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Spring 2021 Appeal


Dear Friend of the Alliance Française,

Your Alliance Française de Philadelphia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people learn French and deepen their knowledge of Francophone cultures.  We have served as Philadelphia’s main cultural and social connection to the Francophone world for over a century.  As it was for so many other organizations, 2020 was a year of adaptation for us, as we closed our physical doors and immediately and continually took steps to remain connected and to continue fulfilling our mission by offering classes, cultural events and a welcoming community online.  Over the course of the last 12+ months, we have continued to listen to our community, evolve our offerings and grow stronger in our ability to serve and connect with you.  


We enter Spring 2021 with a sense of enthusiasm about what comes next.  Our executive director, teachers, administrative staff, and board are developing our plans to continue to offer online programming with excellence, which allows us to connect with a broader community unbound by geography, as well as our plans for the days when it is again safe to host our classes and events in person.  We will employ health and wellness safeguards based on sound guidance and take appropriate precautions, starting with small-scale events. Although we do not know when we will be in a position to meet in-person again, we assure you that we plan to be ready for that day. It is our sincere hope that your Alliance Française de Philadelphia will host its “Fête de Retrouvailles” this Fall.


We traditionally conduct our annual appeal during the Spring, and in that capacity, are reaching out to you, as our community, to support us and our work. Throughout 2020 and early 2021, we have offered a diverse program of online courses for all ages, levels, schedules and budgets, and also partnered with local individuals, businesses and associations, as well as Alliance Française chapters in other cities to reach out to our larger community. Highlights of our recent and current programs, as well as the initiatives we are currently working on, include:

  • Often in partnership with others, presented a variety of cultural lectures and events, including poetry and book readings, history lectures, cooking demonstrations, yoga and mindfulness classes, culinary lectures and cooking classes; 
  • Offering many opportunities to socialize and develop a community connection, including virtual happy hours, poetry sharing events, quiz nights, and virtual book readings for children;
  • Maintain a dynamic and interactive social media community, including a weekly newsletter with community updates, francophone news and quizzes, and a weekly newsletter of Alliance Française de Philadelphia happenings;
  • Intend to continue to offer a variety of classes, with plans to resume some in-person classes in the fall and to also offer some hybrid class options and to continue online courses;
  • Working on a gradual transition back to in-person activities, currently offering in-person examination center for TCF and DELF exams, as well as appointments for members to borrow books from our library;
  • Planning to host an event in partnership with Global Philadelphia in the fall to serve as our “Fête des Retrouvailles” and to celebrate the new book “Salut! France Meets Philadelphia”;
  • Resuming in 2022 the annual Pierre Fraley Scholarship grant open to college students for study abroad; and 
  • Inaugurating the Marie Louise Vermeiren Jackson Scholarship for the study of French language and culture open to students, French teachers and young professionals in 2022.


We are proud of our achievements and both confident and hopeful about our future.  We thank you for being part of our community and encourage you to be an even more active member, and to do so in whatever fashion is most rewarding for you.  Please renew your dues-paying membership, participate in our online events, designate us as your Amazon smiles donation recipient and, importantly, make a tax-deductible donation.  Your financial support will play a vital role in enabling us to continue our important mission, including ensuring that we can employ and compensate our top-notch administration and teachers, meet our operating costs, and serve you, our community and our priority.  


Please go on our website  to donate (https://www.afphila.com/membership-support/donate/ , or send us a check.  Your generosity is appreciated, and all donations will be gratefully acknowledged. We send our heartfelt wishes that, during this trying time, you remain calm, strong, healthy, and engaged. Bonne santé, bon courage et merci!


Amitiés,



Sonia Robin Nancy Gabel

Executive Director President