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CAPITALIZING CHANGE A Strategic Vision and Priorities for the Next Decade • Fall 2012

IMAGINE… … A C I T Y where quality education is a reality regardless of income and where residents inherit a sustainable environment.

… A P L A C E already famous for its cultural

assets, that seeds creativity throughout its neighborhoods, nurtures artists, and grows larger and more diverse cultural audiences.

… A R E G I O N already teeming with world-class

health care and great universities, whose civic and public institutions are fed from the ground up by innovations and practices that change our expectations of what is possible.

… A C O M M U N I T Y where employers want to invest, young professionals want to live, and families want to raise children.

We believe that Philadelphia can be one of America’s great cities. Our region has an abundance of assets with which to work, but opportunities are tempered by significant challenges. What the region does — or fails to do — over the next decade will go a long way toward determining its national and global place.

A VISION FOR THE NEXT DECADE Since 1945, the William Penn Foundation has expressed Haas family values through its grantmaking. Our recently completed strategic plan charts a vision and strategies for our next decade, consistent with the Foundation’s enduring values of respect, integrity, stewardship, collaboration, and accountability. We will continue to focus on education, the environment, and cultural vitality in Greater Philadelphia. Our core priorities over the next decade are: Increase the supply of high-quality schools to close the achievement gap for low-income children.

Ensure clean drinking water by protecting the Delaware and Susquehanna watersheds.

Make Philadelphia an even more creative community, from Center City to our neighborhoods, including investments in great public spaces.

Important individually, these priorities take on heightened potential when integrated. Great public spaces built around parks and riverfronts not only help residents enjoy the outdoors, but also inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. Arts education in schools awakens interests and talents in today’s children while creating audiences for tomorrow’s museums and theaters. Together, our three areas of grantmaking yield a whole greater than the sum of the parts.

The three core priorities will be integrated with two new investment vehicles — a Transformation Fund and an Innovation Fund — creating new opportunities for the Foundation and other philanthropists to invest in breakthrough ideas and help key legacy organizations respond to changing conditions.

WHY CHANGE NOW? At the Crossroads of Challenge and Opportunity

We live in a time marked by dramatic shifts in the economy, public policy, demography, and technology. Rapid change can paralyze us or drive us to innovate. We realize that our best response is to lead with a results-driven, solutions-oriented focus, embracing the challenges of our time with a renewed sense of urgency. External forces (shown in the outer ring) call for a new approach to our philanthropic practice (depicted in the center).



AT THE CROSSROADS The William Penn Foundation’s strategic plan allocates finite resources for maximum impact. A rigorous planning process that included internal analysis and external interviews, revealed a region at the crossroads of challenge and opportunity.

G ROWTH Great Assets + Artistic and cultural vibrancy + World-class health care institutions + Strong academic presence; major research universities + An expanding downtown + New, entrepeneurial wealth within the region + Prime location in the Northeast Corridor + Extraordinary natural landscapes


Significant Challenges






- High poverty rates - Low educational achievement - Aging, costly infrastructure - A city built for 25 percent more people than it has today - Low expectations regarding the capacity for significant change - Limited environmental stewardship







Without quality educational opportunities for all, social mobility in America is extremely limited. The income gap between adults with college and graduate education and those with only a high school degree is significant and rising. In Philadelphia, the disparities are striking. For example:


43 percent of African American males and 51 percent of Latino males who start sixth grade in the School District of Philadelphia drop out before graduating from high school.1

Increase the number of children from low-income families able to achieve academically and socially on par with national and global success norms.

Did You Know? 16,000 Philadelphia students entered ninth grade at a district or charter high school in fall 2005. Six years later, here is how they fared: • 36% did not earn a high school diploma • 28% graduated from high school but did not go on to college • 36% enrolled in a post-secondary institution2


Did You Know? Out of the 1,861 licensed early childhood care centers in Philadelphia, approximately half are Keystone STARS rated.3 Keystone STARS is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality-improvement efforts of early-learning programs in Pennsylvania.

HOW? INVESTMENT PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES Too many of the region’s schools are not adequately preparing students for college and the job market. Why? Reasons range from a lack of family stability and unequal and unpredictable funding to a changing labor market, insufficient management accountability, and a reluctance to change. To solve the problem, the region needs to create great schools, then bookend that effort with early childhood education and research that identifies pathways to post-high school success. To support this goal, the Foundation will:

Increase the Availability of Early Childhood Care and Education To ensure Philadelphia’s children receive excellent early care and education that primes them for future academic success, we will: • Increase the number of high-quality early care slots by offering expansion capital to the strongest child care providers serving low-income families. • Develop and promote the adoption of effective kindergarten readiness assessments to help teachers and parents ensure children are prepared to succeed in school. • Invest in the development of a high-quality child care workforce.

