Philadelphia Foundation And Knight Foundation Partner For Third Time To Inspire & Strengthen Local Communities On Oct. 17 Through On The Table Philly


Philadelphia, PA (Sept. 6, 2018) — Philadelphia Foundation with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will again engage residents and inspire solutions to strengthen communities in the Greater Philadelphia region by hosting open dialogues on issues that matter. This year’s On the Table Philly on Oct. 17 marks the third time the region will participate in a full day dedicated to the popular civic conversations.

To register to host a table and to learn more about the initiative, visit

As it did last year, Philadelphia Foundation will provide up to $50,000 to implement ideas to improve the region that are generated through the conversations, with a focus on civic participation. Registered hosts and participants in the conversations can apply for “Activate” mini-grants of up to $1,000 each. Application information will be shared with registered hosts and participants during an October orientation session.

On the Table Philly: Thursday, October 17, 2019

On the Table Philly connects individuals and communities of diverse perspectives and backgrounds in a series of mealtime discussions. On October 17, 2019, area residents along with their families, neighbors, colleagues, and friends, old and new, are invited to pull up a chair, share a meal and discuss the ways in which individuals collectively – can work to make our communities stronger, safer and more vibrant.

On the Table will bring groups of 8 to 12 people together at community organizations, offices, libraries, recreation centers, places of worship, local restaurants and individual homes to share their interests, talents and efforts.

“We support these conversations and connections because it’s how change happens. The greatest moments in our country started when people have gathered together informally to contemplate what they can do together,” said Pedro A. Ramos, Philadelphia Foundation’s President & CEO. “People ultimately want to strengthen and improve the places where they live. They want to get to know each other, build trust, and then take action together.”

“Knight Foundation believes that successful communities are equitable, inclusive and participatory. On the Table Philly puts this belief into action,” said Ellen Hwang, Knight Foundation director for Philadelphia. “We are excited to partner with Philadelphia Foundation to bring this important event to life for the third year. On the Table Philly continues to provide a simple and accessible opportunity for residents of all backgrounds to engage in discussions and action that propel the Philadelphia region forward.”

“Working with Knight Foundation provides us with the necessary tools to convene the conversations, survey participants and publish what we learn from our neighbors,” Ramos said. Survey results from both previous years are available at

On the Table Philly discussions continue to influence the work of Philadelphia Foundation. The survey results informed the categories of the foundation’s recent $1 million Key to Community grants program in which the public selected nine nonprofit winners. Last year’s “Activate” mini grants implemented 43 projects developed through the conversations. Topics that surfaced through the survey also were posed to Philadelphia City Council candidates at a spring candidates convention before the primary election and inspired an upcoming gathering on reducing gun violence.

This year’s On the Table Philly event will highlight the importance of participating in the 2020 census for its impact on regional funding that addresses the topics discussed in conversations.

Sept. 6, 2019 Registration Kick-Off

This year’s Philly initiative is being launched with demonstration tables at the Reading Terminal Market on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. In the upcoming weeks, On the Table Philly will recruit hosts and organizers to convene discussions in the Greater Philadelphia region. The goal is to create opportunities for residents who may not regularly speak to each other to break bread and ultimately begin to build a deeper and broader voice in the region.

On the Table Philly Background

Over the last two years, On the Table Philly has brought thousands of socially and civic-minded individuals together, with about 3,000 participants in 2017 and 5,000 in 2018.

The 2019 Philadelphia initiative has a wide-ranging Advisory Committee committed to creating a meaningful event. Partners are the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Reading Terminal Market, the Urban Affairs Coalition, PECO, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Foundation for Delaware County, the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Philadelphia LISC,  the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, Campus Philly and Visit Philadelphia.

To learn more, to sign up to host an On the Table Philly 2019 conversation or get involved, visit or email at Join the On the Table Philly conversation on social media using #OnTheTablePHL.


About 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

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

About On the Table

Philadelphia Foundation is one of 11 community foundations across the U.S. participating in On the Table in 2019. The conversations are part of a national initiative funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. On the Table replicates an annual civic engagement initiative of the same name developed by The Chicago Community Trust in 2014. Support for On the Table advances Knight Foundation’s work to help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of civic engagement. Knight Foundation believes that successful communities are equitable, inclusive and participatory.