Relationship with H.J. Heinz Co. and other Heinz foundations
Grant Application Process
Proposal parameters and resources
Small Arts Initiative
Summer Youth Philanthropy Program

Relationship with H.J. Heinz Co. and other Heinz foundations

What is The Heinz Endowments?

The Heinz Endowments is a regional foundation formed from the Howard Heinz Endowment, established in 1941, and the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, established in 1986. It is the product of a deep family commitment to community and the common good that began with H. J. Heinz, and which continues to this day.

The Endowments is based in Pittsburgh, which we use as a laboratory for the development of solutions to challenges that are national in scope. Although the majority of our giving is concentrated within southwestern Pennsylvania, we work wherever necessary, including statewide and nationally, to fulfill our mission.

That mission is to help our region thrive as a whole community — economically, ecologically, educationally and culturally — while advancing the state of knowledge and practice in the fields in which we work. Our fields of emphasis include philanthropy in general and the disciplines represented by our five grant-making programs: Arts & Culture; Children, Youth & Families; Education; Environment; and Innovation Economy.


Is the Endowments related to the H.J. Heinz Co.?

No. The Endowments is an independent, private foundation, one of several philanthropic organizations affiliated with the Heinz family. The foundation is not affiliated with the H. J. Heinz Co. or its philanthropic arm, the H. J. Heinz Co. Foundation. For more information about the company’s philanthropic activities, please contact the Heinz Company Foundation.

Is the Endowments responsible for the Heinz Awards?

No. The Heinz Family Foundation administers the Heinz Awards. The program honors the legacy of the late Sen. John Heinz. Five prizes, each worth $250,000, are awarded to individuals for their achievements in the areas in which Sen. Heinz was most active: Arts & Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment. See www.heinzawards.net for more information.


How are the Endowments and the Heinz Family Foundation related?

While both foundations are rooted in the Heinz family, they are institutionally separate.

Grant Application Process

Who may apply for grants from the Endowments?

The Endowments funds organizations classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and as public charities under section 509(a) of that code. Individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible for funding. Additionally, if you are not classified as tax-exempt, you may not use a conduit organization. It is advised that organizations that have applied for 501(c)(3) status, but have not yet received a determination letter, submit a copy of their entire 501(c)(3) application to the Endowments for review by the foundation’s legal counsel.

How should I go about requesting a grant?

All applicants seeking a grant from the Endowments must complete the online application on this site. The only exceptions to this rule are requests for the Arts & Culture Operating Support Program, the Small Arts Initiative, or in response to a formal request for proposals.

If two or more Endowment programs support similar activities, how can I determine which program to choose on the online form?

If you are still uncertain about this after reading our program guidelines, please select the program you think is most appropriate. If that program's staff members think your request would be better suited for consideration by another program, they will redirect it accordingly.

What happens after I submit the online application?

Endowments staff reviews all applications. There is no need to contact the foundation about the status because applicants are notified by telephone, e-mail or in writing as to whether their requests meet the basic criteria for funding.

What are the grant application deadlines?

Applications must be received by Mar. 1 to be considered at the Endowments' spring board meeting, and by Aug. 1 to be considered at the fall meeting. Proposals for $50,000 or less may be considered on a rolling basis as interim requests.

What if I have trouble using the online application?

If you have trouble with the online form, please contact Cheryl Dabat, 412.338.2624 or cdabat@heinz.org for assistance.

I’ve been told that my grant is “going to agenda.” What does that mean? Is there anything else that I need to do?

“Going to agenda” means that your proposal will be presented to the board for approval. In preparation for the board meeting, program staff may ask you for additional materials related to your proposal.

Proposal parameters and resources

My organization is outside the southwestern Pennsylvania region. Is it still eligible for funding?

The Endowments concentrates its efforts and resources in southwestern Pennsylvania. Given its primarily regional focus, the foundation is generally unable to consider applications for funding for projects outside of Pennsylvania unless a foundation representative specifically requests to review them. The Endowments will consider funding requests for projects that, although administered by an organization based elsewhere, are expressly for the benefit of this region and its residents.

Are there dollar limits on the amount of grants?

The best way to get a feel for the dollar range of our grant making is to review our grants listings on this site.

Does the Endowments have a policy regarding administrative overhead costs in grants?

It is the policy of The Heinz Endowments that "indirect/general overhead/administrative" cost assessments (i.e. those typically expressed as arbitrary "factors" or flat percentage cost add-ons) often applied to grant proposal budgets by large educational and/or research institutions are not acceptable and will not be included in the amount of any grants awarded.

Small Arts Initiative

How can I determine if my proposal should be submitted as a Small Arts Initiative proposal rather than as a regular arts grant proposal?

If your group is a professional organization that presents or produces arts programming and has an annual budget of $250,000 or less, the Small Arts Initiative is the funding stream for which you are most likely eligible. The initiative has its own unique set of deadlines and application requirements, which can be found here.

Summer Youth Philanthropy Program

I’m not familiar with The Heinz Endowments. Can you tell me about its focus, funding source and relationship to the H.J. Heinz Co.?

You can find the answers to those and other questions about the Endowments on the Endowments' general FAQ page.

Are the interns paid?

Yes, the interns are paid an hourly wage and receive Port Authority Transit passes. However, we’re seeking candidates who are more interested in the experience than the earnings. This is a great opportunity for students who wish to develop leadership skills, have a positive impact their communities and learn about how to bring innovative solutions to complex problems.

What do the interns do?

The interns will work to improve their community by developing and implementing a youth-philanthropy project, which will include the awarding of grants to local agencies working to serve youth. The interns will research issues affecting youth and their communities, identify service priorities, develop funding guidelines and solicit proposals for addressing these issues. The interns will then award charitable grants.

What is the dress code?

Each host organization establishes its own dress code, but “business casual” is a good guideline. On some occasions, more formal dress is required. Sneakers and jeans are generally not permitted.

Where are the internships located?

Interns are placed at the Endowments or another community organization or foundation. These sites are in downtown Pittsburgh.

How much say do the interns have in what they fund?

Although each host organization has its own rules and restrictions on what may be funded, interns are generally allowed a great deal of latitude in defining the issue to be addressed. Each group of interns works as a team to develop its priority area for funding. For information on what the last group of interns funded, look here.


Where does The Heinz Endowments’ money come from?

The fortune of H. J. Heinz, founder of the H. J. Heinz Co., funds the Endowments through the wills of his son, Howard Heinz, and his daughter-in-law, Vira I. Heinz.

How do I get a copy of your annual report, application guidelines and other publications?

You can download a copy of our annual report in PDF format from our Web site. You can request a subscription to our quarterly publication, h magazine, online through our contact form. You can also contact the Endowments’ Communications Department to receive a hardcopy through the mail.

© 2017 The Heinz Endowments