The Pittsburgh Foundation

Small and Mighty: Basic Needs Definitions

  • Food and nutrition agencies that are eligible under this category will operate soup kitchens, food pantries, meals-on-wheels and programs that help individuals and families apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition programs.
  • Housing agencies that are eligible under this category will operate physical shelter programs and/or housing units for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Also eligible are organizations that provide targeted case management AND have established relationships with organizations that offer physical shelter to facilitate warm transfer of clients from one organization to another. Physical and Mental Health nonprofits that are eligible under this category include Federally Qualified Health Centers, Free Health Clinics, and community-based mental health agencies that provide care to low-income individuals and families regardless of ability to pay. Organizations that offer on-site preventative healthcare screenings and/or vouchers for such screenings as a part of their core mission or service delivery are also eligible.
  • Transportation access is emerging as a key issue in assessing how successful a family will be in moving out of poverty. The related transportation issues can range from accessibility to mass transit, vehicle ownership, and the number of jobs within an hour’s commute. Organizations eligible under this category will operate transportation services that assist individuals and families with accessing community resources.
  • Childcare is often the largest item in the budget of a family living in poverty, and in some cases can exceed 30 percent of a family’s income. Organizations eligible under this category will provide free, low-cost and/or subsidized childcare for children ages 0 – 6 whose parents who are working, seeking employment, or pursuing their education.
  • Employment nonprofits that are eligible under this category provide a variety of employment-related services such job readiness, job placement or job retention programs; training or education explicitly related to employment; and support services such as transportation, tools or clothing to enable individuals to work.
  • Education nonprofits increase student achievement for all children in grades K -12 in all subject matter areas. Organizations that are eligible under this category will:
    • Emphasize acquiring foundational skills necessary to master reading and mathematics, graduate from high school and transition to college or a meaningful career.
    • Develop educational leaders who support academic proficiency, racial equity, and the rights of every student to learn.
    • Operate programs that, as part of their primary purpose, seek to reduce tardiness, truancy, in/out-of-school suspensions and other disciplinary issues that reduce classroom instruction time. This may include programs that prevent involvement with the juvenile justice system.
    • Implement curricula that is aligned with school academic standards.
    • Have established relationships with public school and work in partnership with other community-based organizations that seek to improve school outcomes for youth.

Learn more about the Small and Mighty grants program.