Support for Penn comes in all shapes and sizes. Since 1955, the Benjamin Franklin Society, the University’s leadership annual giving group, has been a beacon of engagement for Penn alumni, parents, and friends from all walks of life.
Celebrating its 65th anniversary this fiscal year, the Benjamin Franklin Society (BFS) recognizes donors who have made gifts or pledges of $2,500 or more to annual giving funds across the University. These donors make a powerful impact on the University because their gifts are unrestricted, which allows them to be flexibly applied to the area of greatest need at any given moment—from tuition aid to research, from faculty support to a host of other priorities.
As Ben Franklin once said, “an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Through their generosity and vision, BFS members exemplify our founder’s belief in impactful philanthropy and serve as an inspiration to Penn supporters.
When the Benjamin Franklin Society was formed in 1955 it was known as the Benjamin Franklin Associates. The society drew nearly 200 donors to its ranks during its earliest years, establishing a tradition of giving that continues to this day.
Now that base of support is broader and stronger than ever. In 2018-19, the Benjamin Franklin Society set a new membership record, welcoming more than 1,400 first-time members to the Society.
All BFS members receive invitations to recognition events, special receptions with leading Penn faculty, and other exclusive opportunities. In honor of the Society’s 65th anniversary, the University invited BFS members to Houston Hall for a celebratory brunch during Homecoming 2019. Attendees caught up with friends, heard from University leaders, and enjoyed a performance by the Penn Band and Penn Cheer.
Catch a glimpse of the BFS 2019 Homecoming Brunch in the video below.
By contributing to annual giving at Penn, you are fueling the momentum of The Power of Penn Campaign, and playing a key role in advancing knowledge for good. Members of the Benjamin Franklin Society serve as philanthropic examples to the entire Penn community, providing support for the University’s fundamental mission.