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.

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

Funding decisions are made three 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.

We expect that your program will meet all local, state and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety protocols (I.e. wearing masks, social distancing, etc.).

Cycle 1:  Application due August 14, 2020

Cycle 2:  Application due January 26, 2021

Cycle 3:  Application due March 29, 2021

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. Please follow these steps to access the eligibility quiz. First, click on the triangle next to your name in the top right corner. Then select "My Account". On the left side under Account Settings select "Eligibility". Then click the green box that says Update your eligibility profile. Be sure to select "SteelTree Fund" and answer all the questions. When you are done click the green box at the box that says "Next". On the next page click the green box that says, "Save my profile". Next you will see a box that says SteelTree and you will click the green box that says "More". Finally, you will click the green box on the right that says "Apply".

Complete Application:

  1. All applicants are required to complete a Pre-Review of their application with a member of the SteelTree board as part of the application process.

SteelTree is committed to helping current or potential applicants fine-tune their application. They are available to help answer questions related to the application process and/or specifics around what the SteelTree Board is looking for in an application.  Within a few days of submitting your application, you'll be emailed the contact information of a member of the SteelTree Board, and it is up to you to get in touch with them.

If you would prefer to complete your Application Pre-Review prior to submitting your application, simply send an email to Shelly Parver (sparver@jfedpgh.org) and she will connect you with a SteelTree Board Member at that early stage. If you choose this option, please note that the Pre-Review process may take time to arrange, and that you are still expected to meet the stated application deadline.

A full application for a SteelTree grant includes:

      2. Applicant and Project Overview

      3. Narrative

      4. Supporting Materials (optional)

Explanations of each can be found in the section below.

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. 

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, Assistant Planning Director, 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, Assistant Planning Director, 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.


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

  1. Project Summary: 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. (word limit 150)
  2. What are the needs?: What challenges, issues, or needs facing the Jewish people are you planning to address with this project? (word limit 250)
  3. Who is your target demographic?: Who will benefit from your project? How will they participate? How many people will this project reach? (word limit 350)
  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? (word limit 350)
  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? (word limit 350)
  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? (word limit 350)
  7. How will the project be promoted?: How will you build awareness of your project? Do you have plans for promoting, marketing, or advertising? (word limit 350)
  8. 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.
  9. Budget:
    1. What other organizations or corporations have committed funding for this project? (word limit 150)
    2. Budget Line Items (proposed use of SteelTree funding)
    3. How will the project be sustained after this year? (word limit 150)
    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. Detailed budget, with expenses and major sources of funding – feel free to upload a detailed budget, in addition to the one created using our form in the application
  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 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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