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BB&T Economic Growth Funds will add $5 million to local economic development efforts

With a $5 million donation to two local community foundations, the BB&T Economic Growth Funds have been established to invest in local economic development opportunities.  The Berks County Community Foundation and the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation each received $2.5 million in connection with BB&T’s acquisition of National Penn, which was completed April 1, to create two corporate donor-advised funds.

The Funds will allow both Community Foundations to support charitable projects and initiatives that impact economic development efforts in Berks County and the Lehigh Valley, respectively.  The Funds are not intended to be permanent, but a decision about how long they will exist has not been finalized.

“It has been a true pleasure working with Scott Fainor and the leadership of National Penn to establish the BB&T Economic Growth Fund,” said Bernie Story, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.  “We are delighted that the leadership has chosen two local community foundations to partner with them in growing the philanthropic reach of BB&T.”

Kevin K. Murphy, Berks County Community Foundation president, further commented, “This is a remarkable commitment by a great corporate citizen determined to enhance the economic vitality of the region. Devoting this amount of capital over the course of several years gives us an opportunity to make an immediate impact in Berks County and the Lehigh Valley.”

“Programs that prepare people and our communities for the future deliver exactly the kind of impact these funds are designed to support,” said BB&T Northern Pennsylvania Regional President David Kennedy.

Later this year, both Community Foundations will issue guidelines regarding how investments will be distributed from the Funds.  The Funds’ Advisory Committee members are: BB&T Group Executive Scott V. Fainor, formerly National Penn CEO; and BB&T Advisory Board members Thomas A. Beaver, CPA, and Jeffrey P. Feather, both former directors at National Penn. 

“The BB&T Economic Growth Funds will be exciting tools to help build the economies of Berks County and the Lehigh Valley. We are proud to support the efforts of these two organizations,” Fainor said.

About the Berks County Community Foundation:  Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing and distributing charitable funds aimed at improving the quality of life in Berks County.  More information is available at

About the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation:  The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation connects people who care to the causes that matter to them.  Founded in 1967, the Community Foundation administers over 200 charitable funds that annually grant nearly $3 million to nonprofit organizations in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.