The Lenfest Foundation. Committed to finding solutions now for a life-changing impact for generations to come.


Too many Philadelphia youth are not exposed to the limitless career possibilities they deserve due to circumstances beyond their control. At the Lenfest Foundation, our grant-making is focused on making sure that young people in Philadelphia gain the education, knowledge, skills and opportunities that lead to a fulfilling, productive life in adulthood.


We are committed to supporting promising strategies now that will have a life-changing impact on Philadelphia’s youth for generations to come. We have an unyielding faith in the next generation, coupled with an urgency to do more to prepare people to thrive in their future careers.


The Lenfest Foundation works to strengthen community supports for young people, especially during critical transitions in their education and development. We invest strategically, foster collaboration, build on promising practices, and design new interventions.


We invest and work with partners to help youth:

Discover passions and explore future possibilities (5th–8th grade)

Build skills and prepare for their careers (14–26 years old)


Through the efforts of our grantee network, it is our aspiration that youth and young adults will possess the skills necessary to thrive in the local and global economy.



Photo: Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia

H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest | 1930-2018

Philadelphia lost a civic giant with the passing of H.F. Gerry Lenfest, who died August 5, 2018, at the age of 88. Reflecting on his life and legacy, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the Philadelphia of today without the incomparable leadership and largesse of Gerry Lenfest. The businessman and entrepreneur turned philanthropist extraordinaire ranks among the city’s most highly-respected and influential civic leaders, and the philanthropic path he blazed with his wife Marguerite will certainly have a profound impact on the fabric of our city for decades to come.

The Lenfests became wealthy from the sale of their cable business in 2000, and were among a new breed of donors whose mission was to give away the vast majority of their fortune during their lifetime.  In less than 20 years, the couple‘s giving has exceeded $1.3 billion. While the Lenfest’s philanthropy touched on a range of issues, Gerry is perhaps best known in Philadelphia for his financial support and leadership of some of the city’s major arts and cultural institutions, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Curtis Institute of Music, The Barnes Foundation, and the Museum of the American Revolution. His giving also made headlines recently when he purchased Philadelphia Media Network (owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and and donated it to a newly-created nonprofit, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the first-of-its-kind organization dedicated to developing and supporting sustainable business models for great local journalism. 

Last year the Lenfests joined a distinguished roster of donors to be honored with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The award citation noted their innate modesty and hailed them for embodying the essence of generosity, altruism, and dedication to the common good.


Read more about the incredible life and legacy of Gerry Lenfest: