More than 7,200 Acres of Land Identified for Protection within Delaware River Watershed The William Penn Foundation and the Open Space Institute have announced the first in a series of land preservation projects intended to protect the drinking water supply for residents in the Delaware River Watershed. The suite of projects are all part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI), a multi-year, $35 million preservation plan, capitalized one year ago by the William Penn Foundation.

NBC10 Reports on $11M Plan to Spruce Up Fairmount Park Includes High Line, Outward Bound Plans

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Building more successful cities the focus of new $11 million investment

Can civic places, including libraries, parks, trails, plazas and community centers, be reimagined to make cities more successful? The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and William Penn Foundation are investing $11 million in an initiative led by Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park Conservancy to test this idea. The initiative will explore whether reinventing and connecting these public places as a network of civic assets will help cities attract and keep talented workers, advance economic opportunity, encourage residents to become more engaged in shaping their communities, and begin to level the playing field between more affluent communities and those in need.

Philly.com Article on Foundation Report on Philadelphia Arts Scene

A new William Penn Foundation-commissioned study paints a portrait of the Philadelphia arts scene as rife with both promise and peril.

Capitalization, Scale and Investment: Does Growth Equal Gain? New study, commissioned by the William Penn Foundation, examines the state of Philadelphia’s arts and culture sector.

Survey paints bleak picture of Pa. school funding HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Rising costs and shrinking state and federal aid at Pennsylvania's public schools are exacerbating a pattern of property-tax increases, school program cutbacks and employee layoffs, two statewide groups representing school managers said Thursday.

Shawn McCaney Discusses City's Investment in Public Space on NBC10's @Issue Shawn McCaney, Director of the Foundation’s Creative Community Grant Center, recently appeared on NBC10’s @Issue program to discuss how the city’s investments in public space have helped elevate the profile of Philadelphia, including being ranked the #3 place in the world to visit in 2015 by the New York Times.

Shawn McCaney Talks with NBC about Philadelphia's "Urban Oasis" Link to Interview

Announcing Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative Reimagining the City’s Gateway

Last year, the Free Library of Philadelphia welcomed more than six million visitors. Thirty percent of those visitors stopped in monthly. In a single year, those visitors generated more than 3 million reference questions, which equates to two questions for every man, woman and child who lives in the city today.  What are all of these people seeking?  Information and services, access and opportunities. Historically, libraries were a hub for learning, reading, and research. Today, they are so much more, offering resources and assistance in everything from technology training, social services, job coaching, and, yes, literacy and education.  To support this massive growth of the Free Library’s role in the fabric of the city, the Free Library of Philadelphia is partnering with the William Penn Foundation and the City of Philadelphia to announce the transformational Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative, reestablishing the Library as a central resource in every neighborhood in Philadelphia, serving as a portal to learning, public services, economic opportunity, recreation, and community engagement.

William Penn Foundation bestows $25 million on Free Library for innovations, renovations

The Free Library of Philadelphia has received the largest gift in its 120-year history: $25 million from the William Penn Foundation.

The donation is meant to transform the library into a vibrant, 21st-century institution.

William Penn Foundation Names Laura Sparks as Executive Director

The William Penn Foundation today announced it has named Laura Sparks as Executive Director, succeeding Managing Director Peter Degnan.  Mr. Degnan recently tendered his resignation effective August 31 for personal reasons, and the Foundation’s Board has accepted his decision to step down.

Philadelphia Academies, Inc. Expands Home-Grown Nationally Proven College And Career Academy Program

A program that prepares Philadelphia high school students for college and careers will expand to serve an estimated 5,000 more students across Philadelphia. The William Penn Foundation, which has partnered with Philadelphia Academies, Inc. for more than 15 years, invests in high quality educational opportunities for low-income students in Philadelphia. The Foundation granted Philadelphia Academies, Inc., a nonprofit youth development organization, $1,425,000 over the next two years to grow its successful career academy model. 


A Watershed Moment for the Delaware River Basin The Foundation plans to impact the Delaware basin by addressing watershed-wide issues; protecting and restoring places of ecological significance; and building the constituency for the watershed by engaging people.

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Receives $5 Million to Increase Access to the Waterfront The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) has received $5 million from the William Penn Foundation to further implement its Master Plan for the Central Delaware, which advances “public access” as the organizing principle guiding redevelopment of the waterfront. 

Philadelphia Zoo Receives $6M Grant from the William Penn Foundation to Blaze a New Trail

The Philadelphia Zoo is pleased to announce a $6 million grant from the William Penn Foundation, whose philanthropy is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region by investing in great public spaces to serve the cultural and recreational needs of the City’s expanding urban core.

Awbury Arboretum hopes $300K grant leads to sustainable future in Northwest Philly As William Penn Foundation works with nonprofits to improve some of Philadelphia's greatest community treasures, Awbury Arboretum has become an exciting new partner. A $300,000 WPF grant, approved in July, will help Awbury develop new revenue streams and form strategic partnerships to expand its reach in the community that surrounds it.