Mini Grants Initiative for Diverse Community Groups

Mini Grants

Vibrant Pittsburgh (VP) and the Urban Affairs Foundation of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh seek to mobilize Greater Pittsburgh’s community groups to create a more diverse and inclusive region.   

2021 Mini Grants funding will be distributed to address systemic inequities in the COVID-19 eraIn 2020 and into 2021, the Pittsburgh region has faced both the COVID-19 pandemic and has confronted longtime and systemic racism and violence against Black Americans. Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation welcome proposals that address the impacts of the pandemic and/or systemic inequities in the greater Pittsburgh region. 

We welcome innovative ideas as well as quirky solutions. Applicants may focus their proposals on a specific community, constituency, or demographic group, or focus on a broader cross-section of constituencies. These are small grants; therefore, please consider solutions that are low-cost but still contribute to the impact or reach of your idea. Collaborations are encouraged. 

Who Can Apply? Lead organizations should be a community group, or otherwise represent a diverse community in the region. Lead organizations must maintain a physical presence in the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton Combined Statistical Area and have 501(c)3 non-profit status. If an organization does not have 501(c)3 status, a partner willing to serve as a fiscal sponsor is acceptable. The majority of funding will be directed to organizations with an annual budget below $1 million. 

Ideas to Inspire: Proposed initiatives should do one or more of the following:  

  • Create opportunities for community engagement that result in a more inclusive, multicultural region, where diverse communities are valued, respected, visible and heard; 
  • Engage members of diverse communities in efforts that benefit their own community and/or the community at large; 
  • Reach out to the community-at-large to grow the awareness and engagement with diverse communities; 
  • Be collaborative in nature by engaging diverse communities, organizations (non-profit, business, academic) and/or other community partners. 


Application Process: To apply for Mini Grants funding, please follow these helpful instructions and provide the requested information and documents.

Selection Process: All applications will be screened by staff from Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Selected proposals will be reviewed by the Mini Grant Review Committee comprised of representatives from Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh's Community Relations Council. Successful applications will receive funding by the end of August 2021. 

Funding Criteria: We will consider funding requests for both new and continuing initiatives. Grants generally range from $500 to $7,500. Past Mini Grants funding recipients are encouraged to apply.