Penn Mar Human Services Foundation

The Penn-Mar Foundation

The Building Bold Futures Campaign

We are proud to announce the successful completion of our campaign, which raised over $7.6 million! With this funding, we are able to provide the best possible services to the people we support and their families, continually invest in our critically important Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) via our Career Ladders program and other initiatives, and strengthen our organization both now and in the future.


The Penn-Mar Foundation supports the mission of Penn-Mar Human Services by securing the financial resources needed to provide innovative and high-quality supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

With government funding alone, we can do a good job providing basic supports. However, our mission has never been to just do a good job. We’re committed to transforming lives.

The Foundation’s support allows us to:

  1. Support people with IDD to live their best lives in a person-centered culture.
  2. Transform our team members’ work experiences and lives through education and opportunity so they are fully valued and engaged, and able to provide the best levels of support possible.
  3. Expand Penn-Mar’s reputation as an innovative leader advocating for best practices supporting people with IDD, influencing the human services field’s advancement.


Our Endowments and Funds

The Foundation manages three endowments and funds, which allow Penn-Mar Human Services to bring the same innovations and opportunities to people with disabilities that most of us experience in our own lives.

The General Endowment

Not that long ago, adults with disabilities had little-to-no support within ill-equipped, one-size-fits-all institutions. Thankfully, innovations in service-delivery to support every person’s dignity and right to a full life have rapidly developed.

The General Endowment allows us to implement new methods of support as better approaches are discovered. This endowment provides us the flexibility we need to fuel innovation, enabling us to carry out critical and unique programs.

The Michael James Pitts Endowment for the Advancement of Direct Support Professionals

Supporting people with disabilities takes complex critical thinking, problem solving, and advocacy skills. Yet insufficient government funding makes it extremely difficult to recruit and retain skilled Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to provide these supports. It’s a national crisis, with human service providers losing 50% of their DSP workforce each year.

In response to this challenge, the Michael James Pitts Endowment funds our renowned Career Ladders Program, in which participating DSPs complete education, receive nationally recognized credentials, and are awarded performance-based incentive pay. Penn-Mar retains 90% of DSPs who have earned their credentials, ultimately enabling the people we support to live higher-quality lives.

Learn more about the Michael James Pitts Endowment here.

Professionals have been an integral part of Michael’s life for over 30 years. These are the people that we have trusted to support our son.”

Jim Pitts, Michael’s father

The Zgorski Family Endowment for the Penn-Mar Staff Training and Aid Fund

The Zgorski Family Endowment supports programs for Direct Support Professionals that enhance the mastery of critical skills, independent thinking, ethical judgement, and the ability to create long-term relationships of trust and mutual respect with the people and families supported by Penn-Mar Human Services. The endowment also provides resources for people supported by Penn-Mar Human Services who do not have enough personal funds to cover the expenses associated with community-based activities.


Our Impact

$12 Million in Assets Under Management and Growing

The Foundation has experienced extraordinary growth in the last 5 years, enabling Penn-Mar to go above and beyond the constraints of traditional government support.

Career Ladders

Over $1.25 million has been raised through our Annual Gala since 2016 to support the program. There is currently $4.7 million (and growing) in the Michael James Pitts Endowment for the Advancement of Direct Support Professionals, ensuring this program’s future. We’ve already certified 87 DSPs, and Penn-Mar has an 79% retention rate of credentialed DSPs.

Team Member Care Fund

Our Team Member Care Fund provides emergency financial relief to DSPs and other non-managerial team members who are experiencing unexpected financial hardships. It was particularly essential during times of crisis, such as COVID-19.​

Person-Centered Culture

The development of a cohesive, coordinated, and intentional person-centered approach across all programs that allows the people we support to live their best life.

Read more in our 2022 Annual Report

For more information about the Penn-Mar Foundation, please contact:

Kathy Rogers, Executive Director of the Penn-Mar Foundation



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