In 2014, The Pittsburgh Foundation, then under the leadership of Maxwell King, introduced the organizing principle, 100 Percent Pittsburgh, a set of values, principles and activities that informed every aspect of our work. From 2014 to 2019, 100 Percent Pittsburgh guided our convening, research, public policy and advocacy efforts, all of which were operationalized through a racial equity lens. We focused on working with nonprofit organizations seeking to meet the basic needs of individuals and families who find themselves facing what may seem like insurmountable economic and social challenges. Our investments included funding large anchor institutions as well as smaller, grassroots organizations working in education, human services, the arts, economic and community development, and public policy and advocacy.
This organizing principle recognized that those of us lifted by Pittsburgh’s economic resurgence could not afford to leave our neighbors behind—especially people of color and others who have been excluded in the past.
In 2019, under the leadership of Lisa Schroeder, the Foundation’s new president & CEO, a strategic planning process was started. The imprint of 100 Percent Pittsburgh remains crucial in the crafting of the plan.
Perhaps the most lasting legacy of 100 Percent Pittsburgh is engaging those most affected by our focus areas and seeking their help in developing solutions. We continue to believe that those with lived experience are the experts on how to reform the systems that create and sustain poverty. We work with our grantees to incorporate the voices of those we serve as we create new initiatives and programs. We started by engaging youth ages 14 to 24 and single women raising children – two groups largely left behind in our region’s resurgence – with a broadened focus over the years. Other significant areas of focus include affordable housing and eviction and basic needs, including access to food and child care. By collaborating and sharing ideas, time and resources, we are continuing to build on the foundations of 100 Percent Pittsburgh to create a stronger Pittsburgh region—where a single woman raising children and working two jobs doesn't have to choose between paying for child care and medicine, and teenagers living in poverty have a path toward success.