You are here

Nonprofit Effectiveness Pilot

About Nonprofit Effectiveness

LVCF Nonprofit Effectiveness PilotFoundations rely on strong, healthy organizations to achieve progress in solving the region’s most pressing issues. Yet, many nonprofits routinely face organizational challenges, from major staff transitions to capacity gaps.

Lehigh Valley Community Foundation is committed to funding nonprofits during a pilot year to provide targeted support to help strengthen nonprofit effectiveness, enabling them to do their work better and enhance their impact.

Nonprofit effectiveness includes both of the following: 1) Organizational Health: the ability to function effectively, cope adequately, change appropriately, and grow from within; and 2) Organizational Resilience: the ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, and respond and adapt to incremental and/or sudden changes in the environment in order to survive and prosper.

Nonprofit effectiveness areas include strong governance, sound management, and efficient operations. 

Project Information

Below are examples of funding areas for nonprofit effectiveness. These examples are given as a guide.  If you have questions about if your project would be a good fit, please contact Megan Briggs, Director of Community Investments at

Area of Effectiveness

Examples of Project Type:

Clarity of Purpose

  • Strategic Planning
  • Theory of Change

Sustainable Business Model

  • Resource Generation Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management

The Right Leadership

  • Staff Development Strategy
  • Succession Planning
  • Board Development

Smart Operations

  • Technology Management
  • Staff Retention Strategy
  • Staff Hiring Strategy

Implementation and Improvement

  • Program Evaluation
  • Benchmarking
  • Initiating and sustaining a learning culture

Strategic Collaborations

  • Developing External Resources
  • Systems Change Planning or Implementation

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Strategies to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within leadership and/or culture
  • Planning and/or implementation to increase advocacy efforts


Grant Award Amount

The average grant award will be $10,000. You may apply for a grant up to $15,000.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a publicly supported organization with 501(c)(3) exempt status
  • Must be a nonprofit organization that provides services from a physical address located in Northampton or Lehigh Counties.

Grants cannot be used for:

  • Educational scholarships for pre-K, primary, secondary or post-secondary education.
  • Individuals
  • Capital campaigns

Applications will be prioritized based on how well the proposal addresses the following criteria:

  • if the project submitted has an intended outcome;
  • if it fits into a comprehensive plan;
  • if the organization is ready to launch this project;
  • and if the organization is committed to the project.


- May 31, 2018: Info Session for nonprofit organizations.

- June 1, 2018:  Nonprofit Effectiveness Pilot Application Process Opens

- July 31, 2018, midnight: Nonprofit Effectiveness Application Deadline

- November 2018: Notifications of Awards  (Terms and Conditions)

- January 2019 – December 2019: Nonprofit Effectiveness Pilot Grant Cycle

Application Instructions

Please apply through Foundant, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation’s online portal system, which you can access here.

The application period is now closed. The application period began June 1, and ended on July 31, 2018, at midnight.

Questions about the application process or grant opportunity should be directed to Megan Briggs, Director of Community Investments, at

Pilot Information

The Nonprofit Effectiveness Grant opportunity is a pilot initiative. During the grant cycle, the foundation will engage grantees in an evaluation process to assess the impact of the funding. Grantees may also participate in an organizational assessment process. LVCF recognizes that this will take additional staff capacity from grantees.  As part of the evaluation, grantees will be requested to participate in some or all of the following activities:

  • Pre- and post-assessment survey
  • Focus groups
  • Peer learning sessions (maximum of 4 sessions throughout the grant cycle)
  • Individual feedback sessions
  • Organizational assessment process – please note: LVCF will not review individual organization’s assessment results, but will receive the results of participating organizations as an aggregate dataset.

Please consider your ability to commit to participating in the additional activities as part of the pilot.

ASK MEGAN | Learn more about the Nonprofit Effectiveness Pilot at LVCF

Megan Briggs, Director of Community Investments, Lehigh Valley Community FoundationMegan Briggs
Director of Community Investments
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation
840. W. Hamilton Street, Suite 310
Allentown, PA 18101
610 351-5353, ext. 11 |