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Area of Interest Grants FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q:  What are LVCF’s Area of Interest grants and how does the Foundation award them?

A:  The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation’s area of interest funds are established by a donor who has a broad focus for their giving – either a geographic area or a general area such as the arts.  Grants from the area of interest funds are awarded once a year and include:

Lehigh Valley

  • Barbara & Maxwell Davison Fund for Alzheimer's Care
  • The Margaret Haas-Rotunno Memorial Fund for Local No Kill Shelters

Upper Bucks

  • The Richard E. Gasser Fund
  • The Erwin J. and Gertrude K. Neusch Fund

Q:  Are there limits on how much an organization can request?

A:   The limits an organization can request differ.  Typically, Area of Interest grants are much smaller in both quantity and dollar amount than for instance, the Community Partnership grants. 

Q: Are there restrictions on the use of area of interest grants?

A:  Area of Interest grants cannot be used for:

  • Scholarship grants for K-12, secondary or higher education.
  • Individuals

Please see the specific requirements from each of the grant opportunities as far as related programs and specific geographic locations.

Q:  Can I request a grant for a completed program?

A:   Any application for a grant from the Foundation should be written for a current program and not a program that is completed or will be completed by the time the grant is determined.  Please see schedule of grants below.

Q:  When will an organization know if it will receive a grant?

A:   Applicants will be notified of the result of the process in March. 

Q:  What is required of an organization that receives an area of interest grant?

A:  An organization that receives an Area of Interest grant must:

  • Announce the grant on the organization’s website and social media and include a link to the LVCF website.  Also, adequately and appropriately publicize the grant through other means.
  • Generally complete the project within one year of the date of the award letter.
  • Use the grant for the program or purpose for which it is granted and return any unused funds to LVCF.

Q:  How do I apply for an area of interest grant?

A:  To apply for an area of interest grant, visit our new online grant management system Foundant.  To access the online grant application visit  https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=lehighvalley.

Q:  What internet browser do you recommend I use?
A:  Google Chrome 14 or higher, or Safari 4 or higher. You may use Internet Explorer or Firefox, but you may experience some technical issues.

Q:  How do I know if I need to create new account?
A:
   If your organization previously applied for a grant from one of our other grant cycles through the Foundant grant management system, you will not need to create a new account and will log in to the system by entering your organization’s existing log–in credentials. 

Q:  I need to add a new staff member to my existing account.  Should they just create a new account?
A:
   If you have a new staff member and have an existing organization profile on Foundant, do not create a new account.  This will create a duplicate organization profile in the system. Please contact Trisha Higgins, Vice President & CFO, at (610) 351-53-53, ext. 16 or email trisha@lvcfoundation.org to add a new staff member to an existing profile.

Q:  What information do I need to create a new account?
A:
   You will need the following to get started:

  • A username that is an email address
  • Your contact information
  • Your organization’s information, including the EIN/Tax ID number (required)
  • Contact information for any other organization representatives who may apply on behalf of the organization

Q: Do I have to complete my application all at once?
A:
  No. At the bottom of the application is a “Save as Draft” button. We recommend you save your application often and before logging out. You can log in at a later time to continue working on your application.

Q:  Why am I losing my application edits?
A:
  There are a few common reasons why this can happen:

  • If you stay on one page for an extended period of time without saving, your account may “time out” without warning.
  • A weak internet connection may momentarily disconnect your computer while you are working on the application

As a safeguard, we recommend that you:

  • Save your application often
  • Copy and paste your application answers after each question into a Word document to save as backup.

To restore your edits, try:

  • Re-loading your internet page, as sometimes the browser will cache an older version of your page.
  • Logging out, wait a few minutes, and then log in again and re-open your application.

Q:  What file formats will be accepted for attachments?
A:
  All files that are required to be uploaded during the application process must be in a PDF format (.pdf).  Each upload field in the application will only allow for a single upload.

Q:  The instructions require a copy of a Certificate of Registration from the PA Bureau of Charitable Organizations.  What is this?

A:   Any charity that solicits contributions within the State of Pennsylvania is required to register with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations unless exempt from the registration requirements.  LVCF will only consider applications submitted by organizations that comply with the filing requirements

Q:  If I do not have the required attachments in the required format, can I deliver them to you?
A:  No. The online system will not allow you to submit your application unless you attach the required materials.

In the past few years, versions of Microsoft Office have included the ability to freely convert documents in Word, Excel and Publisher to a PDF file. To convert a document to PDF, click File/Share/Email/Send as PDF. The new PDF document will appear attached to an email, but you can right click on the frame to save it to your computer.

Additionally, the system provides a ‘Fax to File’ option located under the ‘Tools’ section to the left of your application.  This can be used to convert documents from hard copy format to digital format so that they may be uploaded in the system.

Q:  I received an error message that my file upload is too large. Any suggestions?
A:
  If you receive the error message with any PDF document and you have Adobe software, you can save the file as a reduced size PDF.  Another option, especially for the 990 document, is to download the copy from your GuideStar profile*. Those files are usually condensed in size and will upload easily to the Foundant system.

If you continue to experience errors, contact the Foundation.

*Please make sure that the GuideStar copy is your most recent copy of said document.

Q:  How do I print my application for my records?
A:
  To print or save a paper copy of your application for your own records, log in to the application portal and choose the Application Packet link. This will create a PDF of your application. You can print or save this document. You will always have access to your application in the Foundant system even after you submit it.

Questions:

If you have specific questions concerning the application, please contact Trisha Higgins, Vice President & CFO, at (610) 351-5353 or email trisha@lvcfoundation.org