April 21, 2016
By Carl Dranoff Philadelphia has gained its rightful place as a national model of urban renewal, and the proof is all around us. It is in our skyline punctuated by Liberty Place and the Comcast Center. It's along corridors such as the Avenue of the Arts, one of the most successful catalysts for economic growth in the United States. It winds through the Schuylkill River Trail, voted the best urban trail in America. And it's in the $6.7 billion of new development underway throughout the city.
March 24, 2016
By Beth Miller and Sharon Easterling In his first budget address, Mayor Kenney called for a $256 million investment in universal pre-K and a $300 million bond initiative to improve parks, recreation centers, and libraries in neighborhoods across Philadelphia. While this combination may seem ambitious to some, we believe it's an absolute necessity if we are to move forward as a city. As the mayor mentioned in his speech, nearly 80 percent of Philadelphia schools are in Pennsylvania's lowest performance tiers.
March 13, 2016 |
Deep pockets will be in Philadelphia next week. Representatives of more than 100 foundations with assets approaching $150 billion are gathering for the Funders' Network annual conference in Center City for three days. The group focuses on environmental, social, and economic issues, and counts some of the nation's biggest foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among its members. The meeting, which on Friday had 301 people registered to attend, puts Philadelphia in the spotlight at a time when there is a growing "national curiosity about what is happening in Philadelphia," said Shawn McCaney, director of creative communities and national initiatives at Philadelphia's William Penn Foundation.
March 9, 2016 |
The William Penn Foundation will commit a one-time, $15 million grant to improve and expand quality pre-K facilities in Philadelphia. The announcement marks the first major philanthropic investment in pre-K since Mayor Kenney announced his goal to make such care accessible to all city 3- and 4-year-olds. "This means an organization like William Penn is confident that this is the right initiative and we're the right people to do it," Kenney said. The grant is projected to create space for 1,500 preschoolers in quality centers by 2021.
September 3, 2015
A story Aug. 23 on the Philadelphia Foundation gave incorrect information about the number of years former foundation president R. Andrew Swinney served - he headed the organization for 16 years - and the circumstances under which the foundation's former chief fund-raiser left - the foundation says the position was eliminated in a restructuring. Also, the name of a former president of the William Penn Foundation, Jeremy Nowak, was misspelled. A story in some editions Tuesday misstated when Bucks County and the New Hope-Solebury School District will cohost an electronics recycling event.
September 3, 2015 |
There's a lot to like about the current state of the Philadelphia region's economy, particularly in the city, economist Mark Zandi said Tuesday afternoon during a panel discussion at the Union League of Philadelphia. "For the first time in a long time, it feels there's real underlying strength here," said Zandi, who is chief economist at Moody's Analytics. But the goal of the panel was to talk about what keeps the Philadelphia region from excelling economically like rival metro areas, such as Boston; Austin, Texas; and Seattle, and what can be done about it. Other members of the panel - sponsored by a nonprofit, Students Helping Students, which redistributes supplies and furnishings from wealthy schools to poor schools - were Jeremy Nowak, a consultant and former head of the William Penn Foundation, and Matt Cabrey, executive director of Select Greater Philadelphia, a group that markets the region to companies looking to relocate.
August 27, 2015 |
The Haas family, a quiet, multigenerational philanthropic powerhouse based in Philadelphia, has been named one of the eight winners of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, an honor bestowed biannually since 2001 by a consortium of more than 20 Carnegie-related institutions. Vartan Gregorian, president of the New York City-based Carnegie Corp., said the Haas family, spanning 75 years over four generations, embodies the essence of the award because "they've done so much for so long.
August 24, 2015 |
After a period of lackluster fund-raising, the Philadelphia Foundation is aiming to raise assets and refocus its mission under the new leadership of Pedro Ramos, a lawyer, civic leader, and the first Latino to lead the city's community foundation. Still unpacking boxes at offices in 1234 Market St., Ramos, who was appointed in July, has embarked on a "listening tour" among current and prospective donors and similar community foundations, including the highly successful Pittsburgh Foundation.
July 16, 2015 |
Pedro A. Ramos, a lawyer and former chief of the School Reform Commission, has been named the next president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation, which awards grants and scholarships to nonprofit organizations. Ramos, 50, is a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, and previously chaired the Philadelphia school board in addition to his role at the SRC. He also served in city government as both managing director and city solicitor. The first Latino to hold the position, Ramos will assume the post in August.
July 7, 2015 |
As part of its push to get all kids reading on grade-level by fourth grade, the Philadelphia School District yesterday announced plans to spend $30 million on literacy, including $10.5 million in donations from the William Penn and Lenfest foundations. The money, which includes about $12.7 million from the district, will go towards teacher training, literacy coaches and in-classroom libraries for all 150 district elementary schools over the next three years, impacting about 48,000 students, officials said.