In 2010, the economic downturn had a significant negative impact on nonprofits. Many organizations struggled with how to reduce operations in the face of decreased funding and asked questions like: Should we re-evaluate our menu of program offerings and eliminate some? Should we reduce our scope? Should we minimize the size of all of our programs?
Penn alumna Jackie Einstein Astrof, CAS ’93, was working closely with many nonprofits at the time and had an idea for helping them address these concerns. She wanted to harness the intellectual and professional skills of the Penn alumni community in a mutually beneficial way. Nonprofits would receive pro bono consulting support to focus on strategic issues that likely would otherwise be back-burnered, while alums would have a way to engage together in rewarding, socially impactful work. PennPAC was born.
In the Fall of 2011, the first PennPAC projects launched in New York City. PennPAC expanded to regions outside of New York starting with a successful launch in Philadelphia in Spring 2012. In January 2017, PennPAC Silicon Valley launched its first project. Currently, PennPAC is affiliated with Penn’s regional alumni clubs: PennNYC and the Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia. In addition, PennPAC works with the Penn Club of San Francisco and the Penn Club of Silicon Valley.
PennPAC actualizes the values of Penn’s eminent founder, Benjamin Franklin, a successful entrepreneur and political leader, who is also known for his practical spirit and intense commitment to the public good.