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Keystone Policy Webinar Series - Session 4: Financially Distressed Municipalities

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
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Philanthropy professionals in Pennsylvania understand how state policy affects the nonprofit sector, and many have a history of engaging and educating state policymakers.   Even given private foundations’ constraints on lobbying, there are numerous opportunities for communication between philanthropy and the public sector that are permissible and can serve to build relationships and advance important issues.  

A number of Pennsylvania funders work to ensure that both public and private dollars are used effectively to promote quality results, to the benefit of both taxpayers and communities.  Funding organizations that work regularly in fields like public education, healthcare or workforce development often house deep knowledge, expertise and connections that can be useful to fellow funders whose work is place-based or occasionally touches upon these fields.

The Keystone Policy Series of conference calls/ webinars has been developed by Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania ( and Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia ( to inform all Pennsylvania funders about how their colleagues are working on selected statewide policy issues.  Funding organizations across the state will:

  • Learn background information about a community issue from a statewide perspective
  • Hear about work undertaken by Pennsylvania funding colleagues to address a policy challenge
  • Learn about potential solutions in Pennsylvania and potential roles for philanthropy
  • Build/ strengthen working relationships with other funders across the state

Join us for the fourth session:
Financially Distressed Municipalities
April 18, 2017- 2:00-3:30 PM 


A soon-to-be released analysis from the Pennsylvania Economy League of the finances of Pennsylvania's municipalities over a 44-year period reveals that Pennsylvania's municipal government system is plainly broken. Revenues are not keeping pace with the cost of services the public expects. The 18 cities and boroughs that are now a part of the state's Act 47 program for distressed municipalities are the most obvious examples, but this new analysis from PEL makes it clear that municipalities’ financial problems are the result of a dysfunctional system. 
Worse, now there is a looming deadline.  Under 2015 revisions to Act 47, all municipalities must exit the Act's protection within the next several years -- back into the system that failed them in the first place.  Meanwhile, tax burdens and other pressures are increasing in other municipalities across the board as fiscal decay has spread and accelerated over the last two decades.  
Join your funding colleagues as Gerald Cross, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Economy League, shares insights from PEL’s new analysis prior to its public release.  Karen Miller, Senior Fellow, Berks County Community Foundation, and Max King, President & CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation will engage participants in a conversation about why it is important for philanthropy to understand the problems in public-sector financing in the places where they award grants, and where philanthropy can play a useful role.


Please click here to register (Note: You will need to create an account on GWP's website to register for this program).

If you have any questions or concerns about registration, please contact Kabria Rogers at