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Learn. Connect. Lead.

At Philanthropy Network, we aspire to help our members continuously improve their philanthropic practice in pursuit of their mission. Offerings through the Institute@PN, a new learning framework for programming and initiatives, will build on proven principles of effective philanthropy and include core practice programming as well as peer-to-peer and deep-dive learning opportunities. All programming will be informed by our full commitment to advance diversity, inclusion, and equity. Participants can expect to see this commitment integrated throughout all offerings.

The slate of offerings will help institutions as well as individual philanthropic professionals learn, connect, and lead equitable change in the region using the following key elements:

  • Exploration - Exploring new and emerging ideas in philanthropy.
  • Connection and Knowledge Sharing - Connecting experts, leaders, and practitioners, both within philanthropy and across sectors, to share knowledge and seek effective approaches to social impact.
  • Practical Tools - Offering relevant tools and resources needed to pursue more effective grantmaking and social investment.
  • Inspired Leadership - Inspiring and challenging philanthropy to address key issues in the region with research, convening, and advocacy. 
  • Collective Action - Build and support collective action opportunities to respond to our region’s greatest opportunities and challenges.

Learning Framework


Opportunities designed to advance learning activities for individual staff, board members and trustees that increase knowledge and improve skills.

Workshop Series
This programming is designed to advance the practice of philanthropy professionals through skills-based learning. Workshop faculty will include Philanthropy Network members and other individuals who bring both experience and expertise in a given subject area. If you are interested in learning more about becoming faculty or volunteering to lead a session, contact Shira Hodges.

Essentials for Effective Philanthropy:
Launching in 2020, this new series is designed to improve core skills and competencies in philanthropy. Workshop faculty will include Philanthropy Network members and other individuals who bring both experience and expertise to a given subject area.

2020-2021 Sessions:

Essentials for Effective Philanthropy series sponsored by:

Issue Events & Workshops
These sessions address emerging practices, trending topics in philanthropy and key issues impacting the Greater Philadelphia region integrating Philanthropy Network's leadership focus on policy, equity and innovation.

SPARX Conference
The annual SPARX Conference held each fall is the premier event for regional funders, social investors, and impact partners who are leading social change in Greater Philadelphia. The one-day event brings together more than 350 philanthropy, nonprofit, and civic leaders for a day of networking and shared learning on important trends and issues impacting philanthropy and regional giving.


Opportunities designed to align efforts, knowledge, and resources for greater and more sustainable social impact in Greater Philadelphia communities.

By providing members with the ability to affiliate by issue area, organization type or geographic interest, our Communities of Practice and Working Groups offer opportunities to: build relationships with other Philanthropy Network members who have a shared interest; find inspiration and encouragement; meet and learn from peers and experts; participate in professional and leadership development; and explore collaboration and joint action initiatives.

Communities of Practice (formerly Funder Affinity Groups)
Groups currently active include:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Education
  • Food
  • Health
  • Out-of-School Time
  • Place-Based
  • Corporate Roundtable
  • Small Funders
  • Chester County
  • Delaware County
  • Montgomery County

Working Groups
Groups currently active include:

  • Mission-Aligned Investing
  • Workforce Development


Opportunities designed to deepen core individual and organizational leadership competencies and center equity to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and success in efforts to affect positive change in the region.

Philanthropy Network is piloting a model of cohort-based learning for funder/social investor organizations and individual philanthropic professionals designed to produce measurable organizational advancement and leadership in defined areas.

Equity in Philanthropy Cohort
Our inaugural Equity in Philanthropy Cohort was launched in May 2019. Over the course of a year, 12 organizations are taking a deep-dive into centering equity through an exploration of their internal philanthropic practices. For more information, visit our Equity in Philanthropy webpage.

Mission-Aligned Investing Collaborative
This new cohort scheduled to launch in the 2nd quarter of 2020 will bring together a group of executive-level leaders from Philadelphia area foundations seeking to learn and experiment with new ways of shifting investment capital into communities. The program will leverage peer learning, collaborative leadership, coaching, and systems thinking, all grounded in a racial equity lens.

Philanthropy Network supports over 50 programs a year in support of this learning framework. Network members are integral in helping us determine topics, identify presenters and both design and deliver these programs. If you have any sugegstions for a workshop, issue discussion, or speaker, or want to get engaged in other ways, we want to hear from you!  Share your ideas, questions and comments with Mariah Casias, Vice President of Learning & Evaluation at