The Delaware Valley Legacy Fund elected an executive director nearly seven months after the resignation of his predecessor.
Social-justice professional Juan Franco was one of 65 candidates who applied for the position at the LGBT grantmaking organization, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Fernando Gonzalez, president of DVLF’s board of directors, said Franco’s background in fundraising and building relationships made him the ideal fit.
“[Franco] has a track record and results in both his professional and volunteer work. We know that he will play a key role in fostering philanthropy by and for our diverse and vibrant LGBTQ community in the years ahead,” said Gonzalez.
Franco previously worked for Temple University’s School of Social Work on HIV prevention and communications strategies in the underserved Latinx community and other marginalized populations. He also served as a navigation specialist at Mazzoni Center and as a congestive-heart-failure outreach worker and interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients at Temple University Hospital.
Franco said he “plans on hitting the ground running” to move DVLF’s mission forward.
“My priorities for the organization involve strengthening our relationship with our donors, establishing relationships with organizations and community members,” Franco said. “My focus as I step into this position is to reengage our legacy members to ensure that DVLF has a successful future.”
The fund’s Legacy Society counts more than 50 members and a pipeline of $13 million of planned donations from members who named DVLF as one of their beneficiaries, Gonzalez said. Franco added that he’s already involved with reviving DVLF’s Distinguishing Officer Program, which provides future leaders of the LGBTQ community with advancement opportunities through leadership and skills-building workshops.
The program will be operated in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, the William Way LGBT Community Center and Independence Business Alliance.
“I want to help the community in advancing opportunities for people who don’t necessarily have many,” Franco said.