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Collective Action

Whether through structured collective impact intiatives or less formal collaborative efforts, funders are increasingly working together to leverage their philanthropic investments.  Below is a sampling of regional collaborations where funders are joining with other private and public sector partners to expand their reach and increase the impact of their giving.

2020 Census Action Funds

To help advance county-based efforts to promote participation in the 2020 Census, Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia joined with regional partners to create the Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philly Counts 2020 Census Action Funds. These collaborative, rapid-response funds were established to provide grants to support and empower community-based organizations working to develop the skills and capacity of communities at risk of being undercounted in order to help lay the groundwork for a complete count. Learn more.

Given the unique circumstances under which the 2020 count was completed - including the challenges posed by conducting the nation's first online census, fear and distrust stoked by the proposed inclusion of a citizenship question, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic -  we felt it was important to document our experience from the 2020 Census and highlight important lessons that census stakeholders should keep in mind as they lay the groundwork for the 2030 Census.

READ THE REPORT: Completing the Count in a Pandemic: Lessons Learned from the 2020 Census


To begin to alleviate Philadelphia's digital divide, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a broad coalition of partners came together to create PHLConnectED, an effort to connect up to 35,000 low-income K-12 student households with internet service and devices. Led by the City of Philadelphia as part of a larger digital equity initiative, the two-year, $17.1 million PHLConnectED initiative received major philanthropic support from Comcast Corporation, Lenfest Foundation, Neubauer Family Foundation, Philadelphia School Partnership and William Penn Foundation.


Greater Philadelphia Extracurricular Collaborative (GPEC)

Launched in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to address real-time needs of OST (out-of-school time) providers, GPEC's mission is to strengthen and build a robust ecosystem of extracurricular providers and funders that can better support young people’s learning, development, and well-being.

In early 2021, GPEC completed a fundraising campaign for start-up funding to launch the association, begin accepting members, and complete a long-term business plan.

For additonal information, visit GPEC's website or contact Shira Hodges.


The Women's Funding Collaborative

Launched in 2019, the Women’s Funding Collaborative is a group of grantmaking organizations working together to promote the integration of a gender lens into the philanthropic sector. This gender focus is one element of a larger intersectional approach that acknowledges how gender inequities are inseparable from forms of oppression associated with race, class, ethnicity, age, ability, sexuality, and religion. WFC also acknowledges that rigid gender norms for masculinity and femininity are a root cause of gender inequity and are important to address as part of a gender transformative approach. Learn more.


Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild)

Philanthropy Network members have taken leadership to provide philanthropic support of Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild), a seven year, $500 million joint public-private partnership to revitalize parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, and libraries across the City of Philadelphia as a way to fight poverty and strengthen neighborhoods.

Link to our Rebuild page for additional information.


Greater Philadelphia Nonprofit Repositioning Fund

To coordinate and streamline efforts to help nonprofits address issues of insufficient scale, duplication of effort, undefined leadership succession, limited public and private sources of revenue, and high back-office costs, eight funders came together through Philanthropy Network to pool their resources to establish the Greater Philadelphia Nonprofit Repositioning Fund.

Based on similar funding models around the country, the Nonprofit Repositioning Fund was launched in October 2015. After incubating the Fund and serving as its host for just over two years, Philanthropy Network turned over the Fund’s administration to SeaChange Capital Partners in late 2017. This new partnership allows the Fund to extend its experience in Philadelphia to help build the field of nonprofit collaboration at the national level.


Trauma-Informed Philanthropy

In October 2016, we released Trauma-Informed Philanthropy: A Funder's Resource Guide for Supporting Trauma-Informed Practice in the Delaware Valley. The guide was developed as a partnership of Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey with the goal of raising awareness among funders about ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), trauma, and resilience and help them understand how they can apply trauma-informed practice to their work.

Trauma-Informed Philanthropy, Volume Two was released in March 2018. Volume Two builds on the information and insights presented in the first guide to identify how philanthropy can leverage resources and relationships to advance trauma-informed practice and move from knowledge to action. 

Highlights of Volume Two include: profiles of five trauma-informed change efforts in Philadelphia, featuring work across multiple service sectors and implementation domains; key learnings about cross-sector collaborative networks and the role of philanthropy as change agent, from leading national initiatives; and tools for grantmakers to advance trauma-informed approaches, through funding priorities and practices, field building, and serving as connectors and thought leaders.

Download this companion infographic that portrays how philanthropy can support trauma-informed cross-sector networks.



Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness

Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness CommitteeFunded by the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, The Scattergood Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, The Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness aims to promote positive health outcomes among immigrants and refugees living in Greater Philadelphia.

The Community Fund design alters the traditional process of philanthropic giving where community-based, immigrant-serving organizations define the grantmaking strategy and disseminate grant dollars from a pooled fund. Ultimately, this process shifts the power dynamic in the funder-grantee relationship by asking service providers to not only inform a funding process but to actually drive it. The fund was estblished in 2017 and issued its first RFP in February, 2018.

 News: Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness announces first grantee cohort (June, 2018)


PA is Ready!

The PA is Ready! coalition is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition and includes 22 member organizations and six partner organizations representing diverse communities throughout the state. The coalition’s goals include increasing the capacity of organizations that assist immigrants, providing immigrant families with greater access to accurate information about their legal rights and strengthening the ability of immigrant communities to provide leadership and advocacy on issues that concern them.

This work is supported by a unique funding collaborative, established through a $100,000 challenge grant from Open Society Foundations, with matching funds from Philadelphia Foundation, the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, the Lancaster County Community Foundation and William Penn Foundation. Contributions are pooled, invested and administered through a charitable fund at Philadelphia Foundation. Learn more.