Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation

The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation supports many of the Library's vital programs that enhance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity throughout our region.

Philadelphia, PA   |  www.freelibrary.org

Mission

To develop resources and funding to expand, enhance, and support the services, collections, building improvements and technology expansion, and other activities of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Programs include early childhood, family, and adult literacy; after-school homework help; support of job seeking efforts; Regional Foundation Center; lecture series; summer programs in reading and science; and cultural performances.

Ruling year info

1988

President and Director

Kelly Richards

Main address

1901 Vine Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1173474

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Children and Family Literacy

Literacy enrichment programs in neighborhood libraries impact thousands of children and families annually.

The Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP) is a crucial initiative that provides a supportive environment, mentoring, homework assistance, computer access, healthy snacks, tutoring, and trauma-informed care to K-12 students.

Summer of Wonder enhances literacy skills for all ages; fosters a love of reading and learning; and combats summer slide, a real concern for students in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the city.

Read by 4th works to empower families with the knowledge, skills, and resources to support language and literacy development at home.

Read, Baby, Read aims to build early language skills in infants and toddlers, and support their caregivers.

Literacy in Early Learning Spaces provides support for early childhood educators, including technical assistance, ongoing professional development, and physical resources (books and other materials).

Population(s) Served
Older adults
Young adults
Children and youth
Teachers
Caregivers

Workforce development programming and resources allow the Free Library to robustly respond to the intersecting needs of jobseekers, emerging literacy-level adults, and those who lack the digital access and literacy skills required to obtain stable, reliable employment.

Workforce development offerings include workshops and career fairs; online resources such as the Career Training Database, a tool to explore workforce training opportunities; and technology assistance from Library staff. In addition, the Library provides a multitude of resources that are available to jobseekers free of charge, including job search tools, résumé reviews, workshops, and consultations.

In 2021, the Free Library used its awarded funds from the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund to acquire 5,650 Wi-Fi hotspots and 5,650 LTE tablets (internet services provided by T-Mobile) to loan long-term to adults who would otherwise lack access to computers and/or broadband internet.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Unemployed people

The Free Library’s cultural and civic engagement opportunities include:

One Book, One Philadelphia promotes literacy, library usage, and civic dialogue by encouraging our neighbors to come together through reading and discussing a single book.

Special Collections make historic materials accessible, provide research services, and offer programs that promote understanding of shared cultural heritage.

Chronicling Resistance, a collaboration with program fellows and the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries, amplifies stories of resistance in Philadelphia’s archival collections and preserves records of resistance to oppression today.

Hear Me Out connects Pennsylvanians, combats polarization and indifference across political and geographic divides, and invites brave conversations about national and local issues.

The Library also hosts Author Events, featuring renowned writers; administers the city’s Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate programs; and more.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of patron vists

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in fiscal year 2021 the Free Library welcomed more than 46,000 in-person visits with limited operations at some of our 54 locations, and over 4,065,239 online visits.

Number of literacy engagement activities for youth

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Children and Family Literacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Metrics from the FY19-21 Strategic Plan. All numbers are as of March 31, 2020. Goal is to reach 35.

Teen program attendance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Children and Family Literacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in fiscal year 2021 over 2,500 teens were engaged in 320 virtual events hosted by the Marie and Joseph Field Teen Center.

Author Events

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Cultural and Civic Engagement

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In FY21, the Library hosted 106 virtual author event programs with renowned authors. 20,000 attended online; and there were over 1 million downloads of episodes from the Author Event Series podcast.

Summer Programming

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Children and Family Literacy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Library offered summer programming for all ages at libraries throughout the city, including 1,257 programs for children, 200 teen programs, and 1,060 adult programs.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation

Board of directors
as of 4/7/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

D. Jeffry Benoliel

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/7/2022,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data