals together through publications. Members are motivated to link with others, and this often leads to mutually beneficial long-term professional relationships.


Idea generator – The network brings people together, too, for the purpose of generating new ideas and inspiring those involved to take further action. By meeting a cross-section of leaders, practitioners, and those with various expertise, members learn more about what similar organizations are working on and benefit from their experience. It’s no secret that when people of different backgrounds and circumstances come together, it fosters novel thinking and enriches their efforts.

Leads by example – It’s the leadership that Philadelphia’s Philanthropy Network demonstrates that really empowers members to do some of their best work. The organization advocates enthusiastically for humanitarian causes that improve life in Philadelphia for a number of its inhabitants. The resources the network has access to are managed ethically, and research results are shared for the benefit of all. Webinar presentations encourage discussion and learning about important subjects like grantmaking.


Educational opportunities – By presenting funders with the most recent information related to current issues and key trends in philanthropy, the network further shows its worth. Members are able to build critical skills, learn practical tips, and access tools and resources, permitting them to meet their particular enterprise’s mission. There are an incredible number of workshops and educational programs delivered annually − 50 in all.


Inspires action – The initiative that the network takes to use its unique position to influence change is one of the greatest aspects of this enterprise. Members can take advantage of peer-led groups that delve deeply into subjects that are of mutual concern. In so doing, they can leverage their collective power to brainstorm solutions to address a range of social problems. Topics cover arts and culture, community development, and education. Innovative thinkers and civic leaders are invited to participate in these sessions to deliberate on shared interests.


A last word


There’s so much that membership in Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia has to offer. It’s an entry point into the latest news and research for all things philanthropic. Belonging means you can stay on top of altruistic activities across the region and the country. Membership also gives you and your charity a stronger voice to achieve your organization’s humanitarian aims. In short, there’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

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