GreenLight Raises New $3.5 Million Fund to Combat Systemic Poverty in Philadelphia
Ben Franklin Bridge lights up green to recognize GreenLight’s third fund to accelerate Philadelphia’s poverty reduction and prevention efforts.
Philadelphia, PA – GreenLight Fund, with support from over 25 families, corporate, and philanthropic investors and supporters, today announced GreenLight Philadelphia Fund III, a $3.5 million fund to scale solutions to systemic challenges identified by communities that are experiencing poverty. Fund III exceeded its $3 million target, nearly doubling Fund II.
“COVID laid bare the profound race and gender-based inequities facing Black, Latinx, and Asian communities. This latest Fund enables GreenLight to invest in Philadelphia’s post-COVID recovery with greater clarity and purpose,” said Omar Woodard, Executive Director of GreenLight Philadelphia.
Fund III fuels the next phase of GreenLight’s work in Philadelphia: partnering with communities to identify systemic barriers to economic success and investing in proven models and local partnerships to eliminate those barriers. Since 2013, GreenLight’s first two funds invested $4.2 million in partnership with local agencies across a portfolio of five proven models: Year Up Greater Philadelphia, Single Stop, Center for Employment Opportunities, ParentChild+, and Compass Working Capital.
“Our long-term partnership with the GreenLight Fund has assisted our residents in economic mobility,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. “Together, our partnership brought two of the nation’s best early literacy and asset-building models, ParentChild+ and Compass Working Capital, directly to residents. Since last October, participation in the Compass program rose almost 70 percent, and residents’ credit scores increased an average of 61 points. Public-private partnerships like these allow PHA to innovate and provide enhanced support to our residents.”
Through 2023, Fund III will make three additional investments to improve the lives of over 400,000 women, children, and men that experience poverty every day in Philadelphia. GreenLight will continue to partner with its local Advisory Council, composed of leaders from government, business, and philanthropy, to facilitate cross-sector alignment and collaboration, and support due diligence, local partnership development, and portfolio management.
“This is an exciting day for GreenLight Philadelphia and the Advisory Council, and a vote of confidence in GreenLight’s long-term focus on community need, evidence, and local fit,” said Kat Rosqueta, Co-Chair, GreenLight Philadelphia Advisory Council, and founding Executive Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice. “As Co-Chair, I am pleased to support the cross-sector expertise and collaboration needed to address the systemic challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.”
Margaret Hall, CEO and co-founder of GreenLight Fund said, “ As one of our first expansion sites, we are so proud of the organizations we’ve brought to Philadelphia and the partnership with the community that has led to real change. We know there is much more work to do and look forward to the impact this next Fund will have under Omar’s leadership.”
GreenLight Philadelphia’s record Fund III includes 10 returning individual, corporate, and foundation investors: Burke Family Foundation, Hess Foundation, Kopelman Foundation, Brook Lenfest Foundation, Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Foundation, John and Sue Simon, Marc and Leah Singer, Terrace Fund, Vanguard Group Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation.
With seven years of impact, GreenLight welcomes six new investors to Fund III: Firstrust Bank, Hamilton Family Foundation, MKM Foundation, Santander, TD Charitable Foundation, and Carolyn and Robert Turner. GreenLight Fund received sponsorship and support from 10 corporate partners: Amgen Foundation, Comcast, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU), FS Investments, JPMorgan Private Bank, Kynetic, Morgan Lewis, NewSpring Capital, Osage Partners, and Philadelphia Alliance of Capital and Technologies (PACT). In partnership with the Delaware River Port Authority, the Ben Franklin Bridge will be illuminated with green lighting on Monday evening in celebration of GreenLight’s latest Fund.
“Since our initial investment six years ago, the incredible impact created by GreenLight and its portfolio of social enterprises now changes over 5,000 lives every year. I am proud to join another round with a growing coalition of investors and champions for our city and its families,” said Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner at First Round Capital, and founding investor in GreenLight Fund Philadelphia.
“We are pleased to continue our investment in the GreenLight Fund. In a post-COVID economy, GreenLight’s work and impact in Philadelphia are even more important,” said Keith Leaphart, Chair of the Lenfest Foundation. “The Lenfest Foundation is committed to GreenLight’s strategy to work with communities to scale innovation in systems to solve big issues in our city.”
“I am excited that we exceeded our fundraising target and am deeply grateful for the confidence and enthusiasm our new and returning investors have shown. We expect to grow our investor coalition in Philadelphia even more in the near term,” said John Simon, Board Chair and Co-founder of GreenLight Fund.