At Samuel S. Fels Fund we are driven by a deep admiration and respect for the rich tapestry of communities that make up our city. As a funder of community-based social change initiatives, we are at our best when we meet the following standards:
- Acknowledge that, as a private foundation, we are both a product of and response to social, racial, and economic injustice.
- Recognize the inherent power imbalance between community organizations and funders.
- Trust that those most directly harmed by injustice are in the best position to know what is needed to address harms and to build well-being.
- Aspire to reflect the diversity of the city, both on our staff and board of directors.
- Understand that social change takes time and requires sustained support.
- Stay open, flexible, and responsive to new opportunities that emerge.
- Invite feedback, engage in dialogue, and hold ourselves accountable to our community members and to one another.
As an expression of our beliefs, we are committed to:
- Monitor, learn and evolve, making operational and programmatic improvements based on the standards listed above.
- Actively support efforts to resist systems of oppression that impacts all of us, including white supremacy, anti-immigrant bias, and economic stratification, and advance racial, social, and economic justice in our City.
- Actively confront these systems of oppression within our institution and reimagine what philanthropy looks like in the 21st century.
- Make trust a cornerstone of our work both inside and outside the organization.
- Invest and align our dollars, time and other resources in ways that advance diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice, for all Philadelphians.
- Collectively and collaboratively explore equitable ways to share power and resources with communities that are marginalized.
Approved March 24, 2021
As we learn and grow, we will continue to reflect on and revise our values statement to ensure that it remains a living, breathing document that evolves as we do.