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Two of Philadelphia’s Longest-Running Charitable Foundations Merge Assets

Wednesday, July 26, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Seasholtz
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Two of the oldest continuously operating charitable foundations in Philadelphia are merging their assets in an effort to reduce operational overhead and increase the power of their grants to the city’s neediest communities.  The Western Association of Ladies for Relief and Employment of the Poor, established in 1846 to provide job training and emergency provisions for Philadelphia’s poorest citizens, and the Adam and Maria Sarah Seybert Institution for Poor Boys and Girls, established in 1914 as a fund to address the needs of indigent youth in the City, have merged millions of dollars in assets to create a single, more streamlined charitable foundation with lower administrative overhead and greater grantmaking power, just as Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged communities need it most.  The resulting foundation, which will simply be called “The Seybert Foundation,” will continue to support nonprofit organizations whose missions focus on direct services to disadvantaged children and youth throughout the City of Philadelphia.  Seybert Foundation will honor Western Association’s longstanding commitment to Philadelphia’s most underserved communities through its grants program.

The merger of these two private, independent foundations is a rarity in the philanthropic community. Dario Bellot, who served as Seybert’s Board President throughout most of the 2-year merger process, notes, “We encourage our grantees to consider merging in order to reduce duplication of effort and scarce resources, and it’s important for those of us in the foundation community to take a look at our own options and make a similar choice.”  Dale Mitchell, Board President of Western Association, observes, “There are so many private funders striving to meet increasing needs in the community through our limited grant dollars.  By combining our assets with those of the Seybert Foundation, we could cut back on the overhead it took to run two separate foundations and concentrate our resources where they are needed most.” 

For more information, please contact Diana Loukedis Doherty, Manager, The Seybert Foundation, at or visit