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Volunteer to be a Grant Reviewer

Current Volunteers Resources

Grant Evaluation Portal

Grant Review Volunteers Information Session

Watch the recording of the grant review volunteers information session.

How to evaluate Grants PowerPoint

This PowerPoint was used during the grant review volunteer information session. Here you can information on what to look for when evaluating grants, and how to use the grant evaluation portal.

Using the Evaluation Portal

In this PDF you can find more detailed information on how to navigate the grant evaluation portal.

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About Grant Reviewing

Grant review volunteers assist us with reading and scoring grant applications, and they are an essential part of our decision making process. As members of the Lancaster County community, volunteers are able to provide valuable insight on the needs of the community. Throughout the process volunteers are also able to learn about the inspiring initiatives that community benefit organizations (CBOs) are implementing across the county. Many volunteers express admiration for the way organizations work to create positive change in the people they serve and in Lancaster County. Grant review volunteers are diverse in their experience of Lancaster and their perspective. Effective volunteers have: Knowledge of our community, a desire to voice their opinion, and computer literacy/access.

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What can you expect?

Grant review volunteers can expect to read an average of six to ten applications during a three week period. Depending on how long you take to read through and score applications, this process can take 3-5 hours over the course of those few weeks.

All grant reviews are completed online; volunteers need to be comfortable working online and have access to a computer, laptop or other mobile device with internet access.

*Because of the importance of grant review volunteers in our process, we require all volunteers to attend an information session and to fill out a conflict of interest form.*

Grant reviewing is done in two cycles:

Cycle 1: June 1 – June 22
Cycle 2: August 3 – August 24

Want to learn more?

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Want to volunteer?

If you are interested in becoming a grant review volunteer, fill out the sign up sheet below. Once we receive and review your information, we will reach out with a detailed email regarding the information session and how to sign up to review grants during a specific cycle. 

 

Learn more about the types of applications received in each cycle, and the evaluation criteria of each program: 

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Grant Programs Cycle 1

Passion Grants

Passion Grants convert The Community Foundation’s donors’ passions into impact through supporting programming in a broad range of focus areas including: human services, the environment, restoring historical structures, clean water, human rights/inclusion, the arts, preschool child development, and projects in Eastern Lancaster County.

What should I look for in a Passion Grant application?

• Need and Vision – Does the application address community needs, and does it outline a clear vision for change?

• Equity and Inclusion – Does the organization demonstrate a commitment to racial equity, inclusion, and social justice? Does the program focus on an underserved or underrepresented group of people?

• Implementation Plan – How effectively does the application outline a plan for project coordination, utilization of funding, strategies, and timeline?

• Collaboration – Does the application incorporate meaningful collaboration or partnerships with other organizations?

• Organizational Capacity – Does the organization demonstrate capacity to successfully implement its proposed program?

• Results  – Does the application articulate ways the organization will measure the effect of the program or solution at a broad community level, and are the outcomes meaningful and feasible?

 

John J. Snyder Fund

The John J. Snyder, Jr. Fund for Historic Preservation is a distinct fund of our Passion Grants. It provides for the restoration, maintenance, and repair of historical structures in Lancaster and Cumberland counties. Grant funds may be used for many of the “unglamorous things” necessary to sustain a documented historical structure owned by a community benefit organization, so that it may be preserved for future generations.

What should I look for in a John J. Synder Fund application?

• Historical Significance – The degree to which the historic structure has significance in the community

• Equity and Inclusion – Does the organization demonstrate a commitment to racial equity, inclusion, and social justice? Does the program focus on an underserved or underrepresented group of people?

• Potential for transformation – The degree to which the project would affect the functioning of the organization

• Implementation Plan – The degree to which the key details of the project are accounted for

• Organizational Planning/Capacity – The degree to which the organization has planned/is planning to gather the needed funding for this and other upcoming projects; the degree to which the organization demonstrates a proven track record with similar projects.

• Long-term Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness – The degree to which the project brings ecological benefits, use of community resources, and long-term cost savings

 

CBO Equity & Inclusion Program

CBOs will join a 9-month learning journey embedding equity practices that encourage collective reflection and transformational change. The workshops offer fresh perspectives and practical strategies guiding CBOs toward creating an organizational equity & inclusion plan.

What should I look for in a CBO Equity & Inclusion Program application?

• Commitment to DEI – Does the organization describe a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?

• Challenges – Has the organization described current challenges regarding equity and inclusion substantially? Is the organization intentional with identifying examples of those challenges?

• Vision and Desire – Does the application clearly describe their desire and vision with respect to DEI?

• Goals and Results – Does the application clearly articulate the organization’s desired DEI goals and results?

• Cohort Experience – If chosen, how will this organization contribute and gain from the 8-month experience?

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Grant Programs Cycle 2

Capacity Building Grant

The grant supports capacity building work designed to help fulfill an organization’s mission. Examples of capacity building includes strategic planning, marketing or staff development.

What should I look for in a Capacity Building Grant application? 

• Project Vision – Does the vision position the organization to better fulfill its mission?

• Equity and Inclusion – Does the organization demonstrate a commitment to racial equity, inclusion, and social justice? Does the program focus on an underserved or underrepresented group of people?

• Organizational Sustainability – Does this capacity building effort increase the organization’s long-term sustainability?

• Need/Opportunity – How effectively are the organizational needs, opportunities, and timeliness of this capacity building initiative communicated?

• Implementation Plan – Does the application provide a plan for project coordination, utilization of funding, strategies, and a timeline?

 

CBO & Business Partnership Program

This program supports substantial and strategic CBO & Business partnerships between community benefit organizations (CBOs), and businesses that will achieve positive social and environmental impact on Lancaster County’s residents and communities. Grants will support CBOs in advancing partnerships with local businesses, in order to deliver a greater combined impact.

What should I look for in a CBO & Business Partnership application? 

• Problem – The application clearly identifies a community problem with a demonstrated need for change

• Equity & Inclusion – Does the organization demonstrate a commitment to racial equity, inclusion, and social justice? Does the program focus on an underserved or underrepresented group of people?

• Potential of Proposed Solution – The proposed partnership has the potential to transform individuals and communities

• Implementation Plan – The organizations have created a robust, logical plan that clearly identifies each organization’s roles, a timeline, budget, and goals

• Organization’s Capacity – The two or more organizations involved have a track record of success and the necessary resources available to deliver on the proposed initiative

• Results – The organizations have outlined clear, achievable, and impactful outcomes and a plan to measure the initiative’s success

 

Baldwin Leadership Program

The Baldwin Leadership Program supports the personal leadership development of individuals in Lancaster County. The Class of 2023 will include 10 local leaders ready to embark on extraordinary opportunities. The 18-month program seeks to spark your curiosity for growth and leadership development. The timeline provides supportive group engagement and resources to amplify your personally designed project. Monthly cohort meetings and retreat are required.

What should I look for in a Baldwin Leadership Program application? 

• Leadership Capacity – Do the applicant’s goals and self-designed program increase her/his/their leadership capacity?

• Self-designed Program – Does the applicant bring a creative approach to her/his/their self-designed program?

• Creative Thinking Skills – Will the program foster the applicant’s creative thinking skills?

• Community Benefit – Will the self-directed program impact Lancaster’s leadership capacity, as well as the partnering CBO?

• Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) – Does the applicant demonstrate a commitment to racial equity, inclusion, and social justice? Will the applicant bring a diverse perspective to the cohort of Baldwin Leaders?

Email Program Officer, Alma Felix, at AFelix@LancFound.org if you have any questions.

Questions?

We’re here!

Send Program Officer Alma Felix an email.

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