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May 2019 Update: Rebuild is on the move!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rebuild projects are fully in motion, with work already begun on 24 of the 64 sites approved by City Council for Rebuild funding. Rebuild is Philadelphia’s historic investment in the city’s parks, recreation centers, and libraries.  Some projects will involve major overhauls, while others will receive more minor but still crucial repairs. Experienced nonprofits have been awarded multi-million-dollar grants to carry out renovations at these sites. Conversations with residents will help determine what upgrades and improvements will be made to each park, recreation center, or library.

Vare Rec CenterOn Saturday, May 4, the Rebuild team joined the Grays Ferry community to celebrate the start of the largest single investment Rebuild has announced to date.  A $14 million grant to Make the World Better will enable the nonprofit to lead the improvement project at Vare Recreation Center, which includes funding critical building repairs and upgrading facilities to meet residents' needs. Also recently announced was that Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) will deliver a $1.4 million improvement project to modernize and upgrade the Glavin playground, a popular playground and recreation site for Port Richmond residents.

Rebuild-related workforce development efforts are also moving forward.  On May 13, Mayor Jim Kenney launched the Rebuild Ready program, to support businesses and meet its ambitious goals for minority and woman-owned construction and professional services contracts.  Rebuild is partnering with The Enterprise Center and Surety Bond Associates to provide services to businesses.

With the support of the William Penn Foundation, Philanthropy Network has hosted a member-directed Rebuild Leadership Group who guided the development of a framework for philanthropic investment in Rebuild. The group, recently renamed the Rebuild Engagement Group, will provide ongoing leadership and counsel on ways to deepen engagement in Rebuild among local and national funders.  In April, Philanthropy Network also contracted with Fairmount Ventures, Inc. for consulting services to support the Rebuild team's fundraising strategy and implementation.  Philanthropy Network members interested in joining the Rebuild Engagement Group are encouraged to contact Ana Lisa Yoder at  

The Rebuild Collaborative Fund, a donor-advised fund established by the William Penn Foundation at the National Philanthropic Trust, is now accepting contributions. The fund provides a simple, streamlined process for making grants to support Rebuild and, with a 1:2 match from the William Penn Foundation, will further leverage philanthropic and public investments in Rebuild, allowing the initiative to deliver more improvements in Philadelphia communities, serve more people, and grow more local businesses. If you are ready to donate, download the Rebuild Collaborative Fund Contribution Agreement.

To learn more about Rebuild, including how to invest, visit Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia’s Rebuild pages.