FAQs and Fact Sheet

General FAQs

What is On the Table Philly and why should I participate?

By hosting a mealtime conversation as part of On the Table Philly on Oct. 17, 2019, you’ll be part of an exciting, region-wide initiative to explore the ways in which we have the power to collaborate in order to make our communities stronger, safer and more dynamic.

We share a desire to come together, collaborate more, become more civically involved and more committed to our community. While we know that there is no “quick fix” to the issues facing our communities, taking advantage of exciting new opportunities often requires a sequence of steps. Progress will only result from residents, organizations and government working together to make contributions that add up to a greater solution that helps unite this place we call home.

When we come together as a community to listen and learn from each other, we have the power to impact our communities and lives.

What you do matters, and when we learn from and with each other, we have the power to impact both neighborhoods and lives. That’s what On the Table Philly is all about.

What is the goal of On the Table Philly?

Our goal is to bring together the residents of our region to discuss philanthropy and how we can work together to build and sustain our communities. We seek to create a movement that inspires each of us to do more — to contribute our time, talent and ideas. By agreeing to participate, you’ve already taken an important step to be a part of this movement.

How can I get involved?

Right now, we’re in the process of recruiting both hosts and guests from across the Greater Philadelphia region to be a part of On the Table Philly. To sign up, simply click the “Register to Host” button at philafound.org/onthetable.

What is the Philadelphia Foundation?

Founded in 1918, the Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 900 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit philafound.org.

What is The John S. and James L. Foundation?

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. It invests in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Its goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which it believes are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

Where can I find more information about On the Table Philly?

Visit our On the Table Philly site at www.philafound.org/onthetable

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @philafound using the hashtag #onthetablePHL.

Additionally, you can send us an e-mail at onthetable@philafound.org to have one of our outreach team members contact you with more information.


Host FAQs

What does a host need to do? What’s involved?

It’s really pretty simple: You determine a location for folks to meet on Oct.17, 2019, for a mealtime conversation to discuss the ways in which we can commit to making our communities stronger, safer and more dynamic — communities where opportunities grow, quality of life is enhanced and families thrive. You can have your breakfast, lunch or dinner wherever you want and serve whatever you like — from a catered or home-cooked meal to soup-and-salad, pizza or a snack.

How do I get started?

Visit philafound.org/onthetable to register your event. You’ll get your own On the Table Philly host kit with tools and resources for the conversation and tips on running a successful event.

Who do I invite?

The invitation list is up to you, but we encourage you to think about how you can network through this event to develop new friendships and partnerships.

If you’re unsure, start with people you know — friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. You may consider reaching out to a larger community by co-hosting your event with a local church or nonprofit. Consider asking your guests to bring a friend or invite people from your network who don’t already know each other.

Reach out to those you don’t know well, but who you’d like to get to know better. Part of the fun of On the Table Philly is expanding your personal network.

We also encourage you to consider hosting a public table anyone can sign up to attend in advance. Email onthetable@philafound.org for additional information on hosting a public table.

Eight to twelve guests per table is ideal. On the Table Philly is about giving everyone a chance to speak and to be heard.

If you want to host a larger gathering, consider breaking into smaller groups and allowing time for each to discuss and report out to the larger group.

How should I invite my guests?

Emails, phone calls and even short hand-written notes are all effective ways to connect with guests.

What should an On the Table Philly gathering look like?

Hosts are encouraged to be creative. The priority is to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful conversation. A potluck in your dining room, a get-together at a neighborhood restaurant or a brownbag lunch at your job are just some of the many possibilities for your gathering.

What is expected of me during and after my On the Table Philly gathering is over?

We look forward to hearing about the stories and commitments discussed at your gathering. We encourage all participants to share insights, photos and videos on social media throughout the day using #OnTheTablePHL.

At the conclusion of the On the Table Philly events on Oct. 17, we’ll send every participant (hosts and guests) a short survey to learn more about their experiences and their commitments. All those who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $250 grant to a nonprofit selected by the winner. You may also be asked to participate in a more in-depth post-event interview where we hope to dive even deeper into some of the experiences, thoughts and ideas that arose from these conversations.