Matthew “Matty” Hart is the founder and Principle of the Paris-based Lafayette Practice. Hart and The Lafayette Practice (TLP) specialize in advising on philanthropic strategy and management. TLP supports organizations from grassroots nonprofits and NGOs to International Foundations, in planning and implementation; institutional partnership-building; development and fundraising strategy; public relations; marketing; and relationship management.
Previously, Hart has served as the National Director for Public Engagement for Solutions for Progress (SfP), a consulting firm which creates innovative new public and private partnerships utilizing technology, research, analysis, and practical applications. As a senior member of the SfP Executive Team, Hart’s work focused on advancing SfP’s flagship software, The Benefit Bank (TBB), a web-based program that simplifies the process of applying for many state and federal benefits for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. TBB supports over 10,000 counselors who have helped over 80,000 end users access over $900 Million in public benefit supports. Mr. Hart’s responsibilities included: development of national pilot programs; government and foundation relations; and political advocacy with elected officials in MI, ME, TX, and KY. Hart conceived and built strategic partnerships with MDC Inc., UFCW, ECLA, and many national federations and organizations while delivering sales and business innovation. From 2006-2012, Hart increased the use of the SfP’s software by more than 182% and generated $16.2 million dollars in revenue and contracts for the company.
Hart may be best known for founding Spiral Q, Philadelphia’s nationally acclaimed nonprofit arts organization that unites communities and promotes social justice through parades and pageantry. Hart served as founding executive director of the agency for eight years, founding numerous citywide events that continue to this day.
Throughout his career, Hart has been fixture of the regional and national activist community and an integral part of national work to move a progressive agenda. He has been a member of the community funding board of the Bread & Roses Fund, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Sustainable Business Network, and The Leeway Foundation for Women and the Arts. Hart was the convener of the “Culture, Creativity, and the City” Town Hall and Arts Rally, widely acknowledged to be the key tipping point to the establishment of the new Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative economy.
Hart’s philanthropic leadership is exemplified by his role as the President of the Board of Directors of the Calamus Foundation, where he consults widely with foundations and individual philanthropists to advance LGBT equity and human rights.
In 2008, Bread and Roses Community Fund awarded Hart a “30 for 30 Award” for being one of the thirty activists who help define the past thirty years of activism and the arts in the Philadelphia region. Upon Hart temporarily leaving Philadelphia to work at the 2004 International Olympics in Athens, Greece, the Philadelphia Weekly named him their “Most Missed Philadelphian.” In 2002, the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom recognized Hart with its Peace Award. In 1999, the Philadelphia Gay News cited him as making the “Most Valuable Individual Contribution” to the LGBT community that year. Hart has received degrees in Urban Studies and Cultural Anthropology from Temple University, and he was the recipient of a Jonathan Lax Academic Fellowship.