July 2021
Reflections on the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Sector Virtual Un-Conference
The Technical Assistance Team hosted a virtual event, Un-Conference: Emerging from the COVID-19 Pandemic on June 30th. The event was the first of its kind that our team tried, and it was a huge success! The topics were selected by participants, and the conversations on each topic were led by the participants, honoring the depth of knowledge the nonprofit sector holds. We had over 50 participants and our breakout rooms focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Fundraising; Mask Policies; Mental Health; Lessons Learned in the Pandemic; and Organizational Growth. The keynote address of the event was lead by Darian Colbert of Cohesion Network and he focused his talk on the importance of collaboration in creating a stronger nonprofit sector.
 
We are impressed with how successful the Un-Conference was, and that is all thanks to the wonderful participants that really opened up about the struggles and triumphs they were all going through. Darian’s motto of “WE>ME” set the perfect tone for the event, and the collective learnings gleaned from the discussion really emphasized its wisdom. The discussions were varied between fundraising, masking, DEI, etc. and the heart of every conversation can be boiled down to one point from Guillermo and Jared’s group on DEI conversations: Choose courage over comfort but remain curious.

The pandemic caught the whole sector by surprise and many of us were not prepared for the challenges it brought, both to our organization and to the community. However, we have seen incredible feats of collaboration, inventive ways of fundraising, and painful but necessary conversations about equity and oppression. Regularly choosing to be courageous and inventive, stepping out into uncharted waters, rather than remaining comfortable in the same old-same old that maintains the status quo is how this sector, and our community, will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger, more equitable, and prepared for whatever the future holds.

Click the button below to read the extensive notes from all the break-out rooms. This is a great resource whether you were able to attend or not.
Volunteer to Participate in the Technical Assistance Working Group
Technical Assistance Group is looking to expand! We want to bring in fresh, new voices that will not only diversify the perspectives in the group but will help to push forward our agenda of equipping Lehigh Valley nonprofits with the knowledge, skills, and relationships necessary to maximize community impact. If you would be interested in joining our team, please contact Megan Briggs at megan@lvcfoundation.org.

We look forward to working with you and continuing to host great events like the Un-Conference in the future.
Upcoming Funding Opportunity
Lehigh County currently has three grant opportunities open, all of which close on July 16th.

-   Homelessness Prevention
-   Re-Entry and Recidivism Reduction
-   Youth Violence Prevention
Strategic Response Team
Technical Assistance Working Group

The Strategic Response Team (SRT) launched in the wake of COVID19 to provide a rapid, informed, and coordinated approach to assessing community need and quickly allocating dollars to the areas of greatest need. Soon afterwards, the SRT spun out a Technical Assistance Working Group to ensure area non-profit organizations have the specialized resources, information, and support they need to continue operations and respond to rapidly changing community needs. The TA Working Group is a community collaboration consisting of representatives from funding organizations, local government, grassroots community organizations, health networks, community health and non-profit organizations who bring their varied perspectives to the table to create the most effective impact.