September 25, 2017
ChapelsThis is an interview with John and Virginia Chapel with the Chapel Family Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation. This fund provides direct grants to nonprofits and other programs benefiting child and youth development, poverty relief, health and aging, military personnel and their families, and community improvement. The Chapels are the 2017 Raise the Region Gala Challenge Sponsor, and are long-time supporters of the Gala.

Why do you support the Community Foundation, what does it mean to you?

We believe that supporting our causes through the Community Foundation is a good way add value to our giving because the Community Foundation uses our funds’ earnings to support its many charitable endeavors.

Can you tell us about your philanthropy through your fund here?

To date our funding has been primarily focused on Jinnie’s alma mater, The Pennsylvania State University, and John’s college, Drexel University. Our philanthropy has been provided through programs that aid deserving students who have been trying to support themselves but have come up a little short. Both of us had to work part time while we were in school and we understand that a little financial support can provide a big boost to a struggling student. We have also contributed some funds directly to the Community Foundation’s fund.

You have provided longstanding support of our Gala, could you tell us about that?

We have done two things with the Gala. First, for two years we provided matching funds for “Stand Up and Pledge” up to $25,000. Both last year and this year we have been the Supporting Sponsor for the event at the same financial level. We have been extremely gratified as we have watched so many people stand up to pledge so readily over the past few years.

We understand that you have a multi-year grant at Drexel University and Penn State. What can you tell us about that and what it means to your overall philanthropy efforts?

First, we support intern and fellow programs at the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State. Through these programs, we are supporting students who would not be able to accept an internship without the extra support which we provide them. We recently met with this past year’s class of 16 interns; they are an amazing group of young people. Second, we support the LeBow Business College at Drexel University through the Dean’s Chair whose income is used for scholarships for students who would not be able to graduate without the funds. We have also supported the Drexel Department of Athletics by establishing an Achieve Center where all student athletes can get nutritional guidance, healthful snacks and drinks, and academic counseling and coaching—and chill a little as well.

Any closing thoughts on working with the Community Foundation?

We have been pleased to be able to participate in the Community Foundations goal of being able to help establish and fund important community projects to help the less fortunate among us.

To learn more about the annual Raise the Region gala please visit To learn more about the Chapel fund and other funds at the Community Foundation please visit the Donor Funds page.