The Pittsburgh Foundation

Program Social Change in Community Philanthropy Fellow Reports to: Senior Vice President of Program and Policy

The Pittsburgh Foundation is announcing a one-year opportunity for an individual to serve as the Social Change Fellow in its Program and Policy Department. The Foundation is seeking a highly-credentialed individual, with a demonstrated interest in philanthropy, who seeks to work with nonprofit organizations and the public sector in Allegheny County to advance social and political change, racial equity and inclusion and to strengthen democracy. This is a one-year, full-time, paid assignment during which the Fellow will gain experience in operationalizing the goals and values of the Foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh organizing principle.

The Social Change in Community Philanthropy Fellow will conduct rigorous research on policy issues designed to transform and reform the political, economic and social structures that drive whole communities of people into poverty and help keep them there. S/he will participate in the design of 100 Percent Pittsburgh initiatives that are developed in response to research on rapidly changing community needs and will work with Program Department staff to respond to grantmaking proposals in the areas of education, human services, public health, and community and economic development. Evidence of experience in the areas of quantitative and qualitative research is essential as is a belief in the potential for social change through strengthening the capacity of individuals and communities to advocate on their own behalf.

Under the direction of the Senior Vice President of Program and Policy, the Fellow will work closely with program department staff as we:

  • Identify critical community issues that arise because of social and political systems that sustain social injustice, racism, and poverty.
  • Identify strategic grantmaking opportunities, solicit funding requests, assess proposals and prepare written recommendations and program updates for the Program and Policy Committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
  • Participate in the design of a policy agenda that addresses barriers to economic self-sufficiency for youth and families and creates opportunities for people with lived experience to be at the center of solution-finding through grassroots advocacy and activism.
  • Examine our grantmaking practices to reduce barriers to accessing philanthropic support (especially for groups that, historically, have been underfunded by foundations) and adopting targeted strategies to address gaps in our portfolio.

Specific responsibilities

  • Develop deep knowledge of current issues and policies impacting individuals and families living in poverty as well as knowledge of key stakeholders and available resources in the community to address those issues and policies.
  • Participate in the design and implementation of 100 Percent Pittsburgh projects, including research (qualitative and quantitative), engagement with mission-aligned nonprofits and the people they serve, and evaluation.
  • Be responsible for a grants portfolio in one of the 100 Percent Pittsburgh priority areas, including human services, public health, community development and education.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluating the impact of 100 Percent Pittsburgh initiatives, as well as the analysis of our historical grantmaking.
  • Respond promptly and respectfully to inquiries from grantees and other constituents.
  • Attend and participate in appropriate joint efforts and affinity group meetings, events, networks of foundations and community partners.


  • An advanced degree in education, law, public health, or a human services field is strongly preferred, although a related bachelor’s degree and five years’ experience in a mission-aligned nonprofit organization or the public sector may be considered.
  • At least two years’ experience working for a nonprofit organization or in the public sector.
  • Curiosity, strong research skills, and the ability to examine, analyze, and interpret data from multiple secondary sources.
  • Creative and analytical writing and skills, including the ability to design new strategies, ask relevant questions as well as to synthesize information into a coherent report or proposal. •
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and manage deadlines and to work independently.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • A commitment to integrity, transparency, honesty and cultural humility in working with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and other business-related applications.
  • Strong technical proficiency and the ability to quickly learn to function with the Blackbaud Suite of p.

To apply

Interested candidates should submit resume and cover letter to jobs [at] Applications are due by Nov. 15, 2018 with the fellowship to start on or about Jan. 1, 2019. No phone calls please.


About the Foundation

The Pittsburgh Foundation works to improve the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy, and connecting donors to the critical needs of the community. As a community foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation’s resources are comprised of endowment funds established by individuals with a passion for charitable giving and a deep commitment to the Pittsburgh community. The Foundation currently has more than 2,100 individual donor funds and, together with its supporting organizations, assets of more than $1.2 billion. The Foundation typically awards grants from discretionary funds of more than $14 million each year. Grantmaking from these funds seeks to create self-sufficient families and individuals, to create healthy, safe and creative communities and to foster a vibrant democracy. Discretionary funds are overseen by a staff of 11 individuals in the program and policy department and are reviewed quarterly by the Foundation’s president and members of the Board of Directors.

The Foundation’s Organizing Principle: 100 Percent Pittsburgh

Today, the Pittsburgh region is changing, and we are experiencing a time of great growth and possibility—many are calling it a vision for the “New Pittsburgh.” At the same time, in many communities across the region, we are seeing evidence of persistent barriers including racial disproportionality relating to the incidence and impact of poverty. Our research reveals that these barriers affect 30 or 40 percent of the population, many of whom are children. We at the Pittsburgh Foundation want to be part of sustaining the New Pittsburgh by building bridges that connect all our families, friends and neighbors to these new opportunities. To do so, we have created an organizing principle—we call it 100 Percent Pittsburgh—comprised of a set of values, principles and activities that are foundational to our grantmaking and that have become the core of our convening, research, public policy and advocacy, all of which are operationalized through a racial equity lens. We focus on working with nonprofit organizations that seek to meet the basic needs of individuals and families who find themselves facing what may seem like insurmountable economic and social challenges.

We invest in large anchor institutions as well as smaller, grassroots organizations working in the fields of education, human services, the arts, economic and community development and public policy and advocacy. We work with our grantees to incorporate the voices of those we serve as we create new initiatives and programs.

Examples of current 100 Percent Pittsburgh initiatives include:

  • Criminal Justice Reform: Working with public sector and nonprofit and foundation allies, the Foundation’s goals for this initiative are to address racial disproportionality, to advance diversion efforts, and be part of the efforts to end the era of mass incarceration, to root out racial discrimination in the system, and to ensure humane, constitutional standards for prisoners. A key component of this effort is the Juvenile Justice Initiative that was designed to generate data from youth who have first-hand knowledge of and/or who are at risk of experiencing the juvenile justice system in Allegheny County.
  • Eviction Research Initiative: This Initiative involves leading a working group of more than 25 stakeholders to conduct a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the prevalence and burden of eviction in Allegheny County. This work was inspired by the nationally recognized work of Matthew Desmond, author or of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016) as an effort to examine, understand and inform reforms in system procedures and strategies with diverse stakeholders to intervene early and prevent evictions and the devastating cascade of consequences that often follow impacting families, single women and their children. •
  • Small and Mighty: The Pittsburgh Foundation launched the Small and Mighty grants program in 2016 to bridge the gap between our grantmaking and the neighborhood-based nonprofits that work to better our region. Designed with input from small nonprofits and their staffs, Small and Mighty offers grants of up to $15,000 through a streamlined process that delivers decisions in as little as 60 days. In addition to funding, Small and Mighty grantees also have access to workshops, peer-learning opportunities and networking events to support their continued growth and development.
  • Single Women Raising Children Initiative: Single Women Raising Children represent the population most significantly affected by poverty in Allegheny County. This project was designed to utilize quantitative and qualitative data to better understand the context in which single women live and to ascertain what they need in terms of support systems to improve their quality of life. As with other 100 Percent Pittsburgh initiatives, findings and recommendations from this research will serve as the foundation to our grantmaking and the core of our convening, research, public policy and advocacy-related to supporting single women raising children to thrive in Allegheny County.