Vibrant Pittsburgh and Urban Affairs Foundation Offer Mini Grants to Strengthen Civic Engagement Among the Region's Diverse Community-based Organizations

PITTSBURGH – Two Western Pennsylvania champions of diversity — Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation, which is a part of the Community Relations Council (CRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh — have joined forces to implement this year’s Mini Grants Initiative: 2018 Civic Inclusion & Engagement Fund. This fund will promote diverse communities in the Pittsburgh region. Each organization has committed $25,000 to create a $50,000 pool to fund projects that increase the civic engagement of diverse and immigrant communities. This year’s theme is “Language Access through the Use of Technology.”

Melanie Harrington, CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, is thrilled about the foundation’s participation.

“We are pleased to team up again this year with the Jewish Federation because they have been providing services for more than a century to Pittsburgh’s immigrant and diverse communities. In addition, this is our sixth cycle of funding grants to community groups, so this partnership allows us to expand our resources and engagement.”

Cindy Goodman-Leib, chair of the Community Relations Council (CRC), explained how the partnership between the Urban Affairs Foundation and Vibrant Pittsburgh highlights “the Jewish Federation’s support for healthy, diverse communities and our conviction that they contribute to the vitality of the region as a whole. We see awarding Mini Grants as a means of building the region in the way the foundation’s mission statement specifies: ‘to foster amicable relationships among ethnic, racial, national, religious and other groups in our community.’ ”

Funding through the Vibrant Pittsburgh-Urban Affairs Foundation’s 2018 Civic Inclusion & Engagement Fund initiative will be available to applicants selected through a competitive proposal process. Lead organizations must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and maintain a physical presence in the Power of 32 Region (see Organizations can partner with other nonprofits, academic institutions, religious organizations, community groups, businesses and employee resource groups.

Projects eligible for Mini Grant funding should:

  • Create opportunities for civic engagement that result in a more inclusive and engaged multicultural region, and
  • Be collaborative by engaging diverse communities, organizations, or partners.

The term of proposed projects should be one year. The typical range of a grant award is $500-$7,500.

Grant application materials will be available starting June 14 at and at Completed grant applications are due by 5 p.m., Friday, August 31, 2018, and should be sent electronically to Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation will announce Mini Grant awardees in November 2018.

Past Vibrant Pittsburgh Mini Grants have funded health and human services, housing, education, mentoring, professional networking, social support, welcoming initiatives, and job-connection programs for refugees and immigrants.

About Vibrant Pittsburgh

Vibrant Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the growth and economic competitiveness of the Pittsburgh region by engaging the region’s employers; attracting, retaining and elevating a diverse talent pool; and positioning the region nationally and internationally as an inclusive and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds. Vibrant Pittsburgh efforts and this Mini Grants initiative are made possible by Vibrant Pittsburgh Members; more information is available at

About Urban Affairs Foundation

The purpose of the Urban Affairs Foundation, part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council, is to promote the involvement of Jewish organizations and individuals in urban concerns. The Community Relations Council engages in public policy activities to promote harmonious relations and mutual understanding within and beyond the Jewish community and to support the State of Israel.

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