By Joyce Gannon
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) This article takes a look at the “Small and Mighty” foundation. The foundation targets a different type of recipient. To qualify, a nonprofit’s operating budget must be under $600,000 a year. Maxwell King, the foundation’s president and chief executive, acknowledged that many small nonprofits in the region don’t even pursue grants because they are “crowded out by larger nonprofits that have more resources and contacts in going for financial support.”
Denise Zellous was stunned when she opened an email informing her the nonprofit she runs, Zellous Hope Project, had received a grant for $8,000 to increase its outreach services for homeless people and other at-risk individuals who are in transition.
Since launching the organization in 2011, Ms. Zellous said she has applied for funding from all kinds of sources but the only money Zellous Hope ever received were a few sporadic gifts of $500 from Walmart to underwrite wellness information programs.
So the recent $8,000 award from The Pittsburgh Foundation caught her off guard. “I was floored,” she said. “I was having lunch with a friend at Fifth Avenue Place, Downtown, and asked her to read the email because I wasn’t sure it was true.”
While the amount is relatively tiny coming from a community foundation with assets totaling around $1 billion, channeling it to Ms. Zellous’ modest nonprofit that has limited resources is exactly what the Pittsburgh Foundation envisioned doing through its new Small and Mighty Grants Program.
The foundation Thursday announced the program has provided funding of $235,000 to 18 small nonprofits in the Pittsburgh region that provide basic needs to people at risk for poverty.
Small and Mighty is a direct outgrowth of the foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh initiative that zooms in on the issue of why significant pockets of the region’s population are living in or at-risk of falling into poverty. It targets assistance for people in two specific groups: single women raising children and youth ages 12-24.