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A Perfect Match

Ten President’s Men and Women of Pennsylvania Challenge funds will amplify Penn’s ability to provide matching money for scholarships and continue to expand transformative educational access

Challenge funds provide matches for multiple scholarships to impact many studentsWhen President Amy Gutmann announced that the University’s financial aid program would offer grant-based aid packages to eligible students, Penn became the largest university in the country to do so. A global community of alumni and friends stepped up to help make this promise a reality, with scholarship challenge funds providing inspiration for maximizing the reach of their philanthropy.

In September 2021, President Gutmann introduced the President’s Men and Women of Pennsylvania Challenge in recognition of the ongoing need to strengthen Penn’s ability to offer comprehensive aid to students. This opportunity offers an extraordinary 1:1 match to 10 donors who make a $1 million gift, thereby establishing 10 distinct $2 million funds for matching gifts that will inspire increased support for undergraduate financial aid. President Gutmann’s announcement came as Penn has seen increased requests for student aid due to the current and lasting economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the University’s commitment to financial aid has continued to be unwavering.

Donors who take advantage of this new round of matching funds will join the Men and Women of Pennsylvania leadership group, which recognizes generous donors who have made cumulative gifts of more than $2 million to financial aid within a five-year period.

Challenge funds are an essential element of Penn’s commitment to inclusion. Donors who establish challenge funds amplify the generosity of others by providing resources for Penn’s matching gift program. By helping to maintain a robust pool of matching dollars, challenge fund donors help ensure that Penn will be able to continue to leverage these resources to increase the power of endowed scholarships.

Penn is proud to welcome a talented population of students regardless of their socioeconomic or geographic background. Undergraduate financial aid plays a vital role in our ability to do so, and matching gift funds have motivated historic levels of giving at Penn over the past decade. Creating a President’s Men and Women of Pennsylvania Challenge Fund is a wonderful way for donors to maximize the impact and reach of their philanthropy across generations. For more information, please contact Maryann O’Leary Salas at


Penn First Plus Challenge Fund

A recent gift from Scott, W’99, and Elena Shleifer has created a $3 million challenge fund to encourage additional endowed support for enhanced financial aid packages for Penn First Plus students. These endowments will fund students to take summer courses, pursue internships, join a research team, engage in service learning, or study abroad. By offering a match of $100,000 to augment gifts of $400,000, the Shleifer Challenge will generate $15 million in endowed support.
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