Philadelphia Loses Two Local Philanthropists. We Look at Their Legacies

Just last month, the city of Philadelphia lost two influential philanthropists: one we’ve covered here at IP in the past and another who deserves mention as well.

Patricia van Ameringen Kind was a former nurse and philanthropist who passed away on January 10 of dementia at the age of 91. She established the Patricia Kind Family Foundation in 1996, and was passionate about giving to the needs of most vulnerable members of society.

Her family described her as a thoughtful and involved philanthropist, and most foundation grants have stayed in the Philadelphia region. Kind’s foundation has regularly funded basic needs services and given priority to small local organizations, especially when handing out general operating support. This translates to food, shelter, clothing, education, and physical and mental healthcare for children, adults, and seniors.

Related: Three Things Philadelphia Nonprofits Should Know About the Patricia Kind Family Foundation

Sister Mary Scullion, executive director of Project HOME, a nonprofit that Kind substantially supported, made the follow statement upon news of her passing:

She was one of the most compassionate women - she had a heart of gold. She had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known - and she had the greatest sense of humor. Everybody would be happy to see her when she walked in the door. It was a privilege to work with her and be inspired by her commitment.

More bad news came to the local philanthropic community last month with the passing of Harold Taussig. The news also prompted us to look into the work of his foundation, the Untours Foundation, and what it's been up to lately.

Untours is a Media, Pennsylvania-based travel company. Hal and Norma Taussig established a foundation in 1993 to channel the company’s profits for charity instead of keeping them for themselves. This is funder that is passionate about alleviating poverty around the world through small business loans. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, Taussig oversaw his foundation make over $7 million in low-interest loans to start-up businesses and enterprises to boost economic opportunities.

Aside from the recent passing of their founders and the geographic location, the Patricia Kind Family Foundation and the Untours Foundation have something else in common. As Nonprofit Quarterly points out, both foundations have been increasing their grantmaking and going above and beyond awarding the minimum five percent of foundation assets required by law.

According to a blog post on the Untours Foundation, the two foundations have worked together to encourage other foundations to give more, too. A portion of the post reads:

By paying more attention and making small changes, foundations of any size can “put their money where their mission is” and start to shift more resources towards solutions to our most challenging problems...The Untours Foundation and the Patricia Kind Family Foundation are small models of this style of investing, and some larger foundations are also leading the charge.

“The standard foundation structure of using only 5 percent of foundation assets to address a foundation’s mission is a waste of 95 percent of its assets,” said Elizabeth Killough, director of the Untours Foundation. “On top of not addressing this mission, that 95 percent is often invested at cross purposes to the foundation’s mission.”

These two funders might be small compared to some other massive grantmaking entities in Philadelphia and elsewhere, but they're really onto something in regard to making an impact with what you have.

The next application period for the Patricia Kind Family Foundation will open on April 1, 2016 for potential funding in August. The Untours Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications for loans, but you can get in touch to learn more about its funding via online form or by phone at 610-565-5242.