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Pritchard leaving CEO role at Philanthropy Delaware

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WILMINGTON – Philanthropy Delaware President and CEO Cynthia Pritchard has resigned to take a similar role with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation in Harrisburg, Pa.

Pritchard’s last day with Philanthropy Delaware will be July 24 and the board has already begun a search for her successor.

Cynthia Pritchard | Photo c/o Philanthropy Delaware

“My time here was just a catalyst for a new and exciting time for philanthropy in Delaware and the organization is positioned for a great future here in Delaware,” Pritchard told the Delaware Business Times.

Pritchard has served as head of Philanthropy Delaware since February 2017, joining the organization after serving for nearly eight years as president and CEO of United Way of Greater Augusta in Virginia.

“As we have traversed through COVID-19, it became very apparent to me that I need to place myself geographically near my family. I was offered an opportunity that would allow me to be close to my children and grandchildren, where I feel I need to be at this point in my life,” she said in a letter distributed Thursday afternoon to Philanthropy Delaware members.

“Leading Philanthropy Delaware has been a wonderful experience that I will never forget. From the rebranding of Delaware Grantmakers Association to Philanthropy Delaware to increased membership, the organization has advanced philanthropy in Delaware,” she wrote. “Through enlightening and instructive programming, thought leadership, resources for our members, forging alliances with local and state government leadership, providing grant-matching assistance to local organizations, and collective investment of our members, the culmination of work has led to more effective, efficient, and impactful philanthropy in Delaware.”

Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA) President and CEO Sheila Bravo said her organization and Philanthropy Delaware have been partners for many years.

“When Cynthia came on board as CEO of Philanthropy Delaware, we quickly developed important strategies around connecting nonprofits and funders in a way that could inform collaboration,” Bravo said. “ShareDelaware.org is the result. DANA and Philanthropy Delaware jointly launched a platform where you can find not only nonprofits working in Delaware, but in what geographies and with what populations. Since then Cynthia and I have partnered on public policy issues, Census 2020 and of course, in connecting nonprofits and philanthropy together during the Covid-19 pandemic. Cynthia will be missed. She has become a great friend to me and to many in the time she has served as CEO. I will miss her and wish her all the best as she moves to her new adventure!”

Philanthropy Delaware worked with Delaware Community Foundation, DANA and the United Way of Delaware to create the COVID-19 Strategic Response Initiative for Delaware. Pritchard served as the director of the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which has awarded $2.8 million to 128 Delaware nonprofits to date in order to help fund needed responses to the pandemic amid a time of diminished fundraising.

“The work will continue through the new grant programs of the Community Needs and Vision Grant Programs to continue to meet the emerging and evolving need from the pandemic,” she said. “Truly, we are stronger together.”

“Cynthia has brought passion for strong communities, and a deep knowledge of nonprofits to Philanthropy Delaware,” DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay said. “She has been a great partner for many of us in the philanthropic and nonprofit communities. We’re happy she’s able to move closer to family but we’ll all miss her greatly.

Looking ahead for the Delaware nonprofit community after she departs, Pritchard told DBT that “the new normal provides a new opportunity for nonprofits to think innovatively and creatively on how they can meet their clients’ needs through partnerships and collaborations. Now is the time for nonprofits to think big about optimal, transparent, and bold ways to work together so that those that need them can access services easily and timely such that they have the best opportunities for themselves. We saw funders come together in COVID-19 to be responsive to the needs of Delawareans; I charge the nonprofits to do the same.”

By Peter Osborne


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