RKMF Grants - Southwestern Pennsylvania

Richard King Mellon Foundation

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $2,000,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Counties in Pennsylvania: Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County Expand all

Location of residency: Preferred: Pennsylvania Other eligible locations: United States

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For 70 years the Richard King Mellon Foundation has invested in the competitive future and quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania, and in the protection, preservation, and restoration of America’s environmental heritage.

Southwestern Pennsylvania

Regional Economic Development

Pittsburgh and the region have a rich history of making products for the world. Building upon those traditions, the Foundation’s regional economic development priorities are now focused on opportunities in advanced and additive manufacturing, robotics, and the economics of growth in rural and urban communities. Recognizing that a region’s economy can not be truly successful if all communities do not participate, the Foundation will also collaborate and invest in several underserved communities to support affordable housing, business infrastructure, workforce training, and entrepreneurship programs designed to help residents gain access to the new economy.

Funding Priorities:

  • Strengthen the capacity of arts organizations to attract visitors to the region and improve quality of life
  • Improve housing, crime and safety, and economic opportunities in distressed communities
  • Support development and improvement of regional infrastructure
  • Cultivate and support the link between innovation and manufacturing
  • Increase economic opportunities in rural communities
  • Enhance Pittsburgh’s national reputation as a destination city for creating, attracting, and retaining start-up companies and entrepreneurial talent


Pittsburgh and the region are home to some of the best public, private, charter, and parochial K-12 schools, colleges, and research universities in the country. Building upon the importance of these educational institutions to the regional community and economy, the Foundation’s educational priorities include strengthening K-12 schools, colleges, and universities through investments in capital facilities, advanced curriculum, and workforce training that prepares students to participate in the new economy. 

The Foundation also looks to support projects that leverage federally-funded research to support economic development in both urban and rural communities. At the same time, the Foundation’s priorities include exploring new initiatives for improving educational outcomes for those students attending Pittsburgh’s lowest-performing K-12 schools

Funding Priorities:

  • Improve capacity of educational and workforce programs via community-based organizations
  • Improve infrastructure of higher education institutions and educational and workforce programs
  • Improve institutional infrastructure and educational outcomes for children in the lowest-performing public schools

Human Services

Based on analysis of the issues facing Pittsburgh communities by the Foundation’s staff and trustees, our human service funding will focus on engaging regional partners to reduce infant mortality rates, an issue that is considered a marker of population health and one in which some groups continue to experience rates that are significantly higher than local or national averages. In addition, the Foundation will continue to make grants to evidence-based initiatives that help individuals and families thrive, including programs that emphasize high-quality early childhood education, workforce development, violence prevention, and basic needs such as food and shelter. Across these human service efforts, the Foundation will rely on data to help target support to areas with the greatest need and in which success can be measured by academic achievement, economic stability, and safe neighborhoods with healthy residents.

Funding Priorities: 

  • Invest in programs designed to achieve holistic and broadscale outcomes
  • Capitalize on innovations by the Department of Human Services and others to serve at-risk children and foster youth, and improve early childcare quality
  • Support efforts by hospitals, health centers, and public agencies to develop innovative means to reduce chronic diseases and obesity; explore interventions for community-wide epidemics; and support the community’s efforts to reduce the growing violence problems
  • Encourage and improve alignment of workforce training programs with market demand

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


  • Applicants must be a charitable, tax-exempt organization with a valid IRS Tax ID Number or be a government entity to qualify for funding. 


  • The Foundation gives priority to projects and programs that have clearly defined outputs, outcomes, and an evaluation component. 
  • The Trustees have shown a preference for supporting established organizations with specific objectives, and for partnering with other donors rather than solely underwriting the entire cost of projects.


  • The Foundation does not consider requests on behalf of individuals or from outside of the United States; nor does the Foundation encourage requests from outside Pennsylvania. 

About this funder:

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