Wednesday, June 20, 2012


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bill Peduto
Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012






Pittsburgh is an awesome city and Awesome Pittsburgh -- a local chapter of the Awesome Foundation -- rewards ideas each month that add to that awesomeness with a $1,000 grant. They're looking for projects which have a wow factor and that have both local impact and global resonance. The grants come with no strings attached.

If you have an awesome idea for Pittsburgh, you can apply online through The Awesome Foundation's website here. The deadline is the 15th of each month. Awesome Pittsburgh has additional tips for applying at their website here.




The Sprout Fund is one of Pittsburgh's MVPs. For 10 years they have been funding some of the most innovative, coolest projects and programs this city has to offer. I've had the great honor to work with them over the years and have seen them blossom from a tiny upstart organization to one of the most prolific and impactful grantmakers in this region.

Their Seed Awards, small $500-10,000 grants, are part of what makes them so special. These awards are meant to give a jumpstart to a project in the early stages of development and, with a bit of luck, help it reach fruition.




New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced last week a $9 million grant program to fund the best ideas generated by cities across the