January 28, 2019
In 1985, a group of visionary Pittsburgh-area grantmakers created a nonprofit organization to exchange knowledge and collaborate for higher impact. This nonprofit evolved into Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania (GWP), a philanthropy network now comprising 100 grantmaking organizations of all types.
In January of 2019, GWP appointed Erie Community Foundation President, Michael L. Batchelor to its Board of Directors. GWP’s mission is to promote excellence in philanthropy. It works to enhance philanthropy’s impact by hosting funders’ learning networks; delivering issue briefings, webinars and other educational programming; promoting knowledge exchange between funders; sharing innovations and best practices in the field; and encouraging strong partnerships within philanthropy and with other sectors of the community. GWP is now working to build and diversify its membership by engaging more funders outside of Allegheny and the adjacent counties.
“We believe that The Erie Community Foundation’s GWP membership and Mr. Batchelor’s service on its board of directors will be a great help to GWP as we build connections with and between more Pennsylvania funders,” said Barbara Sieck Taylor, Executive Director of GWP. “Members at greater distance will strengthen GWP by ensuring that our network includes the unique perspectives of funders located in or supporting more rural communities. With robust exchange and strong relationships between diverse philanthropy practitioners, they will be better able to align strategies and resources in service of the charitable sector in western Pennsylvania,” she added.
Batchelor was selected as the first Executive Director of The Erie Community Foundation in 1990, and was named president in 1996. Under his leadership, assets grew from $20 million to $248 million, placing ECF within the top 10% of community foundations nationwide. Individual named endowment funds have increased from 53 to over 800. He established Erie Vital Signs, a regional key indicator project, and Erie Gives, a successful online giving day, and is a founder of The Nonprofit Partnership, a significant capacity building project. Most recently, he helped create the Susan Hirt Hagen Fund and Center for Transformational Philanthropy. Batchelor has on-site consulting experience with over 50 community foundations and has been active in state and national field governance, including serving two terms as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Foundations. He received a BS in Journalism and an MA in Public Policy Analysis, both from Kent State University.
The Erie Community Foundation works to improve the quality of life for all in our region by evaluating and addressing community issues, by building permanent charitable endowments and by promoting philanthropic and community leadership. To learn more, visit www.ErieCommunityFoundation.or....