Pittsburgh Foundation: Critical Needs Alert 2022

Give August 9 to #ONEDAY and move our region forward! Also on August 9th, tune into our #ONEDAY Live Stream Event on Instagram, hosted by Natalie Bencivenga, who will interview local community leaders and discuss a variety of issues ranging from food security, health care, and much more. 

Nearly every year since 2013, The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Critical Needs Alert online giving campaign has raised much-needed operating support for the region’s nonprofits. This year, the novel coronavirus continues to place unprecedented financial and staffing stress on organizations that provide critical human services. To help them meet the increased demand, the Foundation will host a one-day Critical Needs Alert online giving event Aug. 9 to raise operating support for the region’s nonprofit safety net. All donations of $25 and up are eligible for a portion of $578,000 in giving incentive funds provided by the Foundation and its donors.

Under the hashtag #ONEDAY, this year’s Critical Needs Alert will benefit organizations in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties that provide basic needs, including food, housing, employment, child care, and physical and mental health care. The Foundation with its affiliate, The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, and their donors, will provide incentive funds that will be distributed to all nonprofits participating in #ONEDAY to maximize the impact of public donations. In 2020 and 2021 the #ONEDAY campaign raised record sums for the nonprofit sector.

As the region continues to recover from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Pittsburgh Foundation is organizing a Critical Needs Alert online fundraising event backed by an incentive pool of $578,000 to bolster charitable giving from the public. Funds will be raised for 200+ nonprofit organizations that support basic needs in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

The Critical Needs event, under the #ONEDAY banner, is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. It will take place through the Foundation’s PittsburghGives.org donation portal. Every donation of $25 or more will trigger additional funding from the incentive pool.

When developing the list of organizations asked to participate in this year’s #ONEDAY campaign, the Foundation placed special emphasis on including nonprofits led by and serving Black and Brown people.

“We are continually impressed by the resilience of the nonprofits in this region, particularly those serving Black and Brown people, which have been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic,” said Pittsburgh Foundation President & CEO Lisa Schroeder in announcing this year’s #ONEDAY giving day. “Our hope is that this campaign will provide a much-needed boost of operating dollars to support these nonprofits’ missions.”

The $578,000 incentive pool includes $50,000 that will be divided among 27 Westmoreland County nonprofits.

The five priority areas for this year’s Critical Needs Alert are:

  • Child Care – Programs providing child care for infants and children up to age 6. (Those that provide only before- or after-school programming do not qualify.)

  • Food and Nutrition – Organizations such as food pantries, food banks and soup kitchens that provide food to those who don’t have the ability to meet daily needs.

  • Eviction Prevention and Housing – Organizations that provide direct shelter to individuals and families in crisis. Also includes organizations that provide financial assistance, landlord-tenant mediation, and other related services that assist individuals and families to stay safely in their homes.

  • Physical and Mental Health – Organizations providing clinical physical and mental health care.

  • Employment – Organizations providing employment-related services such as job readiness, job placement, and job retention programs; training or education; and support services such as transportation, tools, or clothing to enable individuals to work.

The catalyst for 16 hours of giving: The #ONEDAY campaign will prorate payouts from the incentive pool based on the total raised by each organization. The goal is to encourage public giving over the full 16 hours of the Critical Needs Alert. While donors can give as much as they like, incentive funds will be capped at $1,000 per donor per organization to ensure that funds are distributed across as many organizations as possible.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we’ve been amazed by the willingness of our donors and the public to step forward with operating dollars that help nonprofits provide a strong safety net for this community,” said Kelly Uranker, vice president of the Foundation’s Center for Philanthropy. “There has been a marked shift away from project support to operating dollars, which we believe shows the degree to which our population trusts and values nonprofits.”

The Foundation’s previous eight Critical Needs Alerts have raised a total of $10 million, including incentive funds, and each has targeted a specific area of need – food insecurity in 2013 and 2018, housing insecurity in 2014 and 2015, and basic needs – child care, food, housing, mental and physical health care, and transportation – in 2017, 2019, 2020 and again this year.

An additional $794,000 was raised for the #LoveIsStronger campaign following the Tree of Life shooting in November of 2018, which benefited eight organizations.

Critical Needs Alert giving events align with the Foundation’s mission of improving the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy and connecting donors to the critical needs of the community.

By supporting the Forging Forward series, the Foundation hopes to draw attention to the nonprofit leaders and workers who are innovating and finding ways to do the impossible in the midst of multiple crises. In the weeks ahead, TABLE Magazine will bring you stories of a few  of those grounded leaders who are helping our neighbors get access to healthy food, safe and affordable housing, transportation and mental and physical health care. We urge you to visit the Critical Needs Alert website, www.pittsburghgives.org, between now and Aug. 3, to learn about the organizations that will benefit from the #ONEDAY giving event. And, if you have the resources to do more, consider establishing a fund at the Foundation to enable your family or company to give back generations into the future.

Details at www.pittsburghfoundation.org/giving.

The Forging Forward 2022 series:

Tech 25: The Future is Now

Outreach Teen and Family Services

Neighborhood Legal Services

Fishes and Loaves

Build the Community Center

Healthy Start


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