Funding Programs:

Economic Development


The Problem

The region’s economic prosperity is hindered by a widening gap in economic opportunities among residents and education systems that are not keeping pace with what the workforce of the future needs to compete in the innovation economy.

Our Vision

A region that is an engine for economic growth and vitality by investing in the ingenuity and creativity of its population, enhancing individuals’ economic prosperity, and strengthening our sense of community.

Investment Areas

Three primary areas of focus

Funding through the Foundation’s Economic Development program is focused in three Investment Areas: Talent Development. Employment Opportunities. And Community Building.

Talent Development

Employment Opportunities

Community Building


Apply for a Grant

Our application portal is open and accepting grant applications for funding through its Economic Development program. All applicants should apply using the General Application.  Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis.   Requests for Proposals The Foundation periodically issues Requests for Proposals in specific areas of its Strategic Plan.  Learn more Apply Now

Our Impact

In 2021, the Foundation awarded 57 grants and investments totaling $287,027,503 to advance its Economic Development strategy, including the two largest grants in Foundation history—$150 million to Carnegie Mellon University and $100 million to the University of Pittsburgh. Both grants will be paid out over 10 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Economic Development

The two programs focus on different populations and have different goals. The goal of the Economic Mobility program is to improve the social, economic and academic outcomes of children and young people, aged 0 through 24, who are living in poverty. The goal of the Economic Development program is to foster the economic prosperity of the Pittsburgh region. Investments within the Economic Development program’s Talent Development and Employment Opportunities areas focus on adults aged 18 and above. Both programs require that services and activities occur within Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.  

Arts and culture organizations are pivotal economic drivers in the region. The Foundation has historically focused on enhancing the cultural experience in Downtown Pittsburgh, but will also consider applications from organizations outside of Downtown that support the region’s economic development. 

To receive Foundation funding for an Economic Development application, the initiative needs to focus on economic development in Allegheny or Westmoreland counties. If your organization has an idea to economically activate lands the Foundation has historically conserved to promote sustainable rural economic development, please consider applying through the Foundation’s Conservation program.  

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.