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Learning & Communities of Practice

Learn. Connect. Lead.

At Philanthropy Network, we aspire to help our members continuously improve their philanthropic practice in pursuit of their mission. Offerings 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.

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 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.  If you would like to suggest topics, content or resources that would be helpful to you and your peers, please contact us.

Communities of Practice

Interest/Issue Area:




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 (2019)
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 (2020-21)
This cohort brought 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. To learn more, read the blog post: Mission-Aligned Investing: A model for maximizing philanthropic impact and equity.

Trust-Based Philanthropy Cohort (2022)
Launched in April 2022, this three-month learning and action cohort is specifically designed for senior leaders of grantmaking organizations that are ready to embrace and/or deepen their commitment to trust-based philanthropy with a particular focus on advancing racial equity. Offered in collaboration with Philanthropy New York and the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, advised by CHANGE Philanthropy. For more information, visit the Trust-Based Philanthropy Cohort webpage.

Network members are integral in helping us determine topics, identify presenters and both design and deliver these programs. If you have any suggestions for a workshop, issue discussion, or speaker, or want to get engaged in other ways, please contact us.