(Photo by Flickr user raymondclarkeimages, used under a Creative Commons license)
People of color make up the majority of Philadelphia’s population. Yet, the board of the $2.4 billion William Penn Foundation, the city’s biggest funder, is all white and two-thirds male.
That foundation’s board is not reflective of the city. As Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) points out, it’s hindering the foundation’s ability to execute on mission.
In addition to “volatility among the [Haas] family” (which downgraded the powers of executives two years ago), that lack of diversity might be contributing to the foundation’s leadership issues.
Executive Director Laura Sparks‘ departure last month marked the fourth leadership mix-up in the past five years. David Gould, a program officer with the foundation and rising leader of color, told Generocity last month that he has also departed.
NPQ notes William Penn’s role as top funder in Philadelphia: With the “waning local presence” of Annenberg and Pew Charitable Trusts, many of the city’s institutions and organizations have become reliant on the $100 million in grants the foundation deploys annually.
It might be time, NPQ states, for the Haas family to “cede power to others in the family,” return powers to executives and recruit diverse perspectives to their board. Those three changes might stabilize the foundation and establish equilibrium. Philadelphia is counting on it.-30-
From our Partners
Power Moves: The Samuel S. Fels Fund announces two new appointments
Power Moves: Jessica West will lead Neighborhood Bike Works
Power Moves: New Century Trust welcomes six new board members
During Tech in Action Day, all the participants teach and learn
Money Moves: Giving, getting and p(l)aying it forward
Power Moves: Julie Wertheimer moves from City to Pew
Thank you for your service
ECS has been tackling Philly’s social issues for nearly 150 years. Now, its new focus is intergenerational poverty
Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity