Closing the Achievement Gap Watershed Protection Creative Communities

OUR MISSION is to close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region.

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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. more...

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.


WPF News and Information

A Blueprint for Early Care and Education Quality Improvement Initiatives

Child Trend’s conducted a national scan, commissioned by WPF, that addresses questions about how to effectively develop and implement technical assistance initiatives for early childhood programs. The study highlights best practices from existing research and early learning experts.

more... 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.


Shawn McCaney Discusses City's Investment in Public Space on NBC10's @IssueShawn 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. more...

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

William Penn Foundation Commits to Invest in US Challenge

William Penn Foundation has joined the launch of Invest in US, a national campaign and challenge issued today by President Barack Obama to business leaders, philanthropists, advocates and public officials to build a better nation through high-quality early childhood programs for children from birth to age five. William Penn Foundation joins dozens of corporations, foundations and nonprofits that have also pledged significant commitments – financial and otherwise – to making sure that more children and communities have high quality early childhood education programs.


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.


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.


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.