McAuley Ministries Awards Over $3.3 Million in Grants to 21 Nonprofit Organizations

Five ladies in a row holding a check

PITTSBURGH (June 27, 2022) McAuley Ministries, Pittsburgh Mercy’s grant-making foundation, has awarded 21 nonprofit organizations grants totaling $3,379,844 to support capacity building, community and economic development, education, health and wellness, and workforce development in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland communities.

Grants announced in this cycle include a $2 million dollar grant to Carlow University for the purchase of McAuley, Aidan, and Trinity Halls. This acquisition will support Carlow University’s continued growth by providing additional campus apartment housing for its graduate programs, additional space for the middle and upper school divisions of its Campus Laboratory School, and space for the creation of a new Carlow Closet and Community Food Pantry to support students and West Oakland residents. The trustees of McAuley Ministries awarded this grant, the largest in the Foundation’s history, to further the mission of Carlow and to recognize the founding of Carlow by the Pittsburgh Sisters of Mercy in 1929. This is a significant investment in the future of Carlow University and a distinct way to honor the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy.

During the presentation of the grant award to the Carlow University Board of Trustees on June 24, 2022, Carlow University President Kathy W. Humphrey, PhD expressed her deep appreciation to McAuley Ministries for the trust they have placed in Carlow University. She continued, “Our vision of creating a more just and merciful world is strengthened by your embrace of the same goal as, together, we strive to build a life-changing legacy for generations and to make the experience of God’s mercy real in our city.”

This grant cycle has also awarded funds to provide support for disaster relief in Ukraine and Buffalo, N.Y. The emergency disaster relief grants were made possible by McAuley Ministries’ emergency grant program, which works to quickly respond to those in need, near and far. $30,000 in emergency disaster relief funds will support the people of Ukraine whose lives have been disrupted because of war. An additional $10,000 will support the community of Buffalo, N.Y. as it recovers from the racially motivated mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue grocery store that occurred on May 14, 2022.

This grant cycle is also the first under McAuley Ministries’ increased annual spending plan, which increased from 5% to 6% of its assets in January of 2022. This increase will allow the foundation to invest more in its focus neighborhoods and to create new investment initiatives. The first initiative is the creation of a new program to invest in the mental and spiritual health and well-being of its grantees by adding an additional 2% administrative fee to grant awards.

According to McAuley Ministries Executive Director Marisol Valentin, ‘This program is the continuation of a conversation we initiated with our community partners in 2021 about their needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number one thing our partners expressed is the increased levels of anxiety and burnout they are experiencing and the challenges they face in addressing these needs. We wanted to ensure that, in addition to the funds they receive for programmatic expenses and administrative support, they have funds specific to support colleague health and well-being.

The need for colleague health and well-being support is magnified by the results of a 2020 study, commissioned by the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE). The study found that while nonprofits that engage in capacity-building improve their effectiveness more than those that do not, communities of color are significantly less likely to have access to effective nonprofits, in part because organizations which are closest to communities with the greatest need receive less funding overall and less support for capacity-building. In the face of a pandemic that has impacted our communities of color the most, and where nonprofits are the essential threads that continually pivot to ensure that food distribution continues, that children are supported in learning despite disruptions to their school calendars, that tenants are supported against evictions, and that the most vulnerable in our communities are cared for, it is important that we respond in ways that financially increase their capacity and resilience.”

Since its founding by the Pittsburgh Sisters of Mercy in 2008, McAuley Ministries has awarded 901 grants and community support totaling $43,680,102 to nonprofit organizations that advance its grant-making priorities. The West Oakland-based, grant-making foundation awards approximately $3.5 million in grants annually, making it one of the region’s largest philanthropic foundations. View grants awarded by year at

Grouped by grant-making priorities, the recipients of the most recent grants are as follows. For further description of each grant, please visit grants awarded.

 Capacity Building

  • Amani Christian Community Development: $214,000 for Amani capacity building and operating support
  • Hill Dance Academy Theatre: $35,700 for Ubuntu, a conversation with residents of the Hill District about their vision of the creation of a Performing Arts Centre serving Black and Brown residents, led by HDAT
  • Vision Enterprises: $102,000 for the creation of JASON Project, a Judicial Assistance Program located in the Hill District
  • Women for a Healthy Environment: $10,200 for general operating support to increase impact in the organization’s key program areas.

Community & Economic Development

  • Carlow University: $2,000,000 to purchase McAuley, Aidan, and Trinity Halls to support the continued growth of the University
  • Hill Community Development Corporation: $300,000 for Milliones Manor renovations
  • The Pittsburgh Contingency Inc.: $10,000 for the Senior Jazz Connection Project, rebuilding the support network for individuals living in senior high-rises in the Hill District.

Disaster Relief

  • Brothers Brother Foundation: $10,000 for disaster relief support for Ukraine.
  • Catholic Relief Services: $10,000 for disaster relief support for Ukraine
  • Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo: $10,000 Donation to the Community of Buffalo following the racially motivated mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue grocery store
  • An additional $10,000 will be donated to support Africans in Ukraine displaced by the war.


  • 100 Black Men of Western PA Inc.: $15,300 for its Summer InfoLink Technology Project.
  • ACH Clear Pathways: $102,000 for ACH Clear Pathways Academic After-School Program and Creative Camp
  • The Citizen Science Lab: $10,000 for summer camp.
  • Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania Inc.: $25,500 for Girl Scouts Pittsburgh Blitz STEAM Curriculum.
  • Hill Dance Academy Theatre: $50,000 for A Black Bead Story: The Digital Spectacles Afro-Caribbean Summer Dance and Drum Intensive for Youth 7-20
  • Reading Is FUNdamental Pittsburgh: $10,000 for adding self-published, local Black authors to their library
  • Schenley Heights Community Development Program: $102,000 to support Igniting the Dream: Out-of-School Time
  • United Way of Southwestern PA: $153,000 Welcome Back Summer 2022.

 Health & Wellness

  • Neighborhood Resilience Project: $50,000 for dental equipment purchase and installation.

 Workforce Development

  • Ebenezer Outreach Ministries: $150,144 for Ebenezer Outreach Ministries meals ministry and workforce training program support.

About McAuley Ministries

Named in honor of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of MercyMcAuley Ministries is the grant-making foundation of Pittsburgh Mercy. McAuley Ministries serves as a catalyst for change, committing resources and working collaboratively to promote healthy, safe, and vibrant communities. Grant-making priorities include health and wellness, community and economic development, education, and capacity-building initiatives for nonprofit organizations which focus on the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland communities historically served by the Sisters of Mercy. McAuley Ministries also provides support to organizations that are sponsored by and/or affiliated with the Sisters. Since its founding by the Sisters of Mercy in 2008, McAuley Ministries has awarded 901 grants and community support totaling more than $43 million. It awards approximately $3.5 million in grants annually, making it one of the largest philanthropic

foundations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. To learn more about McAuley Ministries and the initiatives it supports, visit

About Pittsburgh Mercy

Pittsburgh Mercy, a member of Trinity Health, serving in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, is a person-centered, population-based, trauma-informed community health and wellness provider. Pittsburgh Mercy includes Bethlehem Haven, McAuley Ministries, Pittsburgh Mercy Behavioral Health, Pittsburgh Mercy Community Health, Pittsburgh Mercy Intellectual Disabilities Services, the Pittsburgh Mercy Parish Nurse & Health Ministry Program, Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net®, and Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center. It is the region’s only Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) and Integrated Care & Wellness Clinic (ICWC).

We reach out and offer help – and hope – to some of our community’s most vulnerable populations: people who have physical and behavioral health challenges; people with intellectual disabilities; and people who are experiencing addiction, homelessness, abuse, and other forms of trauma. Our mission is to be a compassionate and transforming, healing presence within our communities.

With annual operating revenue of $112 million, Pittsburgh Mercy is one of the largest health and human service nonprofit organizations and employers in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We serve more than 18,000 people annually in 60+ locations and employ more than 1,000 colleagues. For more information or to make a donation in support of our mission, visit


Photo identification (from left to right): McAuley Ministries Executive Director Marisol Valentin, Carlow University President Dr. Kathy W. Humphrey, McAuley Ministries Board of Directors Chairperson Emma T. Lucas-Darby; and McAuley Ministries Founding Board Members Sister Susan Welsh, RSM and Sister Patricia McCann, RSM.

Photo credit: Photo by Renee Rosensteel, courtesy of Carlow University.