Strategic Grant

FCFP Announces $1 Million Strategic Grant 

January 2017

     The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania is proud to award a $1,000,000 strategic grant for the Old City and East Third Street Gateway Revitalization Project.  This project is a collaboration in revitalization between River Valley Transit, the City of Williamsport, and Lycoming College. The FCFP Board of Directors learned about the project last year during the “Once in a Century Grant” process and decided to provide critical community match dollars for the project in 2017.
     “The collaborative efforts between River Valley Transit and Lycoming College have the potential to transform downtown Williamsport and further enhance a college town atmosphere reflective of a community that is home to more than 6,750 college students annually,” said Jennifer D. Wilson, FCFP President and Chief Executive Officer.  “The timing of this unique opportunity could not be ignored and the FCFP Board of Directors decided to partner on this exciting project through the Williamsport Lycoming Unrestricted Fund”. 
     The grant will be divided equally between River Valley Transit and Lycoming College.  $500,000 will be awarded to River Valley Transit for the restructuring of Basin Street to enhance traffic patterns including two-way traffic on East Third Street to Market Street and a portal entrance into the redevelopment of Old City.  In addition, pathway and streetscape projects for the “Willow Street Green Infrastructure Pathway” will be created to connect Lycoming College to downtown Williamsport’s Central Business District.
     William Nichols Jr., General Manager of River Valley Transit said, “This grant provides the needed catalyst to begin revitalization efforts east of Market Street and leverages a $10,000,000 project which is the final component of the Downtown Connect Williamsport Revitalization and Gateway Plan.  It also provides a tremendous opportunity for the City to partner with Lycoming College and its Master Plan to redevelop Basin Street as a key economic development corridor and provide for a strong downtown connection with the College Campus.” 
     Lycoming College will also be awarded $500,000 toward the relocation of Franklin Street, allowing an open and more welcoming entrance to the College.  Basin Street will be restructured to a two-way street to open access to the entrance of the College and introduce new retail and housing development opportunities.  In addition to supporting portions of the “Willow Street Green Infrastructure Pathway.”
     “Lycoming College is delighted once again to enjoy the collaboration of FCFP, and we are incredibly grateful for this generous level of support for our proposed Gateway Project.  This funding will not only help to dramatically increase safety and convenience, but will help seed the studied and necessary transformation for the Lycoming College community and the Old City neighborhood alike,” said Kent Trachte, Ph.D., President of Lycoming College. “We want the Gateway Project to stimulate a stronger bond between the city of Williamsport and the College and its students. By working together to soften the borders of our campus, our students will find natural pathways into Williamsport communities, especially the downtown, Old City and riverwalk areas. And visitors to campus will find Lycoming College an open and welcoming part of our regional fabric.”
     FCFP works to improve the quality of life in north central Pennsylvania through community leadership, the promotion of philanthropy, the strengthening of nonprofit impact and the perpetual stewardship of charitable assets. In 2016, the Foundation provided over $5 million in grants and scholarships and received over $3.2 million in charitable donations.  FCFP has been creating powerful communities through passionate giving for 100 years.

 STEP Endowment

STEP Establishes Endowment Fund with FCFP

December 2016

     The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) is pleased to announce the creation of the STEP Endowment Fund, with an initial gift of $40,000.  The Lycoming-Clinton Counites Commission for Community Action (STEP) created the fund as a permanent funding source in which a portion of the fund’s investment income is granted back to STEP in support of their programs and projects while the fund’s principal is protected for future charitable interest. 
     Jennifer D. Wilson, FCFP President & CEO stated, “The Foundation is proud to partner with STEP to create a permanent funding source for the future.  The creation of this fund demonstrates the financial integrity of STEP and FCFP is honored to serve as stewards of their endowment.” 
     STEP’s mission since their founding in 1966, is to engage diverse individuals, families and communities in the pursuit of social and economic success.  The STEP acronym stands for Success Through Engagement and Partnership.  They are one of approximately 1,000 Community Action Agencies nationwide; and is the 4th largest of the 43 in Pennsylvania.
     “We are excited in our 50th anniversary to be partnering with the Foundation in the establishment of a permanent endowment.” said Jim Plankenhorn, President & CEO of STEP.  “It is critical that we look to our future and continue to build funds for all of our programs and projects.  We can only provide the flexibility that our communities need by creating permanent sources of income.” 
     Anyone wishing to create a fund to support their favorite nonprofit organization in perpetuity may do so by contacting the Community Foundation at 570-321-1500.

FCFP Celebrates 100th Anniversary with Open House and Grant Announcements

November 2016
     The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP) hosted its eleventh in a series of twelve monthly “Centennial Surprise” gifts to the community on its 100th birthday, Sunday, November 20, 2016, by unwrapping the biggest gift of the year.  The new FCFP Philanthropy Center was opened to the community with a ribbon cutting on the steps at 201 West Fourth Street, Williamsport. 
     FCFP purchased the former Ross Club in downtown Williamsport to create the FCFP Philanthropy Center. Located on a historically significant corner, the Ross Club is symbolic of the heritage of its community. FCFP has a proud past, and, much like the exterior of the Ross Club, it is important to honor that long and strong history.  The internal workings of the Foundation are progressive and innovative, and the new interior design elements in FCFP’s new home emulate that image while providing state-of-the-art facilities to nonprofits in the region.  Nonprofits will have access to meeting and event space as well as office equipment, a mail center and file storage. These resources are designed to provide nonprofits with a structure that will help contribute to their future success.
     In celebration of 100 years of FCFP’s support and partnership with nonprofits, the Foundation awarded two unique grants.  The “Once in a Century Grant” was awarded to the Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority. Constructed in 1947, the Williamsport Regional Airport has undertaken four extensive space and safety renovations to improve the current terminal. With the high costs of renovations and the terminal now functionally obsolete, the Airport began a capital project to build a new, state-of-the-art facility. The budget for the new building is over $16M; with committed and pending support from a variety of other funding partners, the Airport was still in need of $1M to complete the project. With the “Once in a Century Grant” the reality of an energy efficient 30,000 square foot terminal will come to fruition.
     The “Centennial Grant” was awarded to a nonprofit with a program or project serving residents in Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and/or Union Counties.  Suncom Industries was the recipient of this grant.   Suncom’s promotes socialization and provide vocational training and employment opportunities to persons with disabilities. This $40,000 Centennial Grant will purchase a new handicap accessible van to enhance Suncom’s goal of helping their participants fulfill their greatest potential in their community.
     As part of the 2016 centennial celebration, FCFP has unveiled monthly surprise events throughout the year that were free to the public.  In October, FCFP hosted Pennsylvania native and Rock Legend, Bret Michaels for a special one-hour interactive unplugged experience at the Community Arts Center.  Michaels played with students from the Uptown Music Collective and Williamsport Area High School Strolling Strings. The show was free to the public, compliments of FCFP.  FCFP has one more “Centennial Surprise” for December.  More information on upcoming events can be obtained at  

Creating powerful communities
through passionate giving®

FCFP Philanthropy Center
201 West Fourth Street
Williamsport, PA 17701

Phone: 570.321.1500
Fax: 570.321.6434
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© 2018 First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania