We welcome bold proposals that align with our 2021-2030 Strategic Plan.

Our Strategic Plan is a roadmap to award more than $1.2 billion from 2021-2030. It is a plan to focus the Foundation’s resources on the most powerful pathways to greater opportunity and prosperity for the people of southwestern Pennsylvania. And to do even more to protect, steward, and activate environmentally sensitive land in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the United States.

Your applications are the lifeblood of our Strategic Plan.

Scroll down to learn how to submit an application.
Open Application

General Application

The General Application is for proposals that align with our 2021 – 2030 Strategy and one – or several – of our funding programs.

The General Application is our most flexible application option. The General Application does not have deadlines, so you can submit at any time throughout the year. Through the General Application, you can apply for general operating support or project-specific support. You can also seek funding for planning and innovation, implementation, or scaling activities.

Instructions on how to complete the General Application can be found here.

Have a question?


View the most frequently asked questions from non-profit and for-profit applicants. View FAQs

Request for Proposals

RFP Application

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) focus on a specific initiative within our 2021-2030 strategy. RFPs enable us to spotlight critical issues and cultivate diverse partnerships. RFP applications are closed.
Open Applications

General For-Profit Application

To best address the most vexing social problems facing our region, we need a wide range of solutions from our best thinkers. The Richard King Mellon Foundation is looking to invest in novel products, technologies or services from social-mission oriented for-profit companies through our Social-Impact Investments Funding Program.

Ideas must align with the Foundation's program areas in Conservation, Economic Development, Economic Mobility, or Health & Well-being.

Instructions on how to complete the General Application can be found here.

Have a question?


View the most frequently asked questions from non-profit and for-profit applicants. View FAQs

Requests for Proposals

Requests for Proposals

We welcome for-profit partners who are creating charitable social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns to apply through our Social-Impact Investment (SII) Application. RFP applications are now closed.
04 Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Applying for Funding

If you do not have an IRS tax determination letter confirming charitable or tax exempt status, or your organization does not have the infrastructure to manage its finances and operations independently, then you may want to consider working with a fiscal sponsor.

Any questions about the application may be submitted via email to [email protected]. We will be responsive to all thoughtful inquiries. 

Yes. You may submit an application if your company is based anywhere in the United States. Unfortunately, we are not able to entertain applications from companies not incorporated in the United States. For ideas focused on Economic Mobility, Economic Development, or Health & Well-Being, if your company is located outside the Pittsburgh region, please be sure to address within the application how your idea will positively impact Allegheny and/or Westmoreland counties. If your proposal is related to our Conservation program area, the positive impact you seek to generate can be anywhere in the United States. 

Yes, we consider applications from organizations that are not based in Allegheny or Westmoreland counties. In your application, you should be clear about why and in what ways the project will serve economic development in these counties.   

The Foundation will not fund ideas that include regranting to individuals. The Foundation may fund applications that include regranting from a lead agency to other agencies who are identified in the submission as participants in a collaboration. In this case, the regranted funds are solely to support the collaborative activities described in the submission. We will consider ideas in which organizations provide technical assistance in areas where they have expertise or are working with pre-identified partners, who will then assist with the implementation of the proposed project. 

For organizations that are eligible to receive support for indirect expenses, we do not have a recommended ratio.

Yes, you can include indirect expenses in your proposed budget if your organization is not a postsecondary or research institution.

We define indirect expenses as those expenses categorized as “Management and General;” “Administrative and Management;” or “Fundraising” according to the IRS and FASB functional expense allocation guidelines.

Yes, the Foundation provides general operating support for organizations that are not postsecondary institutions or research institutions.

In the application, you will encounter a question about the type of support that you are seeking. You can select from the following options: Capital Support; General Operating Support; Land Acquisition; Project Support.

The Foundation is generally not providing multi-year grants at this time. The majority of our grants are twelve to eighteen months.

Questions about a declined application may be submitted via email to[email protected]. The Foundation aspires to reply to all inquiries but, given the volume of applications the Foundation receives, we cannot commit to answering every such inquiry.

The Foundation normally has Board meetings in the Spring, Summer and Winter.

You will immediately receive an email confirming that your application was successfully submitted. There are not specific timelines associated with the review of a funding application.

  • For Nonprofit Organizations (General Applications): Click Here
  • For-Profit Organizations (General Applications): Click Here

Please reach out to Lisa Reed at [email protected], Nikki Pirain at [email protected], or [email protected] for assistance.

If you do not have audited financial statements, you may upload the type of financial statements required by Pennsylvania law based on your gross annual contributions.

Yes, your fiscal sponsor should submit the application. Your fiscal agent should also submit their financial statements, audits, board of directors, other information requested in the “Organization Information” and “Executive Certification” sections of the application. The fiscal sponsor should clearly indicate in the executive summary that they are acting as a fiscal sponsor and that you are the agency leading the work.

Your organization must have a valid U.S. IRS Tax ID. We do not consider applications on behalf of individuals or from outside the United States.

A fiscal sponsor is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service that acts as a funding steward for a project that does not have 501(c)(3) designation.

Yes, please make sure that you have signed MOUs, letters of support, or other documents indicating commitment to participate and upload those as “Additional Documents” in the final section of the application.

The General Application accepts proposals on a rolling basis. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) have specific timelines for submission that are indicated in the detailed guidance on our website.

Nonprofit and public sectors organizations can apply to one or several RFPs and submit via the general application for other activities. Each application should be substantively different from the others.  

Please visit our Application Primer, where you can learn about the nuances of our nonprofit and public sector funding application. We also encourage you to log in to our portal and explore.

The first step is to check your organization’s tax status and verify that you are eligible to receive philanthropic funding. After that, you can submit an application through our online portal. We will only consider applications submitted through this portal.

Foundation staff will reach out to you after reviewing your proposal if they have questions. If you have questions, please email [email protected].

It is unlikely that you can meet with a program officer before submitting. In general, program officers are not available for a discussion until after a proposal has been submitted. You can also email [email protected] with questions.

Only nonprofit or public sector organizations that have received general operations or project support funding within the past three years are eligible for Organizational Effectiveness grants.  

We welcome proposals that span funding programs. In the application, you will encounter a question titled “Funding Program.” Select the Foundation program that addresses the majority of your proposed outcomes.

Each program focuses its funding on different regions.

  • Conservation funds nationally.
  • Economic Mobility and Health & Well-Being exclusively fund efforts that serve Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
  • Economic Development and Social-Impact Investments mostly fund efforts that serve Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. These programs will occasionally, on a case-by-case basis, consider funding projects based in other western Pennsylvania counties.

Please refer to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

  • The Foundation does not fund lobbying, advocacy, or political causes or events.
  • We comply with all laws and regulations, including prohibitions on funding terrorist activities.

Please review our 2021-2030 strategy and our Funding Programs to understand our priorities and how your application might align with them. You can also visit our Grants page to view previously awarded grants. We also encourage you to read our Annual Report to learn more about our strategy and funding programs.