In Memoriam: R. Andrew Swinney

We are saddened to share the news that R. Andrew Swinney, President of The Philadelphia Foundation from 1998 to 2015, passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2016.

R. Andrew Swinney "Andrew did a superb job as President of The Philadelphia Foundation for 16 years," said Lawrence J. Beaser, Chair of TPF's Board of Managers. "He was widely respected not just in Greater Philadelphia but as a national community foundation leader. His dedicated service enriched the quality of life for many throughout the region, as he tirelessly promoted funding and support for the nonprofit sector. I knew him to have tremendous compassion and dedication."

"Andrew will be greatly missed," said Pedro A. Ramos, President & CEO of The Philadelphia Foundation. "He built an organization highly valued for its role in strengthening regional nonprofits. He was widely known for his warmth, wisdom and good humor."

Swinney retired on June 30, 2015, capping a 43-year career in the public and private sectors, including 21 years in the community foundation field. He came to Philadelphia from The Oshkosh Foundation, where he tripled that community foundation's assets during his seven-year tenure as executive director.

The number of component charitable funds at TPF more than quadrupled under Swinney's leadership. Among these is The Fund for Children, a $60 million commitment supported by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Phillies to help Philadelphia's youth.

During his tenure, The Philadelphia Foundation also was the first home for 6-year-old Alexandra Scott's Alex's Lemonade Stand Fund, which has since become a national campaign to find a cure for childhood cancer.

Other prominent funds established during Swinney's tenure include:

  • The Financial Literacy Fund of TruMark Financial, established in 2011 to enable the credit union to support the teaching of personal finance.
  • Philadelphia's Haiti Relief Fund, which was promoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com to aggregate community donations in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake that struck that country.
  • GSK's Opportunity Scholarship Fund (established in 2009 for Philadelphia County residents who have overcome significant adversity in life) and its Inspiring Youth Endowment Fund (created in 2011 to support organizations and programs helping young people develop and achieve their aspirations).

The Philadelphia Foundation's asset base grew from $148 million when Swinney arrived to $370 million, with 78 percent of the component funds endowed, making them able to give perpetual grants.

Swinney was the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership and involvement in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including the 2015 Alan Lerner Child Advocacy Award from the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice and Research; the 2015 Dennis Clark Solas Award from the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the 2007 Carl Moore Leadership Award from Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, the 2006 "Men Making a Difference" Humanitarian Award, the Greater Philadelphia Cares 2005 Leadership STAR Award and the 2004 Good Citizen's Award from the Potter's House Mission.

Read the obituary that ran in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Andrew Swinney Fund at the Philadelphia Zoo.

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