Nonprofit Effectiveness Program

Currently, LVCF is in the third cohort of Nonprofit Effectiveness during the 2020-2021 cycle. In this cycle, LVCF funded a cohort of organizations are led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and that serve Lehigh Valley’s Black and Brown communities. LVCF aims to build the capacity of these organizations due to historical lack of funding to support BIPOC organizations and the demonstrated impact of these organizations. Targeted funding for organizational capacity-building is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of these important organizations. The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation initiated this grant opportunity in recognition of the important role that BIPOC-led organizations have in providing culturally-responsive services and programs to the Lehigh Valley community. 

In addition to the grant, the cohort has participated in a community of practice.  The 2021 Nonprofit Effectiveness Program Community of Practice is a community of health, well-being and practice among leaders of Asian, Black African Heritage, and/or LatinX descent. The Community of Practice provides the space to deepen relationships, share knowledge and develop skill sets. Leaders in the Community of Practice Program work individually and collectively to increase their capacity for success within the nonprofit sector. The 2021 Community of Practice reframes the outcomes of success in the non-profit sector - defining success as collaboration.  Black and Brown leaders, in sessions and in a practicum, build collective agency that models the principle of abundance and the power of cooperation.  

Below are the partner organizations, along with a list of funded projects: 

2020-2021 Grantees & Project Titles: 

Organization Name 

Project Name 

Afros in Nature  

Afros in Nature Financial Viability Plan 

Black Heritage Association of the Lehigh Valley 

Allentown Digital Inclusion Initiative 

Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem  

Great Leaders Initiative 

Cohesion Network  

Project Sustainability 

Martin Luther & Coretta Scott King Memorial Project Inc DBA Freedom Memorial 

MLKCSK Infrastructure Build Out Strategic Plan 

Pratyush Sinha Foundation 

Mindful Education System 

Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley 

Fund Development Plan 

Resurrected Community Development Corporation 

RCDC Staff Compensation Study 

 

History of Grantmaking Program Model  

In 2017, LVCF initiated an in-depth research process in order to inform an intentional transition in how the foundation was using foundation-directed funding. Through this process, LVCF discovered that there was a gap in funding in the Lehigh Valley to support capacity building. While foundations rely on strong, healthy organizations to achieve progress in solving the region’s most pressing issues, there was a lack of grant dollars to support the many challenges that nonprofits routinely face, from major staff transitions to board development to technology implementation.    

In recognition of this gap in support for organizational capacity building, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation launched the Nonprofit Effectiveness Pilot, which provided funding and resources to nonprofits to provide targeted support. The pilot began in 2018 and was designed to help strengthen nonprofit effectiveness, enabling organizations to do their work better and enhance their impact. The model included grant funding for a capacity-building project, an organizational assessment, and also cohort-based organizational development training and peer-to-peer engagement through a Community of Practice.  

At the current time, LVCF has completed three full funding cycles of the model funding a total of 21 different organizations distributing nearly $370,000. Additionally, in 2019-2020, which was the second year of the program, LVCF partnered with Two Rivers Health and Wellness Foundation to provide the model to four grantees that TRHWF selected.  In the third year of launching the model, during the current 2020-2021 cycle, LVCF funded 9 BIPOC-led organizations, in addition to funding a joint project to assess how best to create a connected capacity building model in the Lehigh Valley. Throughout the last three years, LVCF has gathered data formally and informally in order to evaluate the pilot to understand the impact and discover learnings.  Past grantees, along with their funded projects can be viewed below.  

After reviewing the evaluation data from the pilot period, LVCF plans to launch the 2021-2022 Capacity Building Program making key shifts in the model goals, structure, and process to build on the pilot. View information about the current program - click here.

Previous Grantees and funded projects are listed below: 

 

2020-2021 Grantees & Project Titles: 

Organization Name 

Project Name 

Afros in Nature  

Afros in Nature Financial Viability Plan 

Black Heritage Association of the Lehigh Valley 

Allentown Digital Inclusion Initiative 

Boys & Girls Club of Bethlehem  

Great Leaders Initiative 

Cohesion Network  

Project Sustainability 

Martin Luther & Coretta Scott King Memorial Project Inc DBA Freedom Memorial 

MLKCSK Infrastructure Build Out Strategic Plan 

Pratyush Sinha Foundation 

Mindful Education System 

Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley 

Fund Development Plan 

Resurrected Community Development Corporation 

RCDC Staff Compensation Study 

Humanitarian Social Innovations 

Regional Coordinated Nonprofit Capacity Building: Fact-Finding Phase 

Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley 

Regional Coordinated Nonprofit Capacity Building: Fact-Finding Phase 

 

2019-2020 Funded Projects 

Organization Name 

Project Name 

Bethlehem Area Education Foundation 

Data Management Tool 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley 

Creating a Sustainable Business Model 

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center 

Planned and Individual Giving Fundraising Plan Development and Implementation 

Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley 

Communities In Schools Intranet 

Community Bike Works 

SOS2: Smarter Operations and Staffing, Year 2 

Humanitarian Social Innovations 

Sustainable Growth for Maximum Community Impact 

Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL) 

Development & Marketing of LVCIL Consulting Program 

Third Street Alliance for Women & Children on behalf of the LV Regional Homelessness Advisory Board 

Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board Capacity Building 

Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley 

Mining, Measuring & Managing Data to Increase Volunteer Engagement & Traffic 

Young Women's Christian Association d/b/a YWCA Allentown 

YWCA Allentown’s Strategic Plan for Empowerment, Equity, and Social Justice 

 

In 2019-2020, through a partnership with Two Rivers Health and Wellness Foundation, both LVCF and Two Rivers Health and Wellness Foundation funded the following projects: 

Organization Name 

Project Name 

Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley 

HCLV Capacity Building - Manager of Operations 

Safe Harbor Easton 

Organizational Culture and Core Values at Safe Harbor Easton 

 

Two Rivers Health and Wellness Foundation fully funded the following projects: 

Organization Name 

Project Name 

Equi-librium 

On Firm Footing: Ensuring Long Term Success and Viability 

Easton Area Community Center 

EACC Smart Operations - Staff Optimization and Development 

 

2017-2018 Grantees & Project Titles: 

Organization Name 

Project Name 

Bethlehem Area Education Foundation 

Five Year Strategic Plan (2020-2025) 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley 

Minority Recruitment Initiative 

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center 

Sabbatical Preparedness and Implementation Grant 

Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley 

Communities In Schools Intranet 

Community Bike Works 

SOS: Smarter Operations and Staffing at Community Bike Works 

Easton Area Community Center 

EACC -  Smart Operations- Staff Optimization and Development 

Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley 

HCLV Staff Development and Program Assessment to Advance Effective Case Management Services Delivery 

Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL) 

LVCIL Consulting Program 

Third Street Alliance for Women & Children on behalf of the LV Regional Homelessness Advisory Board 

Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board: Strengthening our Strategic Collaborations 

Young Women's Christian Association d/b/a YWCA Allentown 

Cultural Competency and Racial Justice Training 

ASK MEGAN | Learn more about the community investments/grants opportunities 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 | megan@lvcfoundation.org