View from the roof of the Millvale Community Library, where they have installed enough solar panels to provide more energy than they can use. Houses and building of the boro are visible in the background. View from the roof of the Millvale Community Library, where they have installed enough solar panels to provide more energy than they can use. Houses and building of the boro are visible in the background. Solar panels on the roof of the Millvale Community Library. Photo by Scott Goldsmith

The Heinz Endowments is a foundation with an extensive history, an ambitious agenda and a desire to make a difference in local communities. To learn more, check out these frequently asked questions.

Relationship with H.J. Heinz Co. and other Heinz foundations
Grant Application Process
Proposal parameters and resources

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 become a just and equitable community in which all of its citizens thrive economically, ecologically, educationally, socially and culturally.

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 Kraft Heinz Company or its philanthropic arm, the Kraft Heinz Company 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 the Heinz Awards website 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.

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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?

There are a variety of ways to communicate with The Heinz Endowments about potential funding, from personal contact with a program officer to brief digital inquiries and/or full grant applications. Please see this page of our website for more information: http://www.heinz.org/grants/apply-for-a-grant

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 guidelines, please select the Strategic Area you think is most appropriate. If those staff members think your request would be better suited for consideration by another area, 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, email 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 February 15 to be considered at the Endowments' spring board meeting, and by July 15 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 grants@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, Endowments staff may ask you for additional materials related to your proposal.

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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 grantmaking is to review our grants listing 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.

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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 website. You can request a subscription to our magazine, h, online through our contact form. You also can contact the Endowments’ Communications Department to receive a hardcopy through the mail.