Invest in K–12 Education Our most significant commitment to closing the achievement gap will be to support great schools. To achieve this goal, we will: • Increase the number of low-income children receiving a high-quality education by investing in the expansion of the best school models with track records of excellence and achievement. • Support smart reorganization in school systems with a high proportion of low-income students by collaborating with the best education providers and school system leaders to develop management structures shaped by high-quality data, research, and accountability mechanisms. • Expand the pipeline of talented and skilled teachers, principals, and school leaders by investing in innovative and proven approaches to recruiting, training, and retention. • Work to ensure that families can identify and access their school choices. Develop High-quality Data to Support Efforts that Prepare Students for Life Beyond High School To grow the number of high school graduates and students who go on to earn college degrees or industry credentials, we will: • Collect, analyze, and share actionable information that tracks employment patterns, college readiness, and student progress after high school.

Photo courtesy of Mastery Charter Schools 3



Artists, cultural organizations, and great public spaces are at the heart of Greater Philadelphia’s identity. Vibrant and creative communities also spur development and make the city more competitive in attracting visitors and employers. Most importantly:


Great urban spaces and creative communities — from Center City to the neighborhoods — enhance the livability of the entire region. Long a Foundation interest, arts and culture are already a regional strength. We will leverage the region’s cultural assets, reinforcing and expanding current efforts to foster creativity and grow audiences.

Race Street Pier; Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC


Advance Philadelphia as a leading center of creativity by promoting sustainable arts organizations, new artistic work, great public spaces, and arts education for school-age children.

Did You Know? • Philadelphia outpaces its peer cities of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., in the number of arts and cultural groups it hosts. Only Lower and Midtown Manhattan combined offer more cultural options.4 • Places with a high number of cultural assets are far more likely to see population increase and poverty decrease.5

The Opera Company of Philadelphia presented artist Jun Kaneko’s original Madama Butterfly; Photo by Kelly & Massa Photography, Courtesy of the Opera Company of Philadelphia

HOW? INVESTMENT PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES Help Arts Organizations Grow Audiences We want the region’s good arts organizations to become great ones, and we want great arts organizations to achieve stardom. To catalyze these transitions, the Foundation will sponsor a program to advance financial health, management systems, and strategies to grow audiences with qualified organizations that have art as their central mission. Making multi-year commitments, our offerings will include strategic and business planning, management development, and quality market research. Our investments will target operations, innovation, and infrastructure to support audience development. Spark the Creation of New Art Across Genres To nurture creativity and support the creation of new art, the Foundation will establish expert panels to review grants on a competitive basis in disciplines such as dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Invest in Great Public Spaces and Neighborhood Hubs of Creativity Great public spaces and dynamic communities generate energy that spills over from neighborhood to neighborhood, enlivening an entire city. The Foundation will invest in parks and trails — important amenities for residents and visitors — and when possible, repurpose underused assets. Additionally, we will invest in neighborhoods with high concentrations of creative activity — artists, cultural venues, and participation.

Increase Arts Education for Children Introducing children to the arts at an early age can change the way they see the world, nurture fledgling talents, and seed the cultural audiences of the future. To increase students’ exposure to art as part of their education, we will fund the very best arts organizations that demonstrate the capacity to work with low-income children.

Did You Know? • Since revitalization efforts were completed in 2005, the previously inaccessible Schuylkill Banks riverfront now welcomes as many as 21,000 weekly users during peak periods.6 • Formerly abandoned, the Race Street Pier has become the centerpiece of a new riverfront development zone. • The long-deserted Franklin Square now hosts more than 766,000 annual visitors and is one of Philadelphia’s top 10 destinations.7




The Earth’s supply of drinking water is threatened by the pollution of rivers and streams, over-development of the land that surrounds them, poorly managed agricultural processes, and the global demand for new sources of energy. If current trends continue, The Nature Conservancy estimates that:


Two-thirds of the world’s population will face serious water shortages by 2025.8 Populations with stable access to clean, fresh water will have a significant competitive edge over those without this basic natural resource. Greater Philadelphia lies within the Delaware watershed and is adjacent to the much larger Susquehanna watershed. These two watersheds supply drinking water to more than 21 million people from Washington, D.C., to New York.9

What is a Watershed? An area of land containing rivers and streams that drain into a single body of water, such as a lake, a larger river, or an ocean.

Protect the supply of clean water in the Delaware and Susquehanna watersheds by conserving and restoring important lands, building a constituency for conservation, encouraging smart regulatory compliance, and promoting green infrastructure.

HOW? INVESTMENT PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES Support Watershed-wide Research, Policy, and Practice In the Delaware and Susquehanna watersheds, our focus is on better understanding and monitoring water quality, encouraging innovative practices, and advocating for watershed health. We will: • Fund scientific research and analysis to provide essential information on the quality of water before and after intervention. • Advance innovative policies and practices that accelerate or increase the scale of private and public watershed protection efforts.

We will make targeted investments within the Delaware and Susquehanna watersheds; Map courtesy of the Center for Community GIS 6

A Word about Regulatory Compliance The Foundation will support advocacy and technical assistance around regulatory compliance. We are in favor of smart regulations that protect the environment without being needlessly restrictive to economic growth, and believe that advances in green infrastructure and industry innovations offer great opportunities for higher-quality compliance and better long-term consequences.

Protect and Restore Places of Ecological Significance Because the watershed area is large and the science indicates that some areas are more critical to protect than others, we will focus our grantmaking around iconic places of ecological and cultural significance. As with our broader watershed work, we will collect baseline data, monitor conditions, and promote compliance. We will also: • Develop and implement innovative conservation and restoration models. • Provide capital for land acquisition related to conservation.

Empower Constituencies to Act Access to clean drinking water is in the public interest, yet people in our region are not always aware of the issues that affect water quality. We want to make watershed health more visible to the public, and build a constituency for clean water. We will work to: • Secure public and private funds to complete “The Circuit,” Greater Philadelphia’s regional trail network. • Strengthen existing and emerging environmental education and outdoor recreation centers by developing a network that encourages shared programming and coordinated outreach. • Help to organize the region’s hunters, anglers, and birders — the watershed’s natural advocates — into a constituency that will support preservation and restoration.

Susquehanna Watershed

Delaware Watershed


TRANSFORMATION AND INNOVATION Civic institutions are subject to the same social and economic conditions as for-profit entities but have few resources to help navigate major shifts. The Foundation will invest in change through two new funds designed to build a better marketplace for ideas and solutions. The Transformation Fund and Innovation Fund will establish a steady flow of philanthropic capital that will help our region’s institutions adapt to change, solve social problems, and increase effectiveness. We will use these funds to bring great ideas to life and promote civic resilience and revitalization. Within the Foundation, the Transformation and Innovation Funds will cut across our grantmaking campaigns — Closing the Achievement Gap, Creative Communities, and Watershed Protection — complementing and enhancing their work while establishing a more integrated notion of a healthy region.

T H E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N F U N D The Transformation Fund will help regionally important organizations better respond to market shifts, positioning them for long-term growth. Through this fund, we will organize capital in response to the imperative for change among many public and civic institutions central to our grantmaking campaigns. Transformation Fund investments will underwrite organizational consolidations, new delivery systems, deeper research and development, and new financial models that improve cost structures, reduce risk, or improve results.

T H E I N N OVAT I O N F U N D The Innovation Fund will broaden the Foundation’s tolerance for risk and uncertainty, in service of finding and developing breakthrough ideas and solutions. The Fund will support social enterprises in their efforts to solve problems, experiment with new business models, use data and technology, sharpen decision-making, and increase social impact.


REFRAMING OUR PHILANTHROPIC PRACTICE While the Foundation will continue to invest in its long-term areas of interest — the arts, the environment, and children’s futures — we will go about our work in new and different ways. We believe that how we do our work is as important as what we do, and we will embrace practices that make us more: • Transparent and accountable • Pragmatic and solution-oriented • Inclusive in our leadership style

WHAT WILL WE BE? • Knowledge-based, data-centered, measureable Foundation decisions will follow where the data leads, biased only toward what succeeds. We will tie our goals to specific outcomes and adopt a rigorous measurement approach. Within our areas of focus, we will sponsor fellows and shape publications that share knowledge, heighten the impact of our work, and advance the field. • Entrepreneurial We will relentlessly pursue new ways to solve pervasive regional problems with a renewed sense of urgency. We will tolerate risk, own failure, and embrace innovation that changes norms and raises expectations. • Catalyst for a civic marketplace Change is most powerful when it responds to what people want and need. Seeking to understand these needs, the Foundation will become a dynamic hub of activity, a thought leader that welcomes, incubates, and promotes new ideas. Over the next decade, we will work with our grantees, philanthropic partners, and civic leaders to bring about positive, tangible, practical change that makes a difference in educational achievement, environmental sustainability, and the vitality of the communities where Philadelphians live and work. Our success is tied to the ability of the region to prosper, which means creating, managing, and responding to change.


FALL 2012






Implementation Timeline Communicate Foundation Plans Begin Implementation

Begin Allocation of New Grants

All Grantmaking Fully Aligned with the New Strategic Plan

Evaluate Progress Make Course Corrections

OUR VISION Advancing opportunity, ensuring sustainability, and enabling effective solutions.

OUR MISSION To close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region.

O U R S TAT E M E N T O F I D E N T I T Y A knowledge-based philanthropy cultivating strategic leadership and innovation to achieve its mission. twitter: @williampennfdn (215) 988 1830

Endnotes 1 Data from the School District of Philadelphia cited in The African American and Latino Male Dropout Taskforce Report, September 2010. 2 Data from the School District of Philadelphia and the National Student Clearinghouse, analysis by Michelle Schmitt. 3 PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Regional Keystone STARS Report, April 2012. 4 Center City District, State of Center City Report, 2012. 5 The Reinvestment Fund and Social Impact of the Arts, Cultivating “Natural” Cultural Districts, 2007. 6 WPF analysis of actual trail user counts from 2010. 7 Center City District, State of Center City Report, 2012. 8 The Nature Conservancy, 9 According to the Delaware River Basin Commission, 15 million people rely on water from the Delaware watershed. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission indicates that 6.2 million people access the Susquehanna’s water supply.

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William Penn Foundation Strategic Plan Brochure