PAALF Recommendations

Below are recommendations informed by the findings of our research. For the sake of brevity, only the recommendations that can be reasonably implemented over the next 1-3 years are presented at this juncture. The PAALF has a comprehensive list of recommendations that will be shared in the future.

PAALF Sustainability

  • The implementation of the proposed recommendations are predicated on securing necessary funding to hire requisite staff. To that end, in addition to facilitating the implementation of these recommendations, staff will oversee membership intake; coordinate/plan meetings; initiate fundraising opportunities; and foster strategic cross sector connections among Philadelphia’s nonprofit sector. The PAALF will continue to be a program housed in an existing African American led nonprofit organization.

Capacity Building

  • PAALF will work with funders and intermediaries to ensure that all African American led nonprofits have adequate access to technology and are effectively utilizing data collection resources.
  • PAALF will provide a customized and relevant professional development initiative tailored specifically for ascending and emerging African American nonprofit leaders in Philadelphia.
  • PAALF will work with providers of capacity building services to make technical assistance and professional development opportunities accessible to African American led nonprofits by making these trainings affordable and conducted in neighborhoods where our agencies are located.
  • Transfer and recycle the expertise and experience of our own African American leaders by training them to deliver technical assistance and coaching to colleagues from other organizations.
  • PAALF will appeal to private sector to provide its African American executives on short term loan to African American led nonprofit agencies to improve capacity in key operational areas (i.e. fiscal management and marketing/communications).
  • Utilize retired African American nonprofit executives to serve as executive coaches and mentors for current African American nonprofit executives, especially those with tenure 5 years or less.


Build Network of Leaders

                          • PAALF will create a vibrant learning community for African American CEOs and staff by exposing them to the latest research on social innovation; trends in the field; and promising practices by hosting lectures; workshops; presentations from leading experts and practitioners from outside of Philadelphia.
  • PAALF will strengthen the ties among African American CEOs by coordinating convenings to share information, resources, and promote communication.


  • Promote a nonprofit hiring policy similar to the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” whereas every available leadership position in philanthropy and nonprofit sector must solicit the PAALF for qualified candidates for consideration and be guaranteed interviews.
  • Create, cultivate, and manage a talent data base comprised of African American nonprofit senior level managers and executive directors and partner with employers and/or search firms in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to place qualified candidates in available leadership.

Promoting Philanthropy in African American community

  • The PAALF will work in collaboration with the Black Philanthropy Network of Philadelphia to develop “Giving Circles” in an effort to support high priority issues confronting our community. Creating giving circles is a strategy to pool our resources to combat community issues.

Board Development

  • To strengthen our nonprofit boards, the PAALF will develop, cultivate, and manage a talent database comprised of prospective African American board candidates with skills in business development; fiscal management; and wealth creation. PAALF will match these prospects with African American led nonprofit organizations.
  • PAALF will work to ensure that more African-Americans are represented on majority white boards in an effort to cultivate leadership.

Closing the Social Access Gap

  • Promote more collaboration and engagement among African American led nonprofit leaders and regional philanthropic community. Efforts and activities may include co-hosting strategic planning meetings; forums; and community conversations around common interests and issues.
  • Collaborate with majority led nonprofit organizations; intermediaries; and foundations to provide diversity/equity/implicit bias training for staff and board members.
  • Work with the CEOs and HR staff at majority led nonprofits to ensure that all African American senior and middle management are participating in and receiving appropriate and consistent professional development opportunities required for upward mobility.