Small and Mighty Grants Program

Pittsburgh Foundation

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Grant amount: US $2,500 - US $15,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 7, 2020 9:00am PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Location of residency: Preferred: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Other eligible locations: United States

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About this funder:



Small & Mighty Grants Program

The Pittsburgh Foundation launched the Small and Mighty grants program in 2016 in an effort to bridge the gap between our grantmaking and the neighborhood-based nonprofits that work to better our region. Small nonprofits — that is, organizations with annual budgets under $600,000 — account for two-thirds of the Pittsburgh region’s nonprofit sector, and typically serve our community’s most underserved populations and neighborhoods. Unfortunately, these organizations are among the most under-resourced nonprofits. This is especially true for nonprofits that are led by and serve communities of color.

Designed with input from small nonprofits and their staffs, Small and Mighty was created to reduce common barriers to grant-seeking. It offers grants of up to $15,000 through a streamlined process that delivers decisions in as little as 60 days. In addition to funding, Small and Mighty grantees also have access to workshops, peer-learning opportunities and networking events to support their continued growth and development.

The Small and Mighty grants program is part of the Foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh organizing principle, which seeks to ensure that Pittsburgh residents who live at or near the federal poverty line have access to opportunities for participation in the region’s revitalized economy.

Types of Support

Small and Mighty provides three types of support: unrestricted operating support, capacity-building support, and program-specific support. 

Unrestricted Operating Support:  Funding that enables an organization to carry out its mission. For example, operating support can underwrite administrative infrastructure, implement a strategic plan and/or maintain core programs and essential staff.

Capacity-Building Support: Funding for specific activities or projects designed to strengthen an organization’s governance, leadership, programmatic or administrative capacity. Some examples of allowable capacity building activities include program evaluation, staff professional development, technology improvements and best-practice implementation. Requests for strategic plan development, exploration of mergers or other strategic alliances, real estate assessments and capital expenses will not be considered.

Program-Specific Support: Funding intended to keep good programs going at their current level of service or to test new ideas or partnerships that improve access to services. Program-specific support is designed for time-sensitive requests to help program participants meet basic needs that cannot be easily secured through other public resources.

Grant Sizes

  • The Small and Mighty grants program's total budget for 2018 is $250,000.
  • Applicants may apply for grant awards between $2,500 and $15,000.
  • All grants will be for a period of no more than 12 months.
  • Operating support may be renewable for up to three years.
  • Grantees may only have one open grant with the Foundation in any 12-month period. Therefore, organizations that already have a grant through another program of the Foundation are not eligible to apply.

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


  • To be eligible, your organization must:
    • Have an organizational budget of $600,000 or less.
    • Be certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code may apply. Groups without official nonprofit status may also apply, but will need to partner with a 501(c)(3) organization to serve as the fiscal sponsor for the request.
    • Provide direct services to residents of Allegheny County.
    • Provide services that address a basic need such as food, housing, healthcare, childcare, education and employment (How we define these basic needs). 
    • Have at least two years of operating history in Allegheny County to apply for operating support.


  • Highest priority will be given to organizations that:
    • Are located in (or primarily serve) economically distressed and/or underserved neighborhoods.
    • Serve a racial or ethnic group disproportionately impacted by poverty.
    • Are inclusive of the communities they serve when setting organizational and/or programmatic priorities.
    • Specifically address the needs of youths aged 12 to 24 and/or single women with children.


  • In general, we do not fund one-time events or short-term programs consisting of just a few interactions with participants.
  • Additionally, organizations that have been awarded a grant in the last 12-months are not eligible to apply for a grant unless invited. This does not include grants received through a Critical Needs Alert, Wish Book or donor-advised funds.
  • Arts organizations are not eligible to apply.