The New Frontier: A Dialogue on the Future of Philanthropy in Philadelphia

09/10/2020 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET


Online - Zoom


The New Frontier: A Dialogue on the Future of Philanthropy in Philadelphia
Thursday, September 10 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Online Conversation

Offered in Partnership with: The Regional Foundation Center of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Department of Public Administration at Villanova University

Sponsored by: APPI Energy | Commonwealth Consulting Partners | Dunleavy & Associates | PNC Institutional Asset Management Zelenkofske Axelrod

While COVID has kept us physically apart for months on end, these last few months have also proven just how intricately connected we all are. This is especially true of the nonprofits working tirelessly to keep up with changing community needs, and the funders working tirelessly to support those vital missions.


Nonprofits and funders alike have had to get creative, try new things, take risks, and lean in to uncomfortable conversations about racial justice in our organizations, our sector, and our nation. As we all continue to adapt to ever-evolving circumstances, in an increasingly virtual environment, it’s becoming even more important than ever to find ways to maintain open lines of communication – both internally at our own organizations and externally with each other.


PANO, RFC, and Villanova’s Department of Public Administration are excited to co-host this opportunity for nonprofits and funders to do just that – come together (from the safety of our computers!) to exchange information, learn from each other, discuss funding goals and ideas, and simply connect.

  • How is philanthropy changing through COVID and beyond?
  • What can – and should – we be doing to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across all sectors?
  • How can the City of Philadelphia work with nonprofits and funders to create our shared future in a more just and equitable way?
  • How can nonprofits and funders work together to best support each other and, in turn, our communities?


Let’s redefine what’s possible in Philadelphia – together.

Please note that registration will close at 12 p.m. noon on Wednesday, September 9, in order to ensure ample time for event organizers to coordinate attendee logistics for this virtual program. 


9:00-9:15 AM | Welcome

9:15-10:00 AM | The Future of Philanthropy: How COVID Could Change Fundraising as We Know It (Lawanda Horton Sauter)

The pandemic has forced many organizations to reexamine their fundraising strategies. This workshop looks at the way traditional fundraising practices could be impacted by changes in philanthropic giving priorities and discusses creative ways organizations can rise to meet this challenge.

10:00-10:30 AM | Nonprofit Discussion Groups

Keeping in mind Lawanda’s overview of the changing landscape of philanthropy, let’s look at what this means for our local nonprofits. What are we experiencing right now? What do we need from the funding community? How can we strengthen the nonprofit-funder partnership as we continue to move through uncertainty together? Participants will head into breakout rooms to discuss these questions and more, reporting emerging themes and ideas back to the full group.

10:30-10:45 AM | BREAK

10:45-12:00 PM | Funders Panel (Moderated by Lawanda Horton Sauter, featuring as panelists Jocelyn Arnold, Mayor’s Office of Grants and Community Partnerships; Phil Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Grantmaking, Philadelphia Foundation; Shanell Ransom, Program Officer, Samuel S. Fels Fund; Kara LaFleur, Assistant Director, PNC Client & Community Relations, PNC Foundation - Greater Philadelphia & Southern NJ)

Results from a survey of 190 PA nonprofits in March showed that many organizations were already feeling the impact of the pandemic on funding – 93% had to cancel programs/events, 71% were experiencing budgetary implications related to individual donors, 41% reported budgetary implications related to private foundations/United Way support, 38% were preparing for budgetary implications related to government contracts, and 22% saw a reduction in their bottom lines from online or store sales. We know the funding community pivoted as quickly as possible to help fill in gaps in funding, keeping nonprofit professionals employed, keeping essential organizations afloat, and keeping vital services in place for our communities. In this panel discussion, we’ll go straight to the source to learn more about how recent events have already impacted the funding community and what’s on the horizon as we continue to push through the pandemic, economic crisis, and civil unrest.


FREE for everyone!


Terms of Participation
Your registration is good for a single login. Please do not share your unique login information with others, as it may interfere with your ability to join. If others from your organization wish to participate, please encourage them to register separately rather than try to “borrow” or share your login link.


Materials & Login/Call-In Instructions:
Materials (PowerPoint and other handouts), along with instructions on how to login and call-in, will be emailed to attendees a few days prior to the date of the webinar. PANO uses Zoom as our platform for connecting; you can familiarize yourself with Zoom and/or join a test meeting prior to these sessions.

NOTE: These web meetings will NOT be recorded in order to promote open dialogue, honest discussion, and less inhibited sharing. If you can't attend this time around, please let us know if you would be interested in future opportunities to participate in a similar program.

About the Speakers:

Lawanda Horton Sauter, Workshop Facilitator & Panel Discussion Moderator
Lawanda Horton Sauter, MS, is the President and CEO of Mission Incorporated. For
over 12 years, Mission Incorporated has been providing startup, grant writing, and
growth development services to nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Horton has raised over $25 million for organizations throughout PA, DE, NY, and NJ. To date, she has provided startup and capacity building support to over 250 organizations.

She has 20 years’ experience as a nonprofit executive and holds a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from New England College. In addition to her nonprofit capacity building work, the community program Mission Forward is used to push arts and activism projects. Recently Ms. Horton raised $10,000 for The Trayvon Martin Foundation and Black Male Development Programs, and distributes over $1,000 worth of household items and food to families along Philadelphia’s Germantown Avenue annually.

She was awarded in 2013 the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Minority Business Leaders award and was named among the NAACP’s top 100 most influential black women in Philadelphia. In 2018, Ms. Horton received an award for her anti-violence work from the Social Innovation Journal and has had articles on nonprofit capacity building published by Generocity, Nonprofit Quarterly, and the Social Innovations
Journal. Lawanda also received a grant from the School District of Philadelphia in 2019 to do educational interventions in the arts.


Jocelyn Arnold, Panelist

Jocelyn Arnold is Deputy Chief Grants Officer for the Mayor’s Office of Grants & Community Partnerships. She started as a Grants Officer in 2013 and has been in her current role for the past 5 years. Jocelyn is very active in her community, currently serving on the boards of Pennsylvania Disproportionate Minority Contact Youth/Law Enforcement Corp., Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, and Roadmap to Homes Community. She was also a member of the Steering Committee for Philadelphia Black Giving Circle until this June.


Phil Fitzgerald, Panelist

Philip Fitzgerald has a passion for strengthening communities and for making strategic investments that positively impact the lives of people in Greater Philadelphia. He joined Philadelphia Foundation in 2013 as a program officer, overseeing the Fund for Children, evaluating general operating support and organizational effectiveness grant requests, and developing capacity-building opportunities for grantees. Currently, as the executive director of grantmaking, Phil leads the program team and oversees discretionary, competitive grantmaking and special initiatives, supporting organization-wide operational and strategic priorities.

Prior to joining the foundation, Phil managed corporate giving and community outreach for a national retail chain, crafting its corporate social responsibility strategy. At Nonprofit Finance Fund, he oversaw grantmaking, consulting, and financial services for a multimillion-dollar private-public partnership aimed at improving the quality of early care and education facilities in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

A proud Philadelphian, Mr. Fitzgerald earned an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and an MBA from the Business School of Ecole nationale des ponts et chaussées à Paris in France. He is also a graduate of Drexel University, holding a bachelor of science degree cum laude in International Area Studies and a minor in French.

Shanell Ransom, Panelist

Shanell Ransom grew up in South Carolina, where she regularly encouratered and witnessed injustice. This forged in her a path of service and a commitment to justice and equity. Equipped with an undergrad degree in sociology and a minor in crime, law, and society, Shanell went on to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA and carried her passion for service to communities across the globe. While working toward a master of public service degree, Shanell relocated to Philadelphia for an internship with the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation to work with the neighborhood revitalization grants program. She joined the Fels Fund in 2015 as Office Manager, then became Grants and Operations Manager, and now serves as Program Officer for the Social, Racial, and Economic Justice portfolio. Beyond improving the efficiency of systems within the organization, she is a critical voice in th work towards equity and fight for justice.

Shanell serves on th esteering committee for the Philadelphia Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and the Philadelphia Black Giving Circle. She also serves on the board for Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse and the Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial Fund. In her personal time, Shanell indulges in the five Fs and one T: Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, Food, and Travel.

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