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Montco Foundations Team Up in Innovative Grant Partnership

Tuesday, February 22, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Seasholtz
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Family and Community Foundation Partnership Issue Challenge Grant
for Cultural Institution


Meredith A. Huffman, Executive Director, Genuardi Family Foundation
Tel: (610) 834-2030

Virginia Frantz, President & CEO, Montgomery County Foundation, Inc.
Tel: (610) 313-9836

Heather M. Bendit, Director of Development, Elmwood Park Zoo
Tel: (610) 277-3825, ext. 238

(2-16-11) The Genuardi Family Foundation and The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. announced today that they have formed an innovative partnership to issue a $20,000 challenge grant to the Elmwood Park Zoo. Under the terms of the challenge, the Zoo must raise $20,000 in contributions from individuals, community groups and businesses. The minimum qualifying gift amount will be $1,000, pledged by new donors, donors returning after a lapse, or donors who are significantly increasing their gifts. All funds raised will support the Zoo's general operations.

The Foundations' intent is that the Zoo will use this as an opportunity to expand its base of donors able to make significant gifts, contributing to the zoo's continued financial stability.

"The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. is interested in addressing significant non-profit issues through the strategic investment of funds to build a stronger non-profit sector,” said Virginia Frantz, President and CEO of the community foundation. "This effort—a $20,000 challenge grant that hinges on the Zoo raising the matching $20,000—is an unprecedented and creative tool for both foundations to advance their missions. The Zoo plays a significant role in Montgomery County. Both foundations feel these grant dollars can assist the Zoo in the development of new ‘friends' whose substantial and continued support will ensure the Zoo's future.”

The Genuardi Family Foundation and The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. each are committed to providing strategic support to their community partner organizations, endeavoring to build stronger communities. Virginia Frantz, President & CEO of The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. and  Meredith Huffman, Executive Director of the Genuardi Family Foundation brought this opportunity before their respective Boards as an innovative approach to improving the long-term stability of the Zoo, whose 16 acres are home to about 300 animals and more than 100 species, including the travelling education collection. Founded in 1924, this generations-old landmark in the heart of Norristown welcomes 135,000 annual visitors.

"Collaboration between funders can be challenging. Foundations are very process-driven, adhering closely to their own deadlines, forms and niche grantmaking priorities,” noted Meredith Huffman, Executive Director of the Genuardi Family Foundation. "We recognized, however, an opportunity for greater impact if we were to pool our resources. It is our hope that this cooperative grant will inspire other institutional and individual donors to liaise to make meaningful contributions in our shared communities.”

"We deeply appreciate the opportunity this challenge presents,” stated Bill Konstant, Elmwood Park Zoo Executive Director. "Shortly we will kick off a special fundraising campaign in response to the challenge and are grateful to the respective boards of the Genuardi Family Foundation and The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. for the confidence they have in our ability to effectively leverage their support.”

About the Genuardi Family Foundation
The Genuardi Family Foundation supports the development of healthy individuals, families and communities by promoting self-sufficiency, hard work and generosity, with a commitment to caring for the most vulnerable in our communities. It was founded in 2001 by members of the third generation of the Genuardi family of Norristown, Pennsylvania, after the sale of Genuardi Family Markets to Safeway, Inc. The Foundation honors the family's cherished legacy of giving to others through its support of non-profit organizations that serve the people and communities that supported the Genuardi family business for 80 years. Additional information is available online at

About The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc.
The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit community foundation whose purpose is to serve as ‘a catalyst for community solutions” and to serve as a resource for donors, charitable non-profit agencies and the general public. The Foundation assists donors to establish permanent endowment funds such as donor advised and donor designated funds. Non-profits can establish Agency Endowment Funds. The Foundation also has Issue Funds such as the Hungry and Homeless Fund and other funds that address critical community needs. The Foundation also develops direct service projects. One example of such a project is the regional web based health and human services resource directory called Additional information about The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. can be found at or by calling 610-313-9836.

About Elmwood Park Zoo
Elmwood Park Zoo is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of wildlife and their habitat that will inspire active participation in conservation. It has served the residents of Montgomery County, PA for more than 85 years and is one of only 218 zoos and aquariums in the country accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Elmwood Park Zoo is located at 1661 Harding Blvd. in Norristown. Additional information about Elmwood Park Zoo, including how to make a gift, can be found at or by calling 610-277-3825.