The Pittsburgh Foundation

Wish Book FAQ

How to Apply

If your nonprofit has questions about how to apply to be included in the next Wish Book, please review the FAQs. The next Wish Book application period opens in summer 2023. Decisions about which nonprofits will be included in Wish Book are made by a committee of donors and Foundation staff.

 

  • What is the Wish Book?

    The Wish Book is a soft-bound, printed book that is mailed to the Foundation’s donor community every November. The book is dedicated to supporting nonprofits in their work by raising general operating dollars for staffing, utilities and other needs that help them fulfill their missions. Organizations selected for inclusion in the Wish Book will be asked to provide a short description of their mission and information about who they serve. Donors then support these organizations with grants of up to $5,000 from their Pittsburgh Foundation funds.

    • What is an eligible wish?

      Criteria for eligibility:

      • Must have a current public 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor. If using a fiscal sponsor, please lumleyt [at] pghfdn.org (contact us) to discuss eligibility.
      • Only one wish can be submitted per organization.
      • Must be a small to midsized nonprofit organization (annual budget under $1.5 million).
      • Wishes are for general operating support. General operating dollars are not designated to a specific project and may be used how the organization deems most appropriate.
      • Wishes are for $5,000.
      • Full funding of a wish is not guaranteed.
      • Must be located in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Lawrence, Somerset, Venango, Washington or Westmoreland counties, or provide at least 75% of services in these counties. Exceptions may be made. For questions about eligibility, please lumleyt [at] pghfdn.org (contact us).
      • Preference given to organizations that:
        • Are Black- or Brown-led and/or serving.
        • Were not included in the 2021 Wish Book edition.

       

    • What is the overall application process?

      Application:

      • The next Wish Book application period will open in summer of 2023.
      • Applications will be accepted online only.

       

      Selection:

      • Internal committee of Foundation staff reviews applications for completeness in late August.
      • A selection committee of Foundation donors and partners make final selections by late September.

       

      Granting:

      • 100 organizations are selected for inclusion in the book and all organizations are notified of the final decision by early September.
      • In early November, the book is printed and mailed to the Foundation’s donor community.
      • The Pittsburgh Foundation accepts requests from donors on a rolling basis between November and March. At the end of March, the project is closed, and nonprofits are notified that the granting period for Wish Book has ended.
    • What are the application questions?

      Below are the application questions and the information you will need to complete it.

      1) Mission: One-sentence description of your organization’s work. This is the first sentence that the reviewers will read, so make sure it describes what you do.

      2) Budget: What is your organization’s budget for the current fiscal year?

      3) What county are you located in/serve? Must be located in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Lawrence, Somerset, Venango, Washington or Westmoreland counties or provide at least 75% of services in these counties. Exceptions may be made. For questions about eligibility, please lumleyt [at] pghfdn.org (contact us).

      4)Is your organization Black- and/or Brown-led or does it primarily serve Black and/or Brown communities? We define an organization as a Black- and/or Brown-serving if the majority of the population served identify their race or ethnicity as African American/Black, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx or Native American/American Indian/Indigenous.

      5) Description of Wish: How will this wish help you achieve your mission? This could include helping to meet increased demand for new or existing services, purchasing or replacing equipment and materials, replacing revenue lost by cancellations and mandatory closures, staffing, etc.

      6) Overall population served: Generally, how many people does your organization serve annually? Please include the number and the unit (e.g., 1 person or 13 families).

      7) Photo upload: Please attach a high quality .jpeg image that is representative of your organization’s work. This image may be included in the book that is printed and mailed to donors. Please ensure that you own any rights to the image that you are uploading. Make sure that the file is a .jpg. We cannot accept Word documents, PowerPoint documents or .PNG images.

      8) Photo contact: In the event that your organization is selected for inclusion in the Wish Book, The Pittsburgh Foundation may dispatch a photographer to your organization’s site to capture an image to accompany your wish in the book. Who at your organization should the photographer contact? The photo contact does not need to be the same as the individual filling out the application.

      9) Photo contact name.

      10) Phone contact number.

      11) Photo contact mobile number.

      12) How long did it take you to fill out this application?

      13) Grant payment information: Due to the COVID-19 virus emergency, the grants team has begun issuing electronic payments and letters in addition to paper checks and letters. Please click the box below to acknowledge that The Pittsburgh Foundation will send grant payments by ACH and, should your organization wish to opt into ACH payments, that you will provide your organization’s banking information in order to receive funding.

    • May I see sample application answers?

      The following is meant to be a guide as you structure and frame your application.

      1) Mission:ABC Organization provides free childcare for parents returning to school to receive their high school diploma or post-secondary training.

      2) Budget: $55,000

      3) What county are you located in/serve? Allegheny

      4) Is your organization Black- and/or Brown-led or does it primarily serve Black and/or Brown communities? ABC Organization is Black-led and primarily Black-serving.

      5) Description of wish: At ABC Organization, we provide free childcare for parents returning to school to receive their high school diploma or post-secondary training. Parents who participate in the program are all low-income, are unable to pay child care costs while they are in school and forgoing a salary so they may ultimately create a more secure and independent future for their children. At ABC, we provide as many basic supplies as we can. Due to the pandemic, we have seen an increase in demand for basic supplies. We lack the finances to purchase additional supplies for distribution. We are asking for $5,000 in operating support to help meet the increased and evolving needs of our constituents.

      6) Overall population served: Each year, ABC Organization provides free child care for 500 parents who are going back to school.

      7) Photo upload.

      8) Photo contact: Jane Doe

      9) Photo contact phone number: 111-111-1111

      10) Photo contact mobile number: 222-222-2222

      11) How long did it take you to fill out this application? 35 minutes

      12) Payment Information: The grants team has shifted from issuing paper checks and letters to electronic payment and letters.

      See an example of a previous Wish Book (PDF).

    Apply Online 

    Applications to open in summer 2023.
     

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    If you have any questions about Wish Book, please contact Taren Lumley at  412-394-2622  or lumleyt [at] pghfdn.org.