These were Generocity's 10 most popular stories of 2017 - Generocity Philly

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Dec. 21, 2017 1:25 pm

These were Generocity’s 10 most popular stories of 2017

Leadership changes, an astonishing poverty rate, co-ops, reentry and all the lists.

The year's almost over, let's party.

(Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Editor's note: The spelling of Jamie Gauthier's name has been corrected. (12/21, 1:42 p.m.)
This is one of our favorite articles to write each year.

It’s a chance to look back on our archives and marvel over just how much content is really produced when publishing three times per day, five days per week, and to take stock of what our audience responded to most. We have our own faves, sure, but these were yours.

There were two anomalies that we chose to omit from the following list: The actual most-read story of this year was also the most-read story of 2016 (and indeed, of the entire history of Generocity) — our rundown of seven things to know about homelessness in Philadelphia. And another surprising top click-getter was a May 2016 guest post with a cheeky headline about why homeless shelters don’t want your stuff.

But right now, we’re wrapping up 2017. It’s been a pleasure writing for you, dear social impact community. Here’s what you read most this year:

10. Power Moves: Stacy Holland is out at Lenfest

Lenfest Foundation executive director Stacy Holland takes the TEDxPhiladelphia stage.

Stacy Holland takes the TEDxPhiladelphia stage. (Screenshot via YouTube)</em<

The longtime education advocate was vague about her reasons for leaving her post as executive director of the foundation, though she did share she’d be taking time off to focus on her doctorate.

This story is part of our uber-popular Power Moves series, which chronicles shifts in leadership across Philly’s nonprofits, government and social enterprises.

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9. 15 social impact leaders we’ll be following in 2017

Yasmine Mustafa at the 2016 Philly Geek Awards.

Yasmine Mustafa at the 2016 Philly Geek Awards. (Photo by Clever Girl Photography)

Published just before the new year hit, this roundup noted those on the apparent cusp of greatness.

Cover girl Yasmine Mustafa did indeed have a big 2017: Her social enterprise’s flagship product, Athena, a wearable safety device, finally dropped after years of hype.

8. Here’s how poverty levels in Philadelphia have shifted since 1970

Over 200,000 people are living in deep poverty in Philadelphia.

(Photo by Flickr user Tony Fischer Follow, used under a Creative Commons license)

This is the story we link to every time we need to shout out the city’s most troubling stat: Philly’s poverty rate is 25.8 percent, making it the poorest big city in America. These maps show how we got here.

7. Fairmount Park Conservancy has a new head as of July 1: Jamie Gauthier

Jamie Gauthier.

Jamie Gauthier. (Courtesy photo)

We were impressed with the transparency of outgoing executive director Rick Magder, who said his departure from the nonprofit after only nine months came by mutual decision. His big takeaway from the shakeup: “Being prepared to not rest solely on one person is always a good idea,” he said. “It’s about the organization, not the individual.”

Meanwhile, Gauthier was pumped to take the helm after being hired as the conservancy’s senior director of public partnerships just a few months before.

“I couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than leading an organization like the conservancy at a time when there’s such a spotlight on public spaces,” she told us.

6. Why Ambler Food Co-op is becoming a part of Weavers Way to open a community-owned grocery story

A rendering of the Weavers Way Ambler store.

A rendering of the Weavers Way Ambler store. (Rendering by Strada LLC Architects)

It can take a long, long time to open a food cooperative. In this case, the Ambler organization was absorbed by the larger, more established Weavers Way so the MontCo town could get its own store after years without any grocery options. Ambler Food Co-op finally opened this fall.

5. Penn’s Fels Institute is launching a board governance programs for leaders of color

An early board governance program advisory meeting.

An early board governance program advisory meeting. (Courtesy photo)

This brainchild of DiverseForce’s Sulaiman Rahman is for mid- to senior-level professionals interested in learning the ins and outs of nonprofit board leadership over seven months from the likes of Sharmain Matlock-Turner and Omar Woodard.

“We wanted to be a resource for nonprofits that say they can’t find the people” for their boards, Rahman told us. The program’s first class of about 25 will graduate this spring.

4. 10 things you should know about reentry in Philadelphia

Open jail cells.

(Photo by Flickr user Thomas Hawk, used under a Creative Commons license)

Philly sees about 4,000 people return from state prisons per year. Our sweeping overview covers this community’s major players, scale and costs, as well as the steps being taken to improve returning citizens’ chances at leading productive post-carceral lives.

3. LEADERSHIP Philadelphia just announced its Connectors and Keepers class of 2018

Philadelphia amidst the clouds, hope for the future, etc.

(Photo by J. Lawrence for Visit Philadelphia)

These 50-some professional up-and-comers (including, full disclosure, this editor) were picked for the seven-month networking cohort in the hopes of encouraging them to stay in Philadelphia for the long haul.

Keepers who we’ve covered before include  Philly Geek Awards co-organizer Neil BardhanAPIARY magazine cofounder Lillian DunnCode for Philly head Dawn McDougall and FixList founder Stacey Mosley.

2. 12 people of color leading the social impact charge in Philadelphia

She Can Win founder Jasmine Sessoms.

She Can Win founder Jasmine Sessoms. (Courtesy photo)

We picked one notable person working within each of our 2017 editorial calendar themes and profiled ’em. It’s part of our ongoing effort to highlight leaders of color in a community begging for more diversity at the top.

The honorees:

  • Reentry — Jac Rivers
  • Corporate social responsibility — Dominique Goss
  • Women in leadership — Jasmine Sessoms
  • Activism — Pili X
  • Workforce development — Sheila Ireland
  • Immigration — Carolina Torres
  • Leaders of color — Alex Peay
  • Technology — Tiffanie Stanard
  • Education — Simran Sidhu
  • Aging — Gigi Nikpour
  • Fundraising — Andy Toy
  • Food security — Kirtrina Baxter

1. The 25 biggest nonprofits in Philadelphia

Locust Walk on Penn's campus.

Locust Walk on Penn’s campus. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

No surprise here, but University of Pennsylvania dominated the list, with $17 billion in assets. (Fellow universities Temple, Drexel and Jefferson trailed at numbers three, four and six.)

We also analyzed the overall makeup of the list — lots of eds and meds — and called American Bible Society the sleeper hit.

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