READING, PA (March 31, 2020) – This week, the Community Foundation launched an emergency grant program to help Berks County nonprofits fill critical gaps in funding that have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is meant to help with unexpected expenses or revenue losses that are not otherwise recoverable by the stimulus measures that the government has put into place.

If you need more information about those stimulus measures, here are two helpful links:

Organizations that apply for a COVID-19 Nonprofit Continuity Grant from the Community Foundation must meet three requirements:

  • Be a nonprofit organization exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or an organization exempt as a religious, educational, or governmental entity.
  • Operate in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
  • Have increased expenses or diminished revenue as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic that will not be reimbursed or covered in full or in part by local, state, or federal stimulus programs.

Unlike many of our grant opportunities that have restrictions based on a local geography or a field of work, this program is open to all Berks County nonprofits. The broad guidelines and range of grant size are meant to acknowledge the reality that all kinds of nonprofit organizations in our community have been impacted in all kinds of ways, from all-volunteer groups with annual budgets of less than $10,000, to large professional organizations with many employees and budgets in the millions. Funding gaps will range in size and scope, which is why we’re not being prescriptive about what will and will not be funded beyond the three main requirements.

If your organization meets the three requirements above, I encourage you to apply for a grant. If you’re not 100% sure, apply anyway and we’ll sort it out. The application is streamlined and hopefully will not take much time to complete. But act quickly – the application period is short so we can turn grants around fast. Here are the details:

  • Applications will be accepted online between April 1 and April 10, 2020.
  • Applications will be reviewed and grant decisions announced no later than April 17, 2020. Approved grants will be distributed May 1, 2020.
  • The minimum grant size is $500 and the maximum grant size is $20,000. This wide range reflects the diversity of organizations and needs in the community at this time.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. We’re working from home like many of you, so email is the fastest way to connect.

With gratitude for the work you do,



Heidi Williamson

Senior Vice President for Programs and Initiatives

Berks County Community Foundation