The Leon H. Sullivan Charitable Trust (“the Trust”), formerly Zion Non-Profit Charitable Trust, which is a 501©(3) tax-exempt organization founded by Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, was formed by Declaration of Trust dated December 20, 1966 to receive tax deductible gifts and to ensure that the plan remain unaltered in its charitable purpose of self-help.
Initial funding for the Trust came from the participants in the 10-36 Plan. In structuring the first “sharing for empowerment” initiative, Dr. Sullivan invited members of Zion Baptist Church to save ten dollars ($10) a month for thirty-six (36) months. He made it very clear that the first $160 would be a tax-deductible contribution to a non-profit organization. Thus, affirming that giving to receive is the essence of self-help.
The Trust has concentrated on activities designed to bring members of the minority community into the economic mainstream of the United States by:
A. sponsoring business management, ownership and development training programs.
B. providing technical and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and community groups interested in economic development
C. giving financial and tutorial assistance to high school and college students.
Research and Development:
The Trust maintained a research and development team called Progress Creative Analysis Section, (PCA). PCA assisted in the development of shopping centers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Phoenix, Arizona. It later developed the Progress Human Services Building (now Leon H. Sullivan Human Services Center) and the Progress Haddington Shopping Center.
The Trust received several grants from the Ford Foundation and the Federal Government. Through these grants, the Trust provided management and business ownership training courses through its Entrepreneurial Development Training Center, Office of Minority Business Enterprises Affiliate (EDTC) and it operated the Progress Management and Economic Development (PMED) training facility at the Progress Plaza which trained persons in marketing, merchandising, accounting and real estate, with particular emphasis on shopping center development.
The Trust initiated the Progress Educational Project (PEP) to assist students to continue their education in high school and college.
For a short time, the Trust, as sponsor, owned and operated the Progress Venture Capital Corporation (PVCC) as a Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Company to provide financial assistance to small businesses.
The Trust administered the S.O.S. Program in partnership with International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH), a program funded by individual development accounts the supported “Teachers for Africa.” The role of the Trust was to receive, store and ship books and other classroom equipment and supplies.
The Trust has funded overhead for the ownership, rehabilitation and disposition of several real estate properties around the City of Philadelphia, through various Progress Movement entities, and often using graduates from the various training programs of the Trust or from the Opportunities Industrialization Center’s construction training programs.
The Trust built the property at 1415 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA to provide space for much needed human services for the community. The Trust owns and operates this Leon H. Sullivan Human Services Center, a 67000 square foot building and the first and largest office building built by African Americans in Philadelphia. The Center provides affordable office space to the providers of social and human services.
The Trust also owns Mini Mall West Inc. which is an equal partner owner of the Progress Haddington Plaza at 56th and Vine Streets in Philadelphia, PA.