Emergency Action Fund

Pittsburgh Foundation

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $25,000

Fields of work: Minority Services Poverty Alleviation & Services Mental Health & Psychiatric Diseases Health Facilities & Clinics Health Care Access & Delivery Social Isolation Senior Services Education - K through 12 Child Care Services Employment Services Affordable Housing Basic Human Needs Disaster Relief / Humanitarian Aid Show all

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Pennsylvania: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Westmoreland County

Location of residency: Counties in Pennsylvania: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Westmoreland County

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About this funder:




The COVID-19 pandemic represents a once-in-a-generation challenge to people around the world. In the United States, our lifesaving and life-protecting systems—economic, health-related, family support, cultural, educational—are threatened in the face of an illness with no known means of prevention or treatment. Yet, there are positive signs of our ability as a nation to transcend fear and work together. In the first weeks of the pandemic, hundreds of community foundations across the nation established emergency response funds in their communities. In each sector of our community, people are bringing their talents and strengths to bear in the effort to respond to the crisis. 

Funding Priorities

 The Emergency Action Fund will address the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 by providing funding in four areas:

  • Operating support for small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations (annual budgets under $5 million) serving communities with predominantly low-income households. Funding will be awarded to assure that these organizations can continue to meet the basic needs of the people in their communities, particularly relating to food and housing insecurity, and to cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations.
  • Organizations that manage emergency funds that provide direct financial assistance to individuals impacted by COVID-19.
  • Support for Federally Qualified Health Centers and other community health facilities.
  • Small arts organizations (and individual artists) that have had to cancel productions scheduled between March 1 and June 30, 2020.

Grant Award Amounts

 We expect the needs generated by this pandemic will exceed the available funds. Grants amounts are expected to range from $5,000 to $25,000 and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Larger grants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Nonprofits applying for funding must:
    • Have a current 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor with this designation. 
    • Serve residents of Allegheny, Westmoreland or Beaver counties.


  • For organizations requesting operating support, priority will be given to applicants that:
    • Meet the basic needs of residents. Our highest priorities are:
      • Food: Addressing food insecurity through application for food assistance, food pantries, gift card distribution, and/or food delivery and transport.
      • Housing: Preventing eviction and providing shelter for those who need to quarantine but do not have housing, and facilities experiencing an increased intake due to the pandemic.
      • Financial assistance: Cash assistance and/or direct payments to vendors for those who are unemployed or have lost wages due to shutdowns.
      • Child care: Nonprofit providers that have closed and need funding for facility costs, salaries and health insurance for workers, and dealing with loss of revenue from parent co-pays or other gaps in revenue.
      • Physical and mental health care: Loss of fee-for-service revenue due to decreased patient visits or staff shortages and addressing barriers to care such as transportation.
      • Education: Addressing the disruption of education for students in grades K-12.
      • Address social isolation among seniors: Wellness checks and other strategies to assess health and psycho-social needs of seniors, especially those who live alone.
    • Demonstrate how the grant will help the organization to increase, modify or sustain services to meet the needs of individuals impacted by COVID-19.
    • Demonstrate how the organization’s operations are negatively impacted as a result of cancelled or postponed fundraising events, loss of fee-for-service revenue and/or gaps in staffing/volunteers
  • For organizations providing emergency financial assistance. Priority will be given to nonprofits that:
    • Have evidence of trusted relationships with residents and enduring partnerships with other nonprofits in their geographic area of focus that can be leveraged to reach the broadest cross-section of the community.
    • Currently operate an emergency financial assistance program and have a standardized process for screening requests and monitoring and reporting on use of funds.
    • Agree to use of grant funds exclusively for those impacted by COVID-19 (quarantined individuals, layoffs, school/child care closures, etc.)
    • A portion of the grant funds, not to exceed 10%, may be used to support indirect costs incurred to operate the program.
  • For community health centers, priority will be given to centers that:
    • Provide medical care for those who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
    • Need funding to purchase personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and gloves or other essential medical supplies and equipment.
    • Are unable to receive reimbursement for telehealth services and/or need support transitioning to telehealth services.