To members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly

January 7, 2013

To members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

Pennsylvania’s community foundations are universally dedicated to improving the quality of life in communities around the Commonwealth.  Each year we distribute tens of millions of dollars in grants to organizations addressing a wide range of issues in our state.  By administering funds entrusted to us in exactly the way the donor specified, we have an enormous impact on the places where Pennsylvanians live and work.

Through that work, we collectively support a large number of organizations working to address the problems of rape, domestic violence and child abuse.  None of those organizations have resources adequate to the formidable task they undertake.

We write today, therefore, to ask that you support efforts to direct the expenditure of the fund created as a result of the settlement between Penn State and the NCAA solely within Pennsylvania.  This fund represents a unique opportunity to make a significant investment in the capacity of organizations working to prevent horrific violence—and to ease the suffering of those who experience that violence.

While we express no judgment as to the wisdom of the settlement, it is clear to us that funds generated by Penn State ought to be spent on behalf of Pennsylvanians.   If there was ever an institution built on the generosity and farsightedness of Pennsylvanians, including our donors, it is Penn State.  Penn State itself asserts that it is “an instrumentality of the state.”  As such, it is hard to understand how the residents of our state will benefit from having Pennsylvania’s funds spent in California or New Jersey.

There is clearly a need for these funds here in the Commonwealth.  Moreover these funds were clearly generated (whatever their purported source) for the benefit of the residents of the Commonwealth. Those two reasons should be sufficient for our legislature to assure that any funds generated by this settlement benefit the communities of our Commonwealth.

Grant Oliphant
The Pittsburgh Foundation

Kevin K. Murphy
Berks County Community Foundation

Michael Batchelor
The Erie Community Foundation

R. Andrew Swinney
The Philadelphia Foundation

Janice R. Black
The Foundation for Enhancing Communities

Charles M. Barber
President and CEO
The Luzerne Foundation

Eric Dewald
Chief Executive Officer
Central Susquehanna Community Foundation

Karen A. Simmons
Chester County Community Foundation

Al Jones
Executive Director
Centre County Community Foundation

Barbara B. Ernico
Adams County Foundation

Samuel Bressi
President & CEO
Lancaster County Community Foundation

Christian Maher
Executive Director
Crawford Heritage Community Foundation

Betsie Trew
President & CEO
Washington County Community Foundation

Trenton E. Moulin
Executive Director
Bridge Builders Community Foundations

Linda L. Goodwin
Executive Director
Bucks County Foundation

Larry Haynes
Executive Director
Community Foundation

Bettie B. Stammerjohn
Executive Director
Community Foundation of Greene County