General FAQs

What is On the Table Philly and why should I participate?

By hosting a mealtime conversation as part of On the Table Philly on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, you’ll be part of an exciting, region-wide initiative to explore the ways in which we have the power to collaborate in order to make our communities stronger and more dynamic.

We share a desire to come together, collaborate more, become more connected and more involved in our community. While we know that there’s no “quick fix” to the issues facing our region, progress will result from residents and organizations bringing into focus the needs and wants of our communities and identifying the opportunities and solutions that can move us forward.

What you do matters — and when individuals come together to learn from and with each other, we have the power to impact both communities and lives. That’s what On the Table Philly is all about.

What is the goal of On the Table Philly?

Our goal is to bring together residents of the region to discuss how we can work together to strengthen our communities.  We want to help identify opportunities and solutions that will lead to more growth and prosperity in our region.

How can I get involved?

Right now, we’re in the process of recruiting hosts from across the Greater Philadelphia region to be part of On the Table Philly. To sign up, simply click the Register to Host” button at www.onthetablephl.org.

What is The Philadelphia Foundation?

Founded in 1918, The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia.  TPF grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, TPF manages more than 900 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit philafound.org.

Where can I find more information about On The Table Philly?

New and updated information will be posted regularly on this site. We will also provide registered hosts with updates via email or text messages.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Additionally, you can send us an e-mail at onthetable@philafound.org to have one of our outreach team members contact you with more information.

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Host FAQs

What does a host need to do? What’s involved?

It’s really pretty simple: You determine a location for folks to meet on May 23, 2017, for a mealtime conversation to discuss the ways in which we can commit to making our communities stronger and more dynamic — communities where opportunities grow, quality of life is enhanced and families thrive. You can offer breakfast, lunch, snack, coffee break, or dinner as you wish — your choice at any time of day. Feel free to serve whatever you like, too – from a catered or home-cooked meal to a potluck picnic, brown bag lunch, or coffee and donuts.

How do I get started?

1. Select the orange “Register To Host” button on the bottom of this page and complete the form. When you register, we will also add you to the invitation list for a host orientation session and put you on the notification list for updates.

2. Download an On the Table Philly host kit (found under Tool Kits) to review resources for the conversation and tips on running a successful event.  

Who do I invite?

The invite list is up to you, but we encourage you to think about how you can network through this event to develop new friendships, partnerships and perspectives.

If you’re unsure, start with people you know — friends, family, colleagues and neighbors of all ages and backgrounds. You may also want to consider reaching out to a larger community by co-hosting your event with a local nonprofit or religious organization. Consider asking your guests to bring a friend, or invite people from your network that don’t already know each other well.  Reach out to people whom you’d like to get to know better.

Eight-to-twelve guests per table is ideal. On the Table Philly is about giving everyone a chance to speak and be heard.

If you want to host a larger gathering, consider breaking into smaller groups and allowing time for each to discuss and report out to the larger group.

How should I invite my guests?

Emails, phone calls, texts, in person conversations, and even short hand-written notes are all effective ways to connect with guests.

What should an On the Table Philly gathering look like?

Hosts are encouraged to offer whatever form of hospitality is comfortable and easy for you.  You are welcome to be creative. The priority is to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful conversation — coffee and donuts in your organization’s meeting room, a potluck at your home, a picnic in a nearby park, a brown bag lunch, a gathering at a neighborhood restaurant or a block party with pretzels and lemonade are just some of the many possibilities.

What is expected of me during and after my On the Table Philly gathering is over?

We look forward to hearing about the stories and commitments discussed at your gathering. We encourage all participants to share insights, photos and videos on social media throughout the day, using #LetsTalkPhilly.

At the conclusion of the On the Table Philly events on May 23, we’ll provide every participant (hosts and guests) with a short survey to learn more about their experiences and their aspirations for the community.

All On the Table Philly participants can opt-in to receive an electronic copy of the summary report detailing the impact and outcomes of this initiative, which will also be made available publicly.