Richard King Mellon Foundation: Grants for Pennsylvania

OVERVIEW: The Richard King Mellon Foundation supports conservation, education, human services, nonprofit capacity building, and economic development in Southwestern, Pennsylvania.

FUNDING AREAS: Conservation, education, human services, economic development, nonprofit capacity building

IP TAKE: This is a powerful funder in Pennsylvania and one with a sizable amount of money to spend to keep local nonprofits afloat.

PROFILE: Established in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is a private foundation based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mellon was the president and chairman of Mellon Bank, as well as a conservationist and civic leader in Pennsylvania. He was a Pittsburgh native, served in both World Wars, involved in many local ventures, and passed away in 1970. The Mellon Foundation invests in the “competitive future and quality of life in Southwestern Pennsylvania and in the protection, preservation, and restoration of America’s environmental heritage.” It funds local efforts for conservation, education, human services, economic development, and nonprofit capacity building .

The Richard King Mellon Foundation makes around 180 grants and program-related investments each year. It often supports organizations that are involved in public-private partnerships that enrich the lives of local residents. Conservation grants go towards protecting forests, watersheds, and habitats. Education grants fund primary schools, secondary schools, and institutions of higher learning throughout Greater Pittsburgh. Human resources grants are aimed at reducing risks for children and adults, often extending to the opioid epidemic, infant mortality, work readiness programs, and housing improvements. Regional economic development grants go towards innovation and revitalization in the region and for business development, ecotourism, and libraries.

Grants range between about $10,000 and $2 million. Learn more about this funder’s local giving on the impact section and grants page on the funder’s website. Grantmaking focuses on Southwestern Pennsylvania. It discourages grant requests from organizations outside of Pennsylvania. Past local grantees include East Liberty TRID Authority, Homewood Children's Village, Magee Women’s Research Institute and Foundation, and the African American Cultural Center.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits throughout the year. Nonprofits should contact the information and grants manager, Lisa Reed, to discuss a project idea before submitting any paperwork. Direct general questions to the staff at or 412-392-2800.


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