News & Events

Three New Programs Will Help Berks County Nonprofits Navigate A Post-Pandemic Future

February 22, 2021


READING, PA (February 22, 2021) – Berks County Community Foundation is launching three new programs aimed at guiding nonprofits in our region into a post-pandemic period.

These programs will fund:

  • Planning initiatives for nonprofit organizations seeking to better map their futures.
  • Arts and culture programs, exhibits, or events to be held in the fourth quarter of 2021 or in 2022.
  • Projects aimed at connecting community members to each other in ways that help Berks County residents get to know their neighbors, whether in the same town or across the county.

Up to $100,000 in grants may be awarded through each of these programs. Because of the range in size and scope of nonprofit organizations in our community, there is neither a minimum nor a maximum request amount. The deadline to apply is March 31. The grants will be awarded by May 31.

In conversations with local nonprofits, the Community Foundation found that the majority of organizations made changes to their operations that will allow them to weather the pandemic, said Heidi Williamson, Senior Vice President for Programs and Initiatives.

“We also learned that organizations are turning their attention to what comes next, as they evaluate the changes wrought by the pandemic and look toward the future,” she added. “These grants from the Hawley and Myrtle Quier Fund of Berks County Community Foundation are intended to help get them there.”

The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors recently approved $300,000 for the trio of special grant programs. Organizations may apply for one, two, or all three of the programs, which focus on filling funding gaps to ensure organizations and the community are ready to connect and participate fully when the pandemic fades.

To apply, use this link:, or go to and click on “Apply for a Grant” under the “Scholarships + Grants” section of the website menu. You must create an account to access the application system.


Nonprofit planning

Nonprofit organizations based in and serving Berks County are eligible to apply for one-time planning grants through this special program. The goal of this opportunity is to help organizations prepare for life after the pandemic.

Organizations may apply for the type and scope of planning grant that makes the most sense for them, including for strategic planning or specific planning needs, such as technology, capital projects, construction, or something else specific.

Details are here:

Arts & Culture Ramp Up

The goal of this special grant opportunity is to help Berks County’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations ramp up again for exciting public programs, exhibits, and/or events to be held during the fourth quarter of 2021 or in 2022. Nonprofit organizations must be based in Berks County and the programming may be held anywhere in Berks County during that timeframe.

This opportunity builds on the success of the Community Foundation’s recent five-year Berks County Arts Fund grant program, which distributed $500,000 to support arts activities in specific rural areas and on Penn Street. While that program was limited in geography, this new opportunity is open to organizations and activities that take place across the county. The grants will help offset revenue and fundraising losses caused by the pandemic that could interfere with the rapid return of new programming.

Details are here:

You Are Here

The goal of the special “You Are Here” grant program is to foster human connection in our communities around Berks County.

Nonprofit organizations may apply for funding for projects aimed at connecting community members to each other in ways that help Berks County residents get to know their neighbors, whether in the same town or across the county. Projects that break down polarization, create a sense of shared community, highlight different points of view, and showcase a variety of voices will be prioritized.

Organizations are encouraged to be creative. Applications will be welcomed from all types of nonprofits, including but not limited to organizations that focus on arts, culture, children, young adults, seniors, worship, education, and community information.

Details are here:


Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing and distributing charitable funds aimed at improving the quality of life in Berks County. More information is available at


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