The Pittsburgh Foundation

New donor group raises nearly $30,000 for nonprofits serving single mothers

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 4, 2018 – Three organizations that uplift single women raising children got a boost totaling $28,750 from the New Philanthropic Leaders (NPL), a new group of early- and mid-career philanthropists based at The Pittsburgh Foundation.

The grants were a combination of $11,000 in funds from NPL members, bolstered by $15,000 from the Foundation, and an additional $2,750 donated by the 111 people who attended the Nov. 9 pitch party at the Energy Innovation Center to vote for the most compelling pitch that night. The three nonprofits were: Jeremiah's Place: A Relief Nursery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Women Work and Providence Connections, Inc.

“There were three goals for the pitch party. First, to provide an opportunity for organizations to introduce a new group of potential supporters to their mission and, second, to raise awareness that single women raising children are disproportionately affected by poverty nationally and in our region,” said Emmie Calland, who is the Foundation’s senior manager for the Center for Philanthropy and strategic initiatives, and who launched the NPL program. “The third goal was to demonstrate that anyone, even younger people with limited resources, can be philanthropists.”

How the pitch worked: One staff member from each organization stepped up to the microphone and had 10 minutes to explain how they help single women transform their lives. Attendees who donated $20 or more to the event were able to “vote” for the organization with the most compelling pitch. The organization with the most votes received $11,000 and the other two received $7,500 plus their share of the $2,750 in crowdfunded donations made that night. With a small margin of majority votes, the winning non-profit was Pennsylvania Women Work.

“I was truly honored to know that our hard work had been recognized by the community,” said Taneysha Williams, manager of 3 Cups of Coffee ®, a program of Pennsylvania Women Work. “The event gave us an opportunity to learn about the other resources available for single women raising children. It was refreshing to know that young philanthropists are rewarding the good work done in the community.”

Pennsylvania Women’s Work was awarded $11,000 plus an additional $1,240 from the audience. Jeremiah’s Place received $7,500 plus $690 from the audience. Providence Connections received $7,500 plus $820 from the audience.

The event was the culmination of 10 months of meetings where NPL members engaged in site visits, met with nonprofit staff and community advocates, and studied the systemic barriers that single women face.

Always at the center of those meetings were the experts on the topic: the single mothers, grandmothers and caretakers who are raising children on their own. The stakes for these women are high: in Allegheny County, about 77 percent of families living below the poverty line are headed by single women raising children. The Pittsburgh Foundation selected this population as one of the targeted focus areas of its 100 Percent Pittsburgh research and grantmaking

Who are the New Philanthropic Leaders? The New Philanthropic Leaders Fund is an active network of connected professionals between 22 and 40 years of age who dedicate time and resources over the course of a year to improve the region through their philanthropy. The 2018 NPL members are: Mike Aroesty of Regent Square, Chris Ellis of Squirrel Hill, Elly Fisher of Friendship, Jessica Friedrichs of Morningside, Kathryn Heffernan of Lawrenceville, Reed Natali of O’Hara Township, Michael Quatrini of Point Breeze, Marie Stapinski of Squirrel Hill, Emma Swift Lee of Edgewood, Shivani Trivedi of Presto and Bianca Zeiler of the Southside.

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