Building Community

City Center’s community-affairs mission is to revitalize Downtown Allentown and its surrounding neighborhoods into a sustainable vibrant urban community.

City Center and its affiliates believe we can make the greatest impact by concentrating our support - financial, in-kind donations and volunteer service - in Downtown Allentown. Our philanthropy focuses on three key results-oriented areas: the arts, community development and education. 

Arts: A rich arts environment helps ensure a high quality of life for all citizens and provides economic vitality and educational opportunities to our community. City Center is committed to connecting our downtown neighborhoods with Allentown’s great art institutions.

Community Development: City Center is committed to strengthening our neighborhoods by partnering in comprehensive strategies that create a strong economic base in downtown and enable businesses to come here, start here and flourish here. Part of this includes community partners focused on housing rehabilitation to empower downtown’s residents and enhance their quality of life. 

Education: City Center is committed to enhancing educational opportunities for our residents in Downtown Allentown. We know the foundation of revitalizing our neighborhoods starts with education. 

Our top community-affairs priorities are our continued partnership with Central Elementary School, our community-entrepreneurship initiative called The Real Estate Lab, and our joint initiative to support local children and parents in need through The Learning Hub and its Neighborhood Resource Center”.





Central Elementary Partnership Extends to Fifth Year

In 2023, City Center continued its commitment to its neighborhood school, Central Elementary. For the fifth consecutive year, the company donated $50,000 and hundreds of employee-volunteer hours to the Allentown School District school. Throughout the year City Center supported Central’s students, families and teachers in various ways, including refreshing the school’s playground during the United Way Day of Caring. Employee volunteers made the playground safer by spreading new mulch and more enjoyable by repainting the basketball court, mindful maze, hopscotch and four-square play areas. 

“We work closely with City Center to align our initiatives and this year, we pushed to expand our programming during and after school hours. City Center stepped up to help us provide enrichment opportunities to our students. They even helped us repaint our playground space so that students could once again enjoy the hopscotch and basketball court.”
--Rebecca Bodnar, Principal, Central Elementary  

City Center, Community Services for Children and Valley Health Partners Celebrate Expanded Service to Neighbors in Need

In September of 2023, City Center, Community Services for Children and Valley Health Partners celebrated the expansion of their one-of-a-kind center downtown that houses many services that disadvantaged families need to succeed. The innovative center at 6th and Linden Streets provides early childhood education, healthcare and social services to local children and families—all at one convenient neighborhood location. With the expansion, the center now serves 400 children among 20 preschool classrooms and 3,500 more parents per year with resources on nutrition, housing and childcare. In addition, the center’s clinic now offers children primary care, dental care, vision care, and acute care and anticipates 30,000 additional visits per year. This incredible facility was named The Pat and Heather Browne Center for Education and Health to honor the significant impact that the former state senator and his wife have made on the community, advocating for children and families in need for the past three decades. 

Local Retail Business Gets a Boost from New Contest
To help support and promote local retail and restaurant businesses downtown, the City of Allentown, AlphaGraphics Lehigh Valley and City Center launched an “Ultimate Business Branding Makeover” contest in June 2023. Specialty sneaker store Properly Laced won the inaugural contest after receiving the most online votes. As the winner, Properly Laced received a business branding makeover valued at $5,000, which offered a redesigned logo, loyalty cards, vinyl window signage, wall graphics, flags and more. Other local businesses, which had to be located between Walnut and Chew streets and 5th and 13th Streets, that entered the contest included Blended, The Dollhouse, Sterner’s Stems, Bru Daddy’s, and Silveri & Co., among others.



Each year Downtown Allentown nonprofit organizations are invited to submit funding requests for a donation from City Center Group. Priority is given to programs designed to revitalize Downtown Allentown and its surrounding neighborhoods into a sustainable, vibrant urban community. 

  • All proposals must be made in writing on the organization’s letter head and must be emailed or postmarked by November 1, 2024, regardless of the amount requested.

  • Proposals are limited to four pages. 

  • The following information should be included in each request:
    •  A copy of the organization's 501(c)3 tax-exempt determination from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and a completed W9
    • Organization's address, phone and email address, name of the primary contact and Executive Director
    • List of Board of Directors and Advisory Committee members (include the names of any City Center employees who volunteer at your organization)
    • One-paragraph description of the organization and its mission statement, concise description of the project, including project goal, planned use of the contribution, demographics, the number of people who will benefit from the project, the timeframe and brief description of the staff responsible for the project. 
    • Dollar amount of requested contribution and  a total budget (include a description of any other support for the project)
    • Evaluation plan for determining success of the project: If the request is approved, an evaluation report from the recipient agency will be due by November 1 of that same year to be eligible for funding the following year. The evaluation report can be a simple one-page description of what the funding accomplished. Download Donation Evaluation Report. 
    • Please note if your program is eligible for the PA Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program. 

Areas not funded: City Center Group does not generally provide support for the following:

  • Organizations outside of Downtown Allentown
  • Individuals 
  • Religious organizations 
  • Athletic organizations
  • Advertising in programs
  • Endowment funds
  • Undefined operational support 

City Center In-Kind Donation Requests
City Center in-kind donations are available for 501(c)(3) organizations that address arts, community development and education. Requests for City Center in-kind donations can be submitted anytime during the year but must be submitted at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to need. All recipients of City Center in-kind donations must agree not to resell the product in any venue. Items donated specifically for an auction are the exception.  

Requests can be submitted to: 
City Center Group | Community Affairs Dept. 
Tower 6 | 600 W. Hamilton St, Suite 700 | Allentown PA 18101