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Apply to the CORE Fellowship Program

Equity-Centered Capacity Building

Information to Apply to the CORE Fellowship Program

CORE Benefits of Fellowship Partication

The Core Fellowship offers several benefits for fellowship participation, which includes the following:

  • leaderships development
  • in-depth equity and/or organizational development assessment
  • guidance from technical assistance consultant on the development of an equity-centered capacity building project
  • time to carry out an equity-centered capacity building project
  • coaching
  • and connection to a network of nonprofit leaders.

In addition to these benefits, the CORE Fellowship offers a $25,000 grant to each participating organization. During the first year cycle, the Community Foundation will select 10 organizations, and 20+ individuals to join the cohort. Each organization will receive a $10,000 general operating award during the first year*, $15,000 to support an equity-centered capacity building project during the second year, and coaching support during the third year, contingent upon meeting program requirements.

*In a traditionally white-led institution, if a Black, Latinx/o/a, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color leader participates, LVCF requires that half of the general operating award ($5,000) in year 1 supports a program/project/initiative within the organization that the leader chooses.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for a grant, the proposed grantee must be a qualified charitable organization. Grants may be recommended to any 501(c)(3) public charity or verified charitable entity (e.g., schools, colleges and universities, religious institutions, town and municipal governments, etc.) with services delivered in Lehigh or Northampton County.  

Important Requirements for Fellow Selection:

Below are important factors to consider when individuals and organizations are applying for the fellowship.

  • Two people must participate from the organization. The purpose for this requirement is to provide an adequate level of support for each fellow, both in the program and also at the fellow’s institution. Examples could include an executive director and board chair. It also could include an executive director and an emerging leader.
  • If there is a barrier to the 2 person requirement, please reach out to Megan Briggs at megan@lvcfoundation.org(link sends e-mail).
  • At least one of the individuals applying to participate must be an individual who has the ability to influence strategic decision-making at the organization.
  • LVCF highly encourages emerging leaders that identify as Black, Latinx/o/a, Indigenous, Asian American Pacific Islanders, or a Person of Color, as well as LGBTQ+, specifically Transgender individuals, and/or People Living with Disabilities to participate as a fellow.
  • The host organization must commit to following the recommendations of the fellows in selecting a capacity building project for the second year.
  • In a traditionally white-led institution, if a Black, Latinx/o/a, Indigenous and/or Person of Color leader participates, LVCF requires that half of the general operating award ($5,000) in year 1 supports a program/project/initiative within the organization that the leader chooses.

Fellow and Host Organization Commitments:

Both the CORE Fellow and their host organizations must commit to being a part of the CORE Fellowship program for three years. In addition to the commitments listed below by year, the Community Foundation and our partners view this work as a learning opportunity, therefore will regularly integrate ways to receive and give feedback throughout the process. The Fellow and their host organization must be willing to participate in this feedback loop.

Year 1 Commitments:

The CORE Fellow must commit to:

Attendance at an orientation, and during 25 hours of cohort work throughout the program cycle, which runs from July 2022 – June 2023. The meetings will be held in a hybrid structure with both in-person and virtual convenings. All in-person convenings will be held with consideration of health and safety regulations. The planned schedule can be found by clicking here (updated 6/14/2022).

The host organization must commit to:

  1. Doing either or both of an organizational assessment tool and/or a racial equity analysis, which will be guided by a technical assistance consultant, in order to help inform the project selection for year 2.
  2. Following the recommendations of the fellows in selecting a capacity building project for the second year.
  3. In a traditionally white-led institution, if a Black, Latinx/o/a, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color participates, the organization commits to allocating 50% of the general operating award in year 1 to support a program/project/initiative within the organization that the fellow(s) select(s).
  4. Organizational leadership (including board members) will be available for a workshop on equity in nonprofit organizations.
  5. Organizational leadership will be available for check-ins on progress of the program.

Year 2 Commitments:

The CORE Fellow must commit to:

  • Participating in a quarterly Fellow Cohort Community of Practice, which will be no more than 10 hours of time.

The host organization must commit to:

  • Working on an equity-centered capacity building project
  • Organizational leadership (including board members) will be available for a workshop on equity in nonprofit organizations.
  • Organizational leadership will be available for check-ins on progress of the program.
  • Submission of a progress report

Year 3 Commitments:

The CORE Fellow must commit to:

  • Being available for 6 hours of coaching sessions throughout the year
  • Participating in two CORE Fellow Cohort Community of Practice sessions
  • The host organization must commit to:
  • Organizational leadership (including board members) will be available for a workshop on equity in nonprofit organizations.
  • Organizational leadership will be available for check-ins on progress of the program.
  • Submission of a final report
     

Timeline for Grant Application

February 1 to March 31, 2023  – To access the application and apply during the open period, please go to LVCF’s grant portal Click here

TBA – Grant release party for grantwriters, potential fellows, and organizational leaders.

TBA – Weekly Grant Application Office Hours 

March 31, 2023 – at 5:00 PM: Date of Application Submission

June 2023 – Grant Notifications Sent to All Applicants

July 2023– August 2023: LVCF gives and receives feedback from all applicants.

July 2023 – June 2024 – Core Fellow Program Year #1.

Key Notes for Application Process:

Please note this application requires responses from each individual fellow applicant, in addition to a response from the organizational perspective. It is a requirement that two fellows apply from each applicant organization. Instructions are included below:

  • A link is provided in the application for each fellow’s individual response. LVCF is providing a separately linked form for fellow’s individual responses to uphold confidentiality in fellow submissions. Therefore, it is the individual fellow’s decision to share application responses with their organization. LVCF will not share individual fellow applicant responses with organizational contacts. To view the form for the fellow application, please visit here: https://forms.office.com/r/DWwD9ATHWd. You may preview all fellow questions for planning purposes here, although final answers must be submitted in the linked form.  The application will be evaluated by looking at both the fellows’ individual responses and the organization’s response.

  • Video Responses: All applicants have the option to submit their answers to the narrative questions as a video or voice recording rather than written text.  Applicants should only submit one response to each question, either written OR video/audio. Applicants may choose to answer via written text for some questions and video or audio for others. Please be mindful of the time limits listed in each question when recording video or audio responses. To use this option, please see the instructions here

  • Each question specifies the character limits or video time limits. You do not need to fill the character or time limits. Simple and short answers are also welcome, as long as you have responded to the question

  • In filling out the application, it is an opportunity to engage among all levels of staff and board in application submission. Evaluators are looking for a level of organizational buy-in from both staff and board.

  • Regardless of funding decision, the hope is that each applicant will be able to use the application process as a learning opportunity for the fellow applicants and the organization. LVCF is also learning from this application process. 

  • In order to assist in the applicant’s learning process, and to further our own learning, LVCF will commit to giving each applicant feedback about their application as well as receiving feedback from each applicant regardless of funding status, after the grant notifications have been sent to all applicants.

Program Key Dates for 2022-2023

Please view the planned key program dates – click here. These dates are subject to change.

Evaluation Criteria

LVCF is looking for fellows that:

  • Have a demonstrated commitment to doing equity work, even if early on in their work.
  • Willing to champion their learnings at their host institution
  • Are committed to the following values:
    • Actively engaging in self-reflection and personal examination
    • Embracing the full spectrum of human emotions, from joy to pain and everything in between
    • Approaching learning opportunities with humility
    • Building deep relationships based on authenticity
    • Adopting an abundance mindset and dropping the competition (scarcity) mindset

LVCF is looking for organizations that:

  • Recognize that advancing racial equity is central to achieving their mission and integral to their strategy, programs, and operations, not as isolated activities.
  • Demonstrate sufficient desire and readiness to change, including:
    • The journey has already started.
    • The organization has a demonstrated commitment to and capacity for collaborative processes.
    • Organizational staff leadership is fully involved; the board is at least informed, supportive, and prepared to engage when the time is right.
    • The organization is ready to dedicate the time necessary.
  • Are willing and able to support fellows through this process.
  • Have the capacity to participate in this required fellowship work.

Glossary of Terms

CORE Fellowship Glossary – Many of the terms used in the program description require definition, therefore we created a glossary that we consider a work-in-progress as a resource for applicants.

Download the Core Fellowship Program Overview Document 2022-23 | PDF