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Across the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania community foundations are leading their communities towards a brighter future.  Join us on September 26th and 27th in State College, Pennsylvania for a unique opportunity to connect, learn and to explore ways we might act collectively.

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“Evergreen Funds”, a Better Way to Manage the “Messy” World of Private Equity Investments

Will Thorpe, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Mason Investments

While private equity investments are alluring and expected to outperform traditional public equities, the implementation and development of a robust private equity allocation can take years and an intensive time commitment from staff, committee members, auditors and others. Could there be a better way to access this investment category? Yes! The increasing adoption of "evergreen" private equity has created a new and efficient vehicle that addresses most of the unattractive elements of private equity but maintains what investors seek - exposure to private equity and the potential for an investment return premium over public markets.

All Kids Should Have an Equal Opportunity to Learn

Dr. Myra Forrest, Education Advocate, Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation

Laura Johnson, PA for Fair Funding

Education policy and funding strategies have created an inequitable system where resources available to our youth differ vastly by zip code.   In 2016, Pennsylvania passed the Fair Funding Formula. This formula was created to ensure that every school district receives state funding based on student and community needs. Every year, however, the vast majority of the education budget -well over 5 billion dollars- is distributed without regard to the need of students and their communities.  Learn from a leading expert, and former school superintendent,  how the system works and how community foundations can engage with legislators and the public to advocate for more equitable funding.  

Best Practice for Engaging Professional Advisors

Franki Aitken, Chief Operating Officer, Berks County Community Foundation

Jason Arbacheski, Director of Gift Planning and Stewardship, Chester County Community Foundation

Monika Collins, Vice President for Advancement and Philanthropic Services, Foundation for Delaware County

Professional advisors are key to community foundation growth strategies. How can we work collaboratively with professional advisors to position community foundations as a tool to help them, and their clients, accomplish personal philanthropic and estate planning objectives.  Where should we prioritize our time?  What outreach strategies work?  What can community foundations uniquely offer our professional advisor communities?

Community Leadership through Equity Centered Capacity Building

Megan Briggs, Vice President of Community Investments
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

Discuss how to utilized foundation resources, information, and positioning to create inclusive leaders and equitable nonprofit organizations. Over a period of immense evolution, LVCF staff, working alongside with a diverse team of community representatives, co-created the CORE Fellowship, a transformational leadership and organizational development framework that is changing hearts and minds, as well as policies and procedures, while also creating a diverse network of equity-centered leaders.

Erie Playbook, Driving Equitable Change

Kim Thomas, Executive Director, Infinite Erie 

Karen Bilowith, President and CEO, The Erie Community Foundation

As a response to the challenges presented by the pandemic and the opportunities presented by unprecedented federal funding, Erie civic leadership has created The Erie Paybook to leverage and coordinate equitable growth strategies designed to deliver transformative change.  Bruce Katz  has called this “investment playbook” one of the most ambitious…in the country,”.   This session will discuss this initiative and the unique role community foundations can play in tackling widespread challenges at the local level with fresh ideas and approaches.  Participants will have the opportunity to consider how Erie's "investment playbook," and the resulting initiative, might be adapted to their own region & efforts to build more inclusive communities.

Fiscal Sponsorships as a Tool for Equity and Empowerment

Damion Wilson, Program Officer, Poise Foundation

This session, in addition to covering the basics of fiscal sponsorship, will explore how fiscal sponsorship can be a powerful tool in empowering the people we serve to develop solutions to improve their communities. We will provide real life case studies of how fiscal sponsorship has positively impacted local communities.

Strategy in a Fast-Changing World

Emmie Calland, Director of Strategic Projects & Foundation Initiatives, The Pittsburgh Foundation

Trenton Moulin, President and CEO, Bridgebuilders Community Foundation

Mike Kane, President and Executive Director, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies

Pandemic fallout, racial reckoning, AI, market instability, the future of work, communities in crisis, political polarization; the world is changing more quickly than ever before, and community foundations must rise to the challenge. This necessitates effective strategies to lead our communities in this brave new world- and the process of strategy development and strategic planning itself must change. Join us to hear from three PA foundations who conducted strategic planning/development and strategy implementation post-covid; hear about their successes, challenges and lessons learned.

When Disaster Strikes, Will Your Plan Work?

Heidi Williamson, Chief Strategy Officer, Berks County Community Foundation

Kevin Murphy, President, Berk County Community Foundation

After a beloved local chocolate factory exploded in March 2023, Berks County Community Foundation implemented its Disaster Response Plan, which it had created years before. Join Kevin Murphy, foundation president, and Heidi Williamson, chief strategy officer, for a conversation about what worked, what didn't, and what came out of left field.

Creating, Implementing, Evaluating and Funding your Marketing Plan

Sarah Thomas, VP of Communications and Culture, The York Foundation

Natalie Kurchak, Communications Officer, Community Foundation of the Alleghenies

Ted Qualli, Director of Communications and Marketing, The Philadelphia Foundation

Within our field, community foundation marketing plans and budgets vary dramatically.  This session will feature a moderated panel to spur audience discussion on creative marketing strategies and how marketing plans are evaluated and funded.  Who are our target audiences?  What are we selling? What is the mix of social media, traditional media, special event and one on one marketing?  What is the role of program, donor development, executive leadership and board staff?  


Once again, PACFA membership will have the opportunity to learn from peers through a variety of roundtable discussions.  Current roundtables topics, and hosts, include: 

Image by Tim Mossholder

Youth Engagement Affinity Group Strategies

Janice R. Black, President and CEO


Jennifer Doyle,

Vice President for Philanthropy and Community Engagement


Brooke Clark, Philanthropic Officer


- The Foundation for Enhancing Communities

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Adrian Buckner, Vice President of Grants and Community Engagement

Rabiya Khan,

Communications Coordinator


-  York County Community Foundation 

Image by Cytonn Photography

Leveraging Partnerships in Rural Communities

Ryanne Jennings, President and CEO

 Derek Williams,

Community Grant Writer


- Wayne County Community Foundation 

Business Presentation

Setting a Community Leadership Agenda

Jennifer Wilson, CEO

- First Community Foundation Partnership

Image by Katt Yukawa

Trust Based Philanthropy

Meghan Briggs,

Vice President for Community Investment


- Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

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Benefits Cliff

Phil Koch, Vice President of Policy and Community Impact

- The Pittsburgh Foundation

and more, coming soon!

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