The Pittsburgh Foundation

Protect Basic Needs Equity and Social Justice

The Capitol Building in Harrisburg. (Photo credit: Joshua Franzos.)
The Capitol Building in Harrisburg. (Photo credit: Joshua Franzos.)

We believe, and research proves, that structural barriers, not individual choices, cause poverty and its disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous and people of color communities. However, harmful (and often racist) stereotypes create narratives that blame individuals for their circumstance, and this is too often reinforced by state and federal policies and institutional practices.  While it is imperative to address the immediate needs of low-income residents through food pantries and free health clinics, individual level responses are not enough. We recognize that we must take aim at the systemic forces that limit access to economic opportunity and create inequities that hamper people’s ability to meet their basic needs. 

Specifically, we are interested in supporting 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.  

Because this is an emergent area of work for our foundation and we are committed to learning with and from communities most impacted, we do not have additional criteria for funding at this time. We intend for our grantmaking to be responsive to the needs of the community for the next several years.  

Where appropriate, we will convene organizations that have received grants to understand the ecosystem of organizations working on similar issues; share learnings; and develop recommendations for future investments. 

Spring grant cycle Feb. 26, 2024 by 5 p.m.
(for funding decision by June 6.)
Fall grant cycle July 11, 2024 by 5 p.m.
(for funding decision by Oct 30.)

Grant Guidelines   How to apply

Please review our basic needs grantmaking page to identify the program officer whose portfolio is most aligned with the issues you seek to address through your effort.

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Learn more about about grantmaking related to Equity and Social Justice: