The Luzerne County Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund

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Collaborative Partners

What is the focus of the Fund?

  • To provide general operating grants to local nonprofit organizations or Community Based Organizations (“CBO”) with deep roots in the community that have been adversely impacted by the crisis
  • To provide additional support to community-based organizations that are working to assist individuals who have been significantly impacted by the crisis. Priority will be given to
    • Residents, especially children, with food insecurity
    • Residents without health insurance and/or access to paid sick leave
    • Individuals who lost wages and are facing an immediate threat to their well-being
    • Immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19 related closures
Given the dynamic nature of this moment, the Fund intends to provide grants on a rolling basis and adapt to changing circumstances from acute immediate needs to longer-term recovery.

Who is involved?

A group of cross-sector lead partners have/must come together to establish and support the fund—Philanthropic/Collaborative Partners: various private and corporate foundations and philanthropic individuals, the Luzerne Foundation, the William McGowan Charitable Foundation, Can Do, United Way of Wyoming Valley, United Way of Greater Hazleton, CareerLink for Luzerne County. Public Partners: the City of Wilkes-Barre, City of Pittston, City of Hazleton, Luzerne County Government, Family Service Association of NEPA and it “211” Help Line Service, the NEPA Legislative Delegation, etc. Business and Private Partners: Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry, Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, the Back Mountain Chamber, Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, NEPA Alliance, local businesses of all types, and charitably inclined individuals. And others are welcome and encouraged to join!

How will grantmaking decisions get made?

The Luzerne Foundation will administer the Fund and the grants. (The Foundation will not assess any fees to manage or administer the Fund.)
Funding decisions will be made by a Community Advisory Group that will consist of diverse leaders from across the County. The Community Advisory Group will operate in a non-discriminatory manner and work to ensure the community’s highest priorities and greatest needs are met to the best of its collective ability.
The grantmaking process and selection criteria are under development and will be influenced by fund size and number of contributions. Funding applications will be available by late-March or early April.

Donations may be made online by clicking the Donate Now button at the top or by sending a check payable to the Covid-19 Fund at The Luzerne Foundation, 34 South River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.  Please contact The Foundation directly at 570.822.2065 for more details.


Announcing the NEPA Grantmakers Common Grant Application for COVID-19 Response…Apply today!

The Luzerne Foundation (TLF) is committed to simplifying the process for nonprofit organizations to access critical resources to continue their important missions during the crisis and recovery phase of COVID-19. We have partnered with NEPA Grantmakers and the regional funders listed below to create a single grant portal and application related to COVID-19 funding.
This new grant portal will be the vehicle used to receive and process requests  related to the COVID-19 crisis, and these requests will be reviewed and considered by multiple funders in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region.
The following foundations have generously provided support to the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund at The Luzerne Foundation and will be actively involved in the COVID-19 grant review process: 
Participating Foundations in the NEPA Grantmakers online portal:

Each nonprofit applicant will create an account and submit a common grant application on a shared site, which is then seen by multiple funders who are working collaboratively to determine the best possible funding for each request. This streamlines the process making it easier for charities to apply at one time to multiple funders for grants related COVID-19. Grant-seekers and funders alike will benefit from the coordination of these efforts.
This collaborative application is as streamlined as possible so that organizations are not overburdened by a complicated application process while supplying the most critical information to funders.
We are committed to responding as quickly as possible. Since multiple funders will be reviewing applications, we are collectively asking for your patience as we review each request and work together to determine how best to address your needs. Following your submission, one or more funders will be in touch with you either to request more information or to inform you of their decision. We ask that organizations please limit their requests to one application at this time. If appropriate, you may be invited to submit another application in the future as recovery efforts are underway.
Important Note to Organizations: While The Luzerne Foundation is using the same software company for applications related to the COVID-19 crisis as we do to process other grant requests, this site is unique and not directly connected to TLF’s other grantmaking efforts. Organizations must create a new login for this site, even if they have applied to TLF in the past. This unique NEPA Grantmakers Grant Portal was necessary to ensure we could work collaboratively with all of our partnering foundations. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
If you have questions regarding applications for funding related to the COVID-19 crisis and recovery phase, please email diane@luzfdn.org. TLF, and all of our partners, are honored to support your important work to serve our community during this challenging time. We are also extremely grateful to this caring collaborative of funders that have chosen to work together to address our community’s most urgent needs.


The United Way of Wyoming Valley and Greater Hazleton and the Alliance of The Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to raise funds from individual, corporate, and foundation donors to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

This fund will swiftly deploy additional financial resources to nonprofits to support residents in need of emergency food and basic supplies, interim housing and shelter, primary health care services, utility assistance, direct financial assistance for household expenses, supports for children and other vulnerable populations, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance. This fund will work in tandem with other funds set up around the county ensuring that resources go where they are needed most.

Luzerne County is blessed with strong local nonprofit organizations and community foundations that serve our region’s most vulnerable neighbors. In this moment of unprecedented demand, it’s critical that these organizations have the resources they need to continue to operate at their highest capacity.

Your donation will support the agencies that are ensuring our neighbors can access basic needs in this time of crisis.

Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Supporters

Thank you to our extraordinary coalition of individuals, foundations, and corporations who have come together to support our community through the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

Founders:
The Luzerne Foundation
United Way of Wyoming Valley
United Way of Greater Hazleton, Inc.
Luzerne County
Back Mountain Chamber
The Chamber – Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce
Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce
Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce


The Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund FAQs

What will my donation support?
Your donation will be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across Luzerne County serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund will swiftly deploy additional financial resources to local nonprofits to support residents in need of emergency food and basic supplies; interim housing and shelter; primary health care services; utility and financial assistance; supports for children and other vulnerable populations, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance. This fund will work in tandem with other funds set up around the region ensuring that resources go where they are needed most. Your contribution is a tax-exempt charitable donation to a 501(c)3 organization.
What is the fundraising goal of this campaign and how long will it run?
We do not have a specific goal or timeline for the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. We anticipate long-lasting effects of COVID-19 beyond the current stay at home order, so our hope is for the Fund to provide as much support as possible, for as long as possible. We anticipate several rounds of funding in coming weeks and perhaps months. The mix of grants made will take into account developing needs and underserved groups as the COVID-19 impacts evolve.
Where is the money coming from?
Thank you to our partners – individuals, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations — who have come together to support our community through the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. A full list of those donors can be found in the section above. But what we have is just kicking off, and we welcome any and all new donations.
Is there a minimum or suggested donation?
No, we are grateful for any and all donations shared during this difficult time to serve families in need. There is no amount too small to help make a difference.
Will all of the money donated to the fund go to the communities across the county?
Yes. Other than a small processing fee for credit card donations, 100% of all donations to the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will go directly to support critical services and supplies for those in need across the state. The Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will work in tandem with other funds set up around the state to ensure that resources are directed where they are needed most.
Can a family apply for resources from the fund?
Not directly. All funds will go to local and regional nonprofit organizations serving individuals, families and communities who will disburse services and supplies. Individuals and families in need of support should check back for updates on which organizations are receiving support and may be able to extend assistance.
What if my organization wants to apply to the Fund?
There is currently not an open application process for the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Please provide your information on the contact page and the Response Fund Team will provide updates as they become available. The Fund’s Steering Committee will be working to identify organizations for its first round of funding soon.
What organizations in Luzerne County will receive funds?
We will publish a list of the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund recipients as soon as possible, along with a short description of the services and support they are providing. Please check back here for updates. The LCCERF will provide flexible resources to local community foundations and nonprofit organizations across the state to supply essential resources to the individuals and households most impacted by the pandemic. The fund is designed to be flexible so it can deploy resources to address possible additional areas of community need as they develop.
How will the Fund decide which organizations will receive funding?
The LCCERF is chaired by CMB and The Luzerne Foundation and lead partners are The Luzerne Foundation and United Way of Wyoming Valley and Greater Hazleton, which bring important knowledge and expertise about needs and capacity in every region of the state. The LCCERF is governed by a Steering Committee of philanthropic, nonprofit and corporate leaders from around the region who will identify areas of immediate need and the level of funding for each area. As noted above, key areas for consideration are emergency food and basic supplies; interim housing and shelter; primary health care services; utility and financial assistance; supports for children and other vulnerable populations; and nonprofit safety and operations assistance.
Supporting the Steering Committee is a Grantmaking Working Group made up of diverse individuals with deep experience in the social service sector and connections to grassroots organizations throughout Northeast Pennsylvania; this group will recommend specific grants for the Steering Committee to consider. They will draw on their expertise, networks, and knowledge of other local/regional COVID-19 response efforts to assess areas of need and potential providers. They will recommend potential grants to regional nonprofit organizations, community foundations, and United Way affiliates across Illinois that can efficiently respond to pressing needs in local communities. The Steering Committee will decide which grants to approve. Funds will be distributed across geographies in Luzerne County and Northeast Pennsylvania, will focus on basic needs, and will provide relief to the most vulnerable populations.
Can I designate my donation to a specific organization?
No. The Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is a general fund to support those most in need across the state. Funds will be pooled and then disbursed at the LCCERF Steering Committee’s guidance. If you would like to give to a specific organization, we encourage you to give directly to that organization.
Can I give from my donor advised fund?
Yes. Please recommend a grant through your donor advised fund sponsor to The Luzerne Foundation, 34 S. River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, Designate the purpose as the Luzerne County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, and please also indicate who the donation is from.
Can I help spread the word?
Americans and residents across Northeast Pennsylvania are engaging with digital platforms and content at record levels to stay informed. We encourage you to share our website via the social share buttons located on the website and within your own networks to help us spread the word.
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