About Us


The Hourglass champions and facilitates sound decision-making in order to assure prosperity while maintaining the county’s unique character and enviable quality of life.


People ask, ‘What do you do?’ That question is not easy to answer because we do many things. The Hourglass isn’t like other nonprofit organizations, and that’s a good thing. We aren’t narrowly focused on a single topic or interest; instead we are concerned about the interrelated complexities of growth and change that impact the lives of people throughout Lancaster County. We believe it’s possible to have growth and prosperity without losing our unique character and enviable quality of life.

The Hourglass Foundation was formed in 1997 as a think tank to facilitate effective growth management by providing comprehensive research, objective analysis, and fresh ideas on important legacy issues – the tough issues that others often avoid due to their size and complexity. We are also a community watchdog; monitoring emerging issues, stimulating discussion, and creating high standards for decision-making. Additionally, we try to keep the public informed about emerging issues through forums, white papers, surveys, newspaper articles, e-newsletters, and our website.


To serve as the trusted source for information, innovative ideas and insights that will help stakeholders, elected officials and voters make more informed and enlightened decisions and to serve as a catalyst to keep the conversation going.

To sensitize decision makers to the countywide impact of local decisions.

To define problems, to articulate goals, to create the conditions for action and to understand the root causes, to connect people who ma not be aware of issues and to evaluate options.

To supply information to educate the people of Lancaster County to understand and more effectively participate in the decisions that affect their lives.