William Penn Foundation

by on July 29, 2012

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Having so much money that you can give it away is something that we can all aspire to. The Haas family certainly achieved that. The donations started in 1945 through the Phoebe Waterman Foundation when they gave for “relief in post-War Europe, scholarships for fatherless children, and support for medical and educational institutions.” By 1955 the family was making grants of more than $100,000 a year, so they hired someone to manage the foundation. By 1970 the number reached $7 million per year, and the foundation was renamed the Willliam Penn Foundation. Today the fund has nearly $2 billion, and distributes approximately $80 million annually. The organization is based in Philadelphia, PA, and “is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression, strengthen children’s futures, and deepen connections to nature and community.”

Putting the Phil in Philanthropy

It’s a bit counterintuitive that an organization that is all about giving away money seems to keep getting more money. That’s often what happens with well managed foundations. Through smart investment and disciplined giving, they’re able to continuously increase the size of the grants that they make. The Willliam Penn Foundation focuses its grants in three main areas: Children, Youth & Families, Environment & Communities, and Arts & Culture. The focus is “on work that will strengthen the region’s viability and sustainability for the long term.” I don’t know a lot about Philly, but you have to think that the Willliam Penn Foundation has an enormous impact on the city. If you’d like to help them make an even bigger impact, check out their Internships page, which shows that they’re looking for an Investment Operations Intern. No word on whether it’s paid, but you know they have the money.

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