Questions & Inquiries

All administrative and operational questions to:

Lisa Reed Senior Information & Grants Manager Richard King Mellon Foundation The Auction House
42 21st Street – Suite 201
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
Phone: (412) 392-2800 Fax: (412) 392-2837

All media inquiries should be directed to:

Tim Reeves Senior Communications Officer Richard King Mellon Foundation The Auction House
42 21st Street – Suite 201
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
Phone: (412) 392-2834
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Contact

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 Foundation uses an outside investment consultant, Russell Investments, for public manager selection.  Therefore, any inquiries to the Foundation for public manager mandates will not be reviewed.  All private manager inquiries should be made to our Assistant Treasurer, Edward J. Morgan ([email protected]).

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.

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.  

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.

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.

No, the Foundation is generally not providing multi-year grants at this time. Currently, the majority of our grants are twelve months to eighteen months.

We encourage you to prioritize carefully with your organization, and we recommend that an organization submit one proposal to each RFP. However, the logic model describing the proposed initiative may contain several types of activities that are critical for the project’s success.  

If you are submitting a proposal as part of a large regional research, university, or healthcare institution, we will consider ideas from multiple divisions within the institution. You should coordinate with your institution’s development office before responding to an RFP or completing the General Application to the Foundation.

Nonprofit and public sector applicants can submit different proposals to any of the RFPs at the same time.  

For-profit companies and entrepreneurs are only able to submit a proposal to the Employment in the New Economy: Supporting Disconnected and Gig Economy Workers RFP

Grants are the primary form of financial support utilized by the Foundation, but it encourages innovative approaches to conservation such as program-related investments. Given the scale of the nation’s conservation challenges, partnerships with public agencies and for-profit companies are looked upon favorably.

Yes. The Foundation bases its decisions whenever possible on data-driven, scientifically backed evidence, and therefore supports and recognizes the importance of research. Planning efforts also are supported with the expectation that they will lead to programs that advance the Foundation’s Conservation strategy.