The Pittsburgh Foundation
Maryn Formley in the East Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh where she is recruiting canvassers to increase the neighborhood's voter turnout. (Photo credit: Kitoko Chargois.)
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We seek to support civic participation and community organizing to achieve policy changes that will address the root causes of economic and racial inequities.

Economic and racial inequities persist in our region. Nearly one-third of Allegheny County residents live at or near the poverty level and Black, Indigenous and people of color have the poorest outcomes across almost every indicator of individual and community well-being. For example, the 2019 Gender Equity Commission report found that Black women in Pittsburgh, when compared to those in similar cities, face higher rates of maternal mortality and poverty along with lower rates of employment and college readiness. While interventions can improve outcomes for individuals, equitable access to opportunity will only be possible at scale when systemic policies, practices and cultural messages that perpetuate injustice are eliminated. To do this, we recognize that resident leadership is critical to accomplishing change. 

Our equity and social justice grantmaking places strong emphasis on strengthening the voice and power of low-income residents and people of color because policies and systems have created barriers for them when it comes to education, housing, criminal justice, public health and participation in our democracy.

 To learn more about our grantmaking related to Equity and Social Justice, select one of the following:



Voter Engagement: We seek to support the ability of the nonprofit sector to engage historically underrepresented populations and communities that have documented low voter turnout. 

Voter Engagement grant criteria

Access to Information: We seek to support public media  outlets and other platforms that produce professional, regionally focused, fact-based news coverage and information, especially those covering low-income and Black, Indignous and people of color (BIPOC) communities. 

Access to information grant criteria


Protect Basic Needs:  We seek to support grassroots organizations and resident-informed initiatives that utilize advocacy, community organizing, and other systems change strategies to address the barriers that prevent families from being able to meet their basic needs and thrive.  

Protect basic needs grant criteria

End Mass Incarceration:  We seek to uplift and provide resources for community-led efforts to change policies and practices that result in over-incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal legal system.

end mass incarceration grant criteria

Youth Justice:  We are interested in supporting intervention and prevention activities that support youth who have any involvement with the criminal and juvenile justice systems. 

Youth justice grant criteria


If your organization or fiscally-sponsored project has an operating budget of $250,000 or less and you have not previously received a grant from our foundation-directed grants program, please consider applying through our Social Justice Fund

Learn about other foundation-directed grantmaking focus areas: