Youth and Families Left

Youth & Families

Creating Pathways for Meaningful Lives

Grantmaking | Youth &  Families

The Community Foundation manages the funds for several different area-of-interest funds that are focused on supporting Lehigh Valley youth & families. The Community Foundation’s goal in awarding Youth and Families fund grants is to offer flexible funding to organizations that provide comprehensive approaches in engaging youth and their families in seeking a pathway for meaningful life aspirations.  

Funding Priorities for the 2022-2023 Cycle 

NOTE: Funding priorities for the next grant cycle will be updated soon.

Organizations that are guided by the community they serve.  

  • To learn more about what it means to be “guided by the community they serve” please click here

Prioritize programs/services that: 

  • Address mental health needs in young people OR/AND focus on youth leadership development 
  • Organizations that design programs and/or services for youth that are most at-risk for exiting the human services safety-net.  

Examples include: immigrants, LGBTQ+ youth, those students who have exited the school system, single guardian households, foster care youth, very low-income, youth with disabilities, youth that have been involved in the criminal justice system or whose family has been involved in the criminal justice system.

Organizations that offer transformational youth programs/services. 

  • Staff & the organizational culture reflect the life skills that are being emphasized to youth (i.e. staff and the organizational culture foster belonging, mastery, independence, generosity themselves).  
  • Youth engagement includes understanding the needs, wants, desires of the whole young person and provides appropriate information, services, and/or support for the whole young person.   
  • The organization engages the family unit.  
  • Youth choice and voice is apparent within the programming and in the organization.  
  • Organization fosters an environment where youth can be their authentic selves. 
  • Organizations that incorporate elements of the Positive Youth Development Framework in their programming/service. Please click here to view the Positive Youth Development Framework 

Be a qualified charitable organization

  • 501(c)(3) public charity or verified charitable entity (e.g., schools, colleges and universities, religious institutions, town and municipal governments, etc.) ​ 
  • Organizations may apply through a fiscal sponsor. ​ 

Deliver youth services or programs in Lehigh or/and Northampton county(ies).​ 

  • Definition of youth is those who are aged 24 years or younger. ​ 

Grant Awards 

Key Dates  

The application window opens on January 3, 2023, and closes on February 27, 2023. Applications can be submitted either by written text or video/voice submissions.  

  • January 3, 2023 — Application Launched 
  • Information Session — TBA
  • February 27, 2023 — Application Deadline 
  • February to March — Evaluators will review proposals 
  • April 2023 — Notifications of grant award status 
  • TBA — Report submission due on the use and impact of grant funding 

How to Apply

Lehigh Valley Community Foundation is committed to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our grant processes and strives to fund organizations and programs that represent the full diversity of the community. Organizations led by individuals who identify as Black, Brown, Latinx/o/a, Indigenous or a Person of Color; LGBTQ; or a person living with a disability are encouraged to apply. 

How Applications are Evaluated   

Applications are evaluated by the Youth & Families advisory grant committee. Members on this committee are representative of both content and context experts in the field of youth and families. The committee representatives include several diverse perspectives including age, geography, race, ethnicity, income, and gender. Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Area of focus: Mental Health and/or Youth Leadership Development 
  • Population Served: Youth most at-risk for exiting the safety net 
  • Organization guided by the community that they serve 
  • Organization provides transformational programs/services 
  • Evaluators will be paying attention to equity in funding recommendations 

See the Youth & Families instructional video

Community Leadership | Youth and Families

Foundation staff serve on the Steering Committee for Allentown’s Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP), administered by Community Action Lehigh Valley.  The Program is focused on serving Youth in Center City Allentown

ASK MEGAN | Learn more about the community investments/grants opportunities at LVCF

Megan Briggs

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