McElhattan Foundation Grants

McElhattan Foundation

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Predicted Deadline
The next cycle for this opportunity is predicted based on past data. If you save this grant, we’ll notify you if there are any changes.

Next predicted deadline: Aug 31, 2022 8:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Later predicted deadlines: Dec 9, 2022 (Letter of inquiry), Jan 26, 2023 (Full proposal), Jun 30, 2023 8:59pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), Aug 31, 2023 8:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Fields of work: Workers’ Rights Education After School /Summer Educational Programs Hospice / End of Life Care Community Development & Revitalization

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Preferred: Counties in Pennsylvania: Clarion County, Venango County Other eligible locations: United States, Pennsylvania

Location of residency: United States

990 Snapshot



Welcome to the McElhattan Foundation. We are a Pittsburgh-based grantmaking foundation.

Our mission is preserving and enhancing human life, and we are working toward this by focusing our grantmaking on four program areas: 

Workplace Safety 

The Foundation's interest in preventing death and serious injury in the workplace stems from the family's company, Industrial Scientific Corporation, which manufactures life-saving gas-monitoring devices. The McElhattan family is deeply committed to ending death on the job by 2050, and we expect the majority of our grant budget will be dedicated to this effort. We are especially interested in innovative safety technology, including virtual and augmented reality. 

We do not fund applications from nonprofits for employee training or installing/buying safety equipment; we also do not fund road safety initiatives. If you've found us and are seeking funding for any of these things, we wish you the best of luck-- our team is small and it's necessary for us to stay within our particular areas of focus in this program area.


Please note: If you plan to apply for a grant in our Education program area, please schedule a 15-minute meeting with our program officer

The McElhattan Foundation believes that learning - about oneself and the world around us - is at the core of human life. After all, we learn throughout our entire lives, and in many different settings from school to home and everything in between. Learning brings joy, frustration, resilience, understanding, and purpose to our lives. Unfortunately, many in our region, specifically children living in poverty and children of color, do not have equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities. There are complex and systemic issues of racial and economic injustice at work. To address these issues, our grantmaking is focused on high-need, high-impact areas. Through careful consideration of evidence and urgency, we make grants to support out-of-school time learning and innovative approaches to expand educator diversity. 

Out-of-school-time (OST) Learning  - Research shows that interest-driven experiences in OST settings are key to unlocking the critical learning and life skills that help children to flourish. Because learning does not stop when the school day ends, we support high-quality afterschool, summer, and other informal learning experiences that take place outside the classroom. We fund hands-on learning experiences where youth can connect to positive adult mentors, feel safe to try new things, and have the opportunity to hone new skills. Through our funding, we work to strengthen and expand OST learning in the Pittsburgh region to ensure equitable access for all children.

We prioritize funding for programs that:

  • primarily serve children living in poverty and/or children of color; 
  • are community-based, rather than operated by schools; 
  • primarily serve children in grades K-8; and 
  • operate with dependable consistency and high frequency.

We are particularly interested in funding organizations that demonstrate a commitment to implementing critical quality standards, including:  

  • social-emotional learning and skill development;
  • positive relationship development among youth and with trusted adult mentors;
  • youth-centered approaches that help individuals build on their strengths and talents; and 
  • strong partnerships with families and schools.

The McElhattan Foundation aims to provide flexible support to grant recipients in the OST area and will direct the majority of our giving through general operating grants. We also will prioritize organizations with annual operating budgets of $10 million or less.

End-of-Life Planning and Care

The McElhattan Foundation believes it is possible for most people to have a higher quality of life at the end of life. Grants in our End-of-Life Planning and Care program area will support initiatives in three strategic areas: Awareness and Documentation, Caregiver/Provider Training and Support, and Technological Innovation. As always, we seek to fund changemakers—visionary leaders and strong teams who will create dramatic, measurable improvement in how patients and their families experience the inevitable process of dying.

  • AWARENESS & DOCUMENTATION - We will support initiatives that educate and empower our community—Western Pennsylvania—about end-of-life decision-making, including clarifying the option of hospice care. We are open to funding broad awareness campaigns as well as targeted efforts aimed at reaching specific segments of the population, especially underserved groups. Once an individual understands their end-of-life options and decides upon their preferences, it’s essential for that person to make their wishes known, in advance and in writing, to their loved ones and medical providers. We will support initiatives designed to make recording and sharing this information easier.
  • CAREGIVER/PROVIDER TRAINING & SUPPORT - We support initiatives that offer resources, such as respite care, practical training, and counseling, to family and other nonprofessional caregivers. We support programs that train or retrain professional end-of-life care providers—nurses, doctors, social workers, home healthcare aides, etc.—for careers that pay family-sustaining wages. We are particularly interested in improving communication skills around end-of-life care for providers, and in high-quality home-based care. This work too will be focused in Western Pennsylvania.
  • TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION - We believe technology can play a role in improving the “quality of death” for many people. Perhaps there is an application for existing technology, like augmented reality, in training caregivers, or perhaps someone can use emerging technology to prevent pressure sores. We would love to see this innovation begin in Pittsburgh, but we are open to applications from end-of-life tech innovators anywhere in the U.S. (To clarify: the bar here is high. We are not funding requests to purchase equipment like VR headsets, iPads, etc. We are looking for game-changing new ideas that could move the entire field of end-of-life care forward.)

Community Development in Knox & Franklin, PA

The McElhattan family's roots are in Knox and Franklin, PA, and we would like to see those communities thrive. We aim to support locally-led initiatives that improve residents' job opportunities, health, safety, and general quality of life. We have, for example, contributed to the renovation of Miller-Sibley Park and the renovation of the Franklin YMCA, and have funded the Knox Area Ambulance Company and the Knox Volunteer Fire Department.

Organizations that serve Knox and/or Franklin as part of a larger geographical service area are eligible to apply for funding, but in your LOI, please estimate what percentage of funds will be spent specifically on community development in Knox and/or Franklin. 


Each program area has its own strategy and requirements. For example, we make Education grants in the Pittsburgh area, but we accept applications for Workplace Safety from anywhere in the U.S. Before you apply, please read through the information we've posted about the program area your application will fall under.

In recent cycles, we have prioritized applications for general operating funds from organizations with budgets under $10 million. We are concerned about the pandemic's impact on smaller organizations. 

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


  • Community Development grants are specifically for organizations serving Knox & Franklin, PA
  • Workplace Safety grants are made to eligible applicants throughout the United States
  • Education grants are for the greater Pittsburgh area


  • We do not fund:
    • Individuals or families seeking private financial assistance
    • Scholarships, with the exception of the Dr. Glenn McElhattan Scholarship at Clarion University
    • Organizations without 501(c)(3) status, according to the Internal Revenue Service (which includes organizations operating primarily outside the U.S.)
    • Lobbying
    • Political campaigns
    • Repairing, replacing, or installing safety equipment at a nonprofit
    • CPR classes, etc., for nonprofit staff
    • Equipment purchases, unless they are tied to a larger project that fits within our grantmaking strategy
    • Mentorship programs that are not focused on helping students enter and/or complete post-secondary education or training
    • Medical bills
    • General community development projects that do NOT benefit Franklin and/or Knox, PA. We will consider regional projects that focus on communities in addition to Franklin and/or Knox, but you must specify what percentage of funds will apply to the two towns we support.
    • Proposals claiming to fit into one of our program areas that bear virtually no real connection to them


This page was last reviewed June 22, 2022 and last updated June 22, 2022