As Ferd Thun paddles a Wildlands Conservancy canoe down the Lehigh River as part of the Conservancy’...
Q: What areas are served by LVCF’s discretionary grants?
A: The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation awards discretionary grants on an annual, competitive basis primarily to non-profit organizations located in Lehigh and Northampton Counties for programs provided in those counties.
Q: How does the Foundation award discretionary grants?
A: The Foundation alternates its discretionary grants focus each year based on six specific areas of grantmaking. In odd-numbered calendar years, applications will be accepted from non-profits whose missions are focused on:
- Arts, Culture, and Heritage
In even-numbered calendar years, applications will be accepted from non-profits whose missions are focused on:
- Human Services
- Community Development
Applica tions for discretionary grants will be accepted only from organizations with a mission that is within one of the areas being funded that year. If the program for which funding is sought is in one of the areas being funded that year, but the organization's mission is not, the application will not be considered. Once an organization is placed in an even year or an odd year cycle, it will remain in that cycle.
Q: How is an organization’s mission determined?
A: In determining an organization’s grantmaking area, LVCF uses the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) Classification System. An organization’s mission (as reflected in its NTEE code), not the program for which it is seeking funding, determines how it is classified. One NTEE code is assigned by the IRS upon initial approval of a non-profit's status. An organization’s Guidestar report will show its NTEE category. The report can be found at www.guidestar.org by entering an organization’s name in the search box and then select the organization from the resulting list. The NTEE category can be found on the right-hand side of the report.
LVCF has matched NTEE codes to the six grantmaking areas as follows:
- Arts, Culture and Heritage - A
- Education - B
- Environment – C, D
- Healthcare – E, F, G, H
- Human Services – I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P
- Community Development – Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y
Q: Are there limits on how much an organization can request?
A: There are no limits to how much an organization can request, but applicants should understand that not many grants are made over $10,000. During the 2012 grants cycle, grant amounts requested ranged from $2,000 to $32,900 and grants awarded ranged from $2,000 to $12,000. The average grant request was $7,300 and the average amount granted was $5,600.
Q: Are there restrictions on the use of discretionary grants?
A: Discretionary grants can not be used for:
- Annual campaigns; or
- Scholarship grants for K-12, secondary or higher education.
Q: What is required of an organization that receives a discretionary grant?
A: An organization that receives a discretionary grant must:
- Sign and return a Grant Terms and Conditions Form .
- Schedule a check presentation at an organization board meeting or other appropriate event.
- Announce the grant on the organization’s website and include a link to the LVCF website and adequately and appropriately publicize the grant through other means
- Complete the project within one year of the date of the award letter and return any unused funds to LVCF.
- Use the grant for the program or purpose for which it is granted and submit a final report.
Q: How do I fill out Part V, Section B?
A: Use the numbers from your most recently filed Form 990 or 990-EZ to complete this section. Complete the section using the information from the part and line number of each form as follow:
Form 990-EZ Form 990
Contributions and grants I-1 I-8
Program service revenue I-2 I-9
Other revenue I-3 to 8 I-11
Total Revenue I-9 I-12
Program services IX-25 column B
Management & general IX-25 column C
Fundraising IX-25 column D
Total Expenses I-17 IX-25 column A
Excess or (Deficit) I-18 I-19
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 Organizationsunless exempt from the registration requirements. LVCF will only consider applications submitted by organizations that comply with the filing requirements. Click here to see a copy of the Community Foundation’s current Certificate of Registration.
Q: When will an organization know if it will receive a grant?
A: Applicants will be notified of the result of the process in December. Other key dates for the discretionary grants process are:
April 1 Grant application made available
July 1 Deadline for submitting application to LVCF’s Grants Committe
November The Grants Committee makes its recommendations to the LVCF Board for approval
December & January Grants checks are presented
If you have specific questions concerning the application, please contact Ron Horvath at 610-266-4284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.