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Foundation-Directed Support Grantmaking

The Community Foundation offers ongoing support and resources to additional areas defined as Support Grantmaking. These strategies shift based on the needs of the community and donors’ interest. Opportunities for this current year are listed under the Support Grantmaking website pages.  

Fund to Fight Substance Use Disorder 

Current Grantmaking - Currently, the fund is supporting multi-year grants for organizations that were selected in 2019, therefore the Fund to Fight Substance Use Disorder is not open for applications in 2021-2022.  

The Fund to Fight Substance Use Disorder supports nonprofit organizations that are currently providing substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and/or recovery services. The foundation’s goal was to support areas that are not typically funded by federal sources but that are in need of financial support. Funding supports either a new or current initiative that addresses one of the following areas: 

  • Providing support services that focus on integration into a healthy lifestyle for individuals affected by substance use disorder.   
  • Delivering clinical services, support services, and/or education to families and support networks of the individual affected by substance use disorder. 

In 2021, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation distributed $30,000 grants from the Fund to Fight Substance Use Disorder to organizations providing substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The grants support programs at two organizations that were also funded in 2020: 

  • Recovery Revolution, Inc. - 'On the Road' to Revolution project provides transportation with a CRS to treatment 
  • Humanitarian Social Innovations (as fiscal sponsor) - Bridge Beyond Addiction project provides rent assistance for those entering sober living centers 

In the 2021-2022 cycle, the fund will support another year of grants for existing selected organization in order to provide multi-year initiative funding, therefore the opportunity is not open for applications at this time.  

History of Grantmaking - At the request of an area-of-interest fundholder Barry Kessler in 2020, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation embarked on an effort to better understand the opioid epidemic in the Lehigh Valley.  The Foundation engaged county governments and nonprofits addressing the issue, with the goal of identifying funding gaps where private philanthropy can make an impact.  

After a multitude of meetings and conversations, the research indicated the following general findings: 

  • Federal dollars are flowing into opioid treatments and prevention, but there are gaps in funding where individuals and foundations can make an impact.  
  • Opioid use is just part of the problem. Spikes in opioid abuse are often followed by spikes in the use of methamphetamines, and evidence indicates that it is already underway.  
  • Alcohol consumption dwarfs drug use. This is really about Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). 
  • Mental health is an underlying issue. 

There are significant and notable cultural differences in awareness, willingness to seek support, and stigma reduction. 

Substance Use Disorder Grants 

At the conclusion of the exploratory process, the Foundation determined the focus for the grants would be to support substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services, in three specific areas: 

  • Providing support services that focus on integration into a healthy lifestyle for individuals affected by substance use disorder. 
  • Delivering clinical services, support services, and/or education to families and support networks of the individual affected by substance use disorder. 
  • Providing culturally appropriate substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and/or recovery services for ethnic or racial minority populations. 
  • Other considerations were given to projects that increase awareness and reduce stigma; support public policy and advocacy and other “big ideas” in the field. 

2020 Grant Process 

In February of 2020, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation invited fourteen organizations to apply for multi-year grants to address specific areas in the substance use disorder field. The Foundation sought to support areas that are not typically funded by federal or commonwealth sources but that are in need of financial support. Grants were issued to nonprofit organizations that are currently providing substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and/or recovery services. The Foundation formed a Substance Use Disorder committee to discuss the issues and review the grant applications. The committee included a number of area experts in addition to Board representatives and staff. The grants also gave the opportunity to be renewed for up to an additional two years, upon review of project progress. These grants were made possible due to the generosity and interest of Barry Kessler.  

Upper Bucks Community Fund  (Under Construction)



George T. Walker Charitable Fund  (Under Construction) 



Synergy Fund  (Under Construction)



Area-of-Interest Funds 

On an annual basis, the Community Foundation proactively distributes funding from a select number of area-of-interest funds that do not match any other grant strategies throughout the year. There is no application process for these funds. These funds are listed below along with each fund’s focus area. The grant awards are typically a one-time grant within $480 - $2,000 range. Please click on the fund’s link for more information. If your nonprofit organization fits into a mission of the below fund, please contact Megan Briggs, Director of Community Investments, for more information at megan@lvcfoundation.org.  

  • Barbara & Maxwell Davison Fund for Alzheimer’s Care 
  • Lehigh River Fund 
  • Margaret Haas Rotunno Memorial Fund for Local No Kill Shelters 
  • William C. Rybak Fund for Persons with Disabilities 
  • Gene & Joan Witiak Fund 

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