Dear Readers,

Our objective in producing today's special story package, Corporate Philanthropy, is to spotlight how the Philadelphia area's businesses and nonprofits are contributing to our community. We believe that the stories here will both educate and inspire our readers.

The cornerstone of Corporate Philanthropy is an interview with Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who last year donated his salary, first, to allow two children to attend his alma mater, then to bring educational equity to disadvantaged youth in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Boston. Long exemplifies the philanthropic spirit that is the heart of this section.

RELATED STORIES: Will tax cuts lead to more donations? | Eagles' Chris Long: 'Fans can be the backbone' of charitable work | Choosing the right charity | How companies can set philanthropic strategies | How top volunteers make a difference | Future looks bright, thanks to cooperation | Transformational giving helps people get a slice of the pie

All the stories are designed to educate and inspire: Choosing the charity that fits your business model. Philanthropic strategies for companies. Who are the top volunteers in the area? How the new tax law will impact charitable giving. And why Philadelphia's giving lags behind other cities – including Pittsburgh.

Twenty-five nominated companies – including notables like Comcast, Independence Blue Cross, and Bank of America – and individuals will be recognized at the inaugural Corporate Philanthropy Conference & Awards. Presented by M&T Bank and sponsored by the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the event is Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crystal Tea Room. Chris Long is the keynote speaker, plus there will be a panel discussion about philanthropy, a nonprofit expo and an awards ceremony. Click here to register.

All proceeds from the conference will support The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the nonprofit organization whose mission is to sustain top-quality local journalism. Founded in 2016 by philanthropist Gerry Lenfest, the Institute recently announced that it is participating in a $20 million program with the Knight Foundation to support the Inquirer and other Philadelphia journalism organizations.

Hope to see you tomorrow!