Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary: An Overview
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation...50 years of sparking community connections
The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2017 by doing what it does best: grantmaking. The theme of this special year was Be the Spark! Be a spark of awareness, a spark of connection, and a spark of change. So, ultimately it was not just a year of grantmaking, but it was also a year of community engagement and awareness building.
Our golden anniversary year was made special by all of the Spark supporters, sponors, partners, committee members, grantees, Fiftieth Anniversary Board, and the Board of Governors... to you we say thank you (see the list | Thank You, Lehigh Valley video)
The Community Foundation chose six “Spark Issues” on which to focus a total of $300,000 of its discretionary grant dollars. This list was diverse and perhaps even surprising. It addressed a wide range of needs that many Lehigh Valley residents did not even know are regional issues. These Spark Issues were:
- Mental & Behavioral Health
- Cultural Enrichment
- Food & Housing Access
- Environment & Sustainability
- Human Trafficking
- Veterans Affairs
During the year, these Spark issues and the resulting Spark Grantees were all over social media; they were the focus of several community discussions and events; and they were discussed with Foundation donors and partners. This awareness building resulted in additional gifts of over $100,000 from other individuals and organizations that were inspired by the 50th Anniversary to give to LVCF’s efforts, the Spark Issues, and the Spark Grantees.
Through this effort we have truly focused on our mission of “connecting people who care to causes that matter,” and we created sustaining connections between donors, nonprofits, and community leaders.
As a result of this successful year, the Community Foundation is poised for more growth, more impact, and increased community leadership.
To support this direction we are excited to announce two Anniversary Legacy Gifts to the community.
Lötter Fellow Reflections Paper | Learn more...
Led by Dr. Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College’s Institute of Public Opinion
Dr. Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College’s Institute of Public Opinion is developing the Lotter Reflections Paper identify the keys issues and needs affecting the Lehigh Valley. We will share the findings of the Reflections Paper with you -- our donors, our fellow funders, our region’s nonprofit organizations, and our community members – so these findings can inform your giving,
Igniting Change Fund | Learn more...
The Igniting Change Fund will provide a NEW series of Community Foundation grants to harness the momentum of the Spark Grants and provide additional resources to expand on the important work we have begun. The Fund will be open to grant applications from Lehigh Valley nonprofits later this year. As we move forward with the Igniting Change Fund, we welcome the partnership of our current donors and funders with additional sources of funding. Together, we can all IGNITE CHANGE in the Lehigh Valley.
Stay tuned for more information about the Reflections Paper and the Igniting Change Fund!
ASK BERNIE | Learn more about LVCF's Reflections Paper and Igniting Change Fund
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
GIVE TO THE CAUSE.
Help us give more to support organizations working hard to improve the quality of life in the Lehigh Valley and raise awareness for these important issues by making a tax-deductible gift with our PayPal account. LVCF donor-advised funds can provide support with a simple email request.