MINI GRANTS – Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation are Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Cycle!

Two Western Pennsylvania champions of diversity — Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation, which is a part of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh — have joined forces to implement this year’s Mini Grants Initiative: 2016 Civic Inclusion & Engagement Fund. This fund will promote diverse communities in the Pittsburgh region. Each organization has committed $25,000 to create a $50,000 pool to fund projects that increase the civic engagement of diverse and immigrant communities.

Melanie Harrington, CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, is thrilled about the foundation’s participation. “We are pleased to team up with the Jewish Federation because they have been providing services for more than a century to Pittsburgh’s immigrant and diverse communities. In addition, this is our fourth cycle of funding grants to community groups, so this partnership allows us to expand our resources and engagement.”

Cindy Goodman-Leib, chair of the Community Relations Council, explained how the partnership between the Urban Affairs Foundation and Vibrant Pittsburgh resulted: “Several Jewish Federation agencies have been Vibrant Pittsburgh grant recipients. The value of those grant projects underlined our conviction at the Jewish Federation’s Urban Affairs Foundation that healthy diverse communities contribute to the vitality of the region as a whole. We see awarding Mini Grants as a means of building the region in the way the foundation’s mission statement specifies: ‘to foster amicable relationships among ethnic, racial, national, religious and other groups in our community.’ ”

Funding through the Vibrant Pittsburgh–Urban Affairs Foundation’s 2016 Civic Inclusion & Engagement Fund initiative will be available to applicants selected through a competitive proposal process. Lead organizations must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and maintain a physical presence in the Power of 32 Region (see Organizations can partner with other nonprofits, academic institutions, religious organizations, community groups, businesses and employee resource groups.

Projects eligible for Mini Grant funding should:
  • Create opportunities for civic engagement that result in a more inclusive and engaged multicultural region, and
  • Be collaborative by engaging diverse communities, organizations, or partners.
The term of proposed projects should be one year. The typical range of a grant award is $1,000–$7,500.

Grant application materials will be available starting March 21.

Completed grant applications are due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 4, 2016, and should be sent electronically to Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation will announce Mini Grant awardees in June 2016.

We will be holding 2 webinars to answer any questions about the the Mini Grant application process: April 4 at 9:30am and 4:00pm.

Past Vibrant Pittsburgh Mini Grants have funded health and human services, housing, education, mentoring, professional networking, social support, welcoming initiatives, and job-connection programs for refugees and immigrants.