Entrepreneurial Grants

Apply for SteelTree Funding

Grants of $5,000, $3,600, or $1,800 for projects that help young adults ages 22-45, kids, and teens find meaning and participation in Jewish life. 

Applying for SteelTree Funding

Request for Proposals

The SteelTree Fund is seeking applications for innovative ideas that help young adults ages 22-45, kids, and teens find meaning and participation in Jewish life. Our SteelTree board members are interested in funding projects and programs that have impact on the engagement of this young population in the Pittsburgh Jewish community. Special consideration will be given to applications whose work focuses on strengthening Jewish continuity.

The SteelTree Fund provides grants of $5,000, $3,600, or $1,800 to projects that serve the Pittsburgh Jewish community. A particular project will be considered only once per calendar year, though an organization or individual can apply for more than one project within a calendar year. SteelTree will entertain requests for renewal funding, but will prioritize new projects.

Funding decisions are made four times per year by the SteelTree Fund Board, a group of young adult leaders in the Pittsburgh Jewish community who are passionate about Jewish continuity.

SteelTree Proposal Deadlines

Cycle 1: Full application due July 30
(Submit Part I of the application by July 9 to get help from a SteelTree board member!)

Cycle 2: Full application due October 29
(Submit Part I of the application by September 24 to get help from a SteelTree board member!)

Cycle 3: Full application due January 28
(Submit Part I of the application by January 7 to get help from a SteelTree board member!)

Cycle 4: Full application due April 14
(Submit Part I of the application or send a short description of your proposal to steeltreefund@jfedpgh.org by March 24 to get help from a SteelTree board member!)

How to Apply

We encourage anyone who has an idea to apply, whether you come from a large organization, small organization, or no organization at all (you don’t have to be a 501c3!*).

Create a Profile

Create an applicant profile and invite collaborators to do the same. Also, have your Executive Director and Board Chair, if applicable, create their own profiles so that they can e-sign the application later in the process.

Select SteelTree Application:

Take the eligibility quiz, and select the SteelTree funding opportunity.

Complete Application:

Innovation Committee Stage (optional):
If you are interested in getting feedback about your project idea, select the option to work with the Innovation Committee on the application Organization and Project Overview section of the application and someone from the Innovation Committee will be in touch. Applicants who choose to work with the Innovation Committee should plan ahead accordingly; submit this part of the application at least 2-3 weeks before the full application deadline to get matched with an Innovation Committee member and obtain their feedback.

If you are confident in your idea and just want to send in a full application for review by the SteelTree board, feel free to complete the full application.

Full Application (mandatory):
A full application for a SteelTree grant includes:

  1. Applicant and Project Overview
  2. Narrative
  3. Supporting Materials (optional)

Explanations of each can be found in Grant Application Instructions.

Pro Tip: Be sure to submit your proposal well in advance of your project start date. For instance, if you are planning an event centered around Passover, you should submit the full application in time to be reviewed at the September or December SteelTree Board Meetings. Applicants who are interested in working with the Innovation Committee should give themselves at least an additional 2-3 weeks before the full application deadline to obtain feedback from the Innovation Committee and incorporate it into their project proposal.

Grantees will be asked to provide name recognition of the SteelTree Fund on all marketing materials. Applications should be submitted online at www.jewishpgh.org/grants. If you have questions about the application process, please email Shelly Parver, Senior Manager of Grantmaking and Allocations, at steeltreefund@jfedpgh.org.

*It is not mandatory that your project be backed by a tax-exempt organization (i.e. 501c3). However, if you do not have backing from such an organization and you would like to submit an application to SteelTree, you must contact Shelly Parver, Senior Manager of Grantmaking and Allocations, at steeltreefund@jfedpgh.org to understand potential tax implications of the grant. Please note that the SteelTree Fund does not fund political campaigns, capital campaigns, or endowments.

Grant Application Instructions


Please answer the following questions about your project as succinctly as possible:

  1. Project Description: Tell us about your project idea. Provide a short statement that summarizes the project for which you are requesting support and what it will achieve.
  2. What are the needs?: What challenges, issues, or needs facing the Jewish people are you planning to address with this project?
  3. Who is your target demographic?: Who will benefit from your project? How will they participate? How many people will this project reach?
  4. What’s the plan?: Describe how you propose to implement your project, specifying all relevant activities and events. Do you anticipate facing any challenges or barriers to implementation? If so, how do you plan to address them?
  5. How will you measure success?: Describe how you plan to measure the impact of your project. If your goal is to drive engagement, are you tracking attendance? Do you ask participants to fill out surveys before and after to gauge how their knowledge or attitudes have changed?
  6. Leadership Team: Tell us about the people and/or organizations making your project happen. Who will work on this project and what will they do? What skills and experience do they have that demonstrate that they have the capacity to do this work?
  7. How will the project be promoted?: How will you build awareness of your project? Do you have plans for promoting, marketing, or advertising?
  8. Write Your Own Headline: Upon successfully completing your project, what will the headline be when the newspaper writes about it?
  9. Timeline: When will your project activities occur? Provide start and end dates, and add any key dates or milestones for the implementation of your project.
  10. Budget:
    1. What other organizations or corporations have committed funding for this project?
    2. Budget Line Items (proposed use of SteelTree funding)
    3. How will the project be sustained after this year?
    4. If your project does not receive the full SteelTree funding requested will you be able to conduct your program?

Supporting Materials (Optional)

Along with responses to the questions above, feel free to also include any of the following (or other) documents applicable to the organization and/or project. Please limit these extra materials to no more than 5 pages.

  1. Overall budget, with expenses and major sources of funding – feel free to upload, or create using our form
  2. Vision and Mission Statements
  3. Supplemental docs (i.e. Verification of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status/copy of IRS determination letter; resume or bio of key staff involved in project; letter(s) of support from collaborating organizations)


While not a requirement, grant applicants are strongly encouraged, if invited, to give a brief presentation and answer questions from SteelTree Board members during a SteelTree Fund board meeting.

SteelTree Fund


Mark Pizov

Mark Pizov

SteelTree Fund Chair
Becca Knoll

Becca Kentor-Knoll

SteelTree Fund Co-Chair
Scott Isenberg

Scott Isenberg

SteelTree Fund Co-Chair
Shelly Parver

Shelly Parver

Assistant Planning Director
(412) 992-5207

Still Have a Questions?

Ask Shelly about applying for SteelTree Funding

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