With grant making that averages $60 million annually, the Endowments ranks among the 50 largest foundations in the country. While most of our grants go to organizations and programs in southwestern Pennsylvania, our size compels us to use the region as a laboratory to develop solutions to problems that are national in scope. Still, for the issues covered in each of our program areas, the needs far exceed available resources.
The challenge isn’t simply monetary. Policies bearing on our work may require attention in Harrisburg or Washington, D.C. Innovative programs that could benefit our region may need to be developed and tested elsewhere. New approaches and new thinking may need to be nurtured in other parts of the state or nation.
All of this is a great deal to ask of $60 million, which is about what the federal government spends every 15 minutes. For us, the lesson is that the size of our foundation is much less significant than the quality and precision of our grant making, and that for our work to have a meaningful impact, it must be as focused and strategic as possible.
An important way in which we respond to this challenge is by developing and pursuing our program goals and strategies. They spell out the specific areas in which we believe we must concentrate our resources in order to bring about the best results.
If your organization is interested in submitting a proposal for consideration by the Endowments, we would encourage you to review this site carefully. Unfortunately, we must decline numerous worthy proposals every year because they do not fit within the parameters of our work. This is not a reflection of their merit but of our responsibility to make choices.
Thank you for your interest in the Endowments.