Richard King Mellon Foundation: Grants for Conservation

OVERVIEW: This Pennsylvania foundation started by the founder of Mellon Bank is larely devoted to conservation in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Howver, the foundation has ensured protection of nearly 2 million acres nationwide.     

IP TAKE: The foundation prioritizes regional organizations located in the southwestern quadrant of Pennsylvania. It does not fund organizations beyond the United States.

PROFILE: Since 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation has invested in programs designed to improve the quality of life in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. The foundation is large and maintains about $2.3 billion in assets, awarding about $100 million annually. About $14 million of the latter supports conservation. The foundation has invested in the "competitive future and quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania, and in the protection, preservation, and restoration of America’s environmental heritage." Its grantmaking largely focuses on conservation, including the protection, preservation, and restoration of the region's environmental heritage. However, the foundation also funds education, human services, and regional economic development

The foundation conducts its environmental grantmaking through its conservation program, which include "national, regional, and local goals." At the national level, the Foundation works with "long-standing conservation partners to protect 250,000 acres of habitat, while at the regional level the Foundation is collaborating with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and others in 11 focal areas in western Pennsylvania to protect and restore terrestrial and aquatic habitat for key indicator species such as the Cerulean Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Eastern Brook Trout, and Eastern Hellbender." At the local level, the foundation supports efforts to "create trails, enhance public parks, and install green infrastructure to mitigate storm water flows to improve water quality."

Conservation grants range widely from about $10,000 to over a million; however, most grants prioritizes established Pennsylvanian organizations serving the southwestern portion of the state. The foundation publicly lists its conservation grantees

The foundation prioritizes clearly defined projects even though it accepts applications on a rolling basis. It also does not make grants outside of Pennsylvania or the United States.

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