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2021 Transition News & Updates

We have set aside this space to keep Philanthropy Network members and the broader community informed about developments related to Philanthropy Network’s strategic transformation initiative and concurrent executive search. We will add updates to this page as they become available.

Updates

Posted November 10, 2021

Executive Search

The  committee announced the selection of Bridge Partners to assist with our search for a new leader. A women- and Black-led firm, Bridge Partners leads senior-level searches focused on diversity, equity & inclusion as a business/impact imperative. We expect to launch the search process later this month. Frontline will be working closely with Bridge Partners to ensure that stakeholder input and recommendations inform the search process and that the new President is able to shape Philanthropy Network’s strategic transformation. Read more about Bridge Partners.

 

Strategic Transformation Initiative
The strategic transformation initiative is moving forward on schedule (see timeline below). Our strategy consultants at Frontline Solutions recently provided Philanthropy Network's Board with findings from a benchmarking scan of peer organizations, and are now gathering input from regional stakeholders. Philanthropy Network members who wish to provide input into the strategy are invited to reach out to Shira at Hodges at shira@philanthropynetwork.org.

During the 2021 SPARX Conference in October, Frontline Solutions engaged three Philadelphia stakeholders in a frank discussion of how nonprofits and activists perceive the concept of ‘partnership’ with philanthropy. The conversation touched on important considerations relative to our strategic transformation initiative around inclusion vs. exploitation, partnership vs. participation, and what it means to actively listen to voices from the community. Click here to watch the session.

 

Background

Leadership Transition & Executive Search

In June, Philanthropy Network president Sidney Hargro announced his departure from the organization, effective August 13, 2021. In a Leadership Transition Announcement dated June 28th, Board Chair Ashley Del Bianco announced that Shira Hodges, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, will serve as Interim President during the transition.

To ensure strategic alignment across the organization, Philanthropy Network’s Executive Committee and select members of the Strategic Transformation & Capitalization Initiative (see below) leadership group will take the lead in the executive search (see sidebar for participants). Network leadership expects to identify a search firm by early fall with the goal of naming a new Network President by the end of 2021. 

To help support our day-to-day programming and operations during the transition, we have added some part-time consultants to increase the capacity of the Philanthropy Network team. As of August 16th, we welcomed Ana Lisa Yoder, who will serve as the lead for our Communities of Practice and Working Groups, and Henry Rosenbloom, who will serve as Senior Associate, assisting with various aspects of the Network’s programming and communications activities. 


2021–2026 Strategic Transformation & Capitalization Initiative


Overview

Our 2017-2020 strategy positioned Philanthropy Network to take a bolder leadership role in tackling the region’s complex issues and forging partnerships beyond philanthropy that can drive real change with an emphasis on equity.  

Building on our recent work, and in consideration of national calls for racial justice and the growing urgency for philanthropy to embrace a more equitable, inclusive and trust-based approach, Philanthropy Network seeks to develop a long-range growth and capitalization plan that centers racial equity and intersectionality, and advances anti-racism and anti-oppression practices in philanthropy in our region.


North Star Statement

The strategy work is being guided by the following North Star statement, which was unanimously adopted by Philanthropy Network’s Board of Directors in May 2021.

We will assess and define our role in advancing a thriving and connected social impact ecosystem that is committed to anti-racist, anti-oppressive operations, practices and actions across all priorities to dismantle white supremacy, the root cause of systemic racism and the disparities experienced in our communities today.

We do this in pursuit of liberation for Black and Indigenous, and People of Color with attention to intersectionality within those identities.


Process Overview & Timeline

Selection of Consultants | Jan-Mar 2021
Following an RFP process, Philanthropy Network engaged Frontline Solutions to serve as our strategic planning consultants.

Launch & Planning | April-June 2021
Project kick-off with Network leadership and formation/convening of Strategic Planning Committee for goal setting, development of workplan and identification of key stakeholders.

Research & Discovery | July – November 2021
Frontline conducts an internal Equity Footprint analysis, as well as a benchmarking study with national peer organizations, field leader interviews and roundtables with key stakeholders.

Plan Development | Beginning December 2021
Synthesis of findings from internal and external data collection, research and analysis, and drafting of transformation and capitalization plan; findings will inform and align with the executive search process. The final phase of plan development will be conducted with input and leadership from Philanthropy Network’s new president.

If you have any questions, please contact Shira Hodges at Shira@philanthropynetwork.org.