In 1984, Mayor Wilson Goode founded the Fund for Philadelphia to support and promote the City of Philadelphia through the administration of large-scale special events. In the early years, the Fund supported the City’s tricentennial celebration, the Philadelphia “Get to Know Us” campaign, the City’s Fourth of July celebrations, and the Mayor’s Gala.
In 2012, the Fund for Philadelphia was renamed the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia and refocused its services to provide the City the ability to apply for and accept charitable funds and competitive grants, thus establishing the Fund as the City’s designated fiscal sponsor for private funding sources. During this time, using revenues from the Philadelphia Marathon, the Fund developed a grantmaking function to provide support to local nonprofits. Around this time, the City also established the Innovation Fund in an effort to support innovative ideas generated by City departments to improve government services.
Beginning with Mayor James F. Kenney in 2016, the Fund underwent another change to bring it to where it is today. The Board of Directors consists of five external (non-City) Directors and four Directors that are appointees of City leadership. This leadership team, in partnership with a new executive director, renamed the organization the Philadelphia City Fund, a name which emphasizes the nonprofit organization’s independent nature, and its commitment to enabling innovative projects that enhance the lives of all Philadelphians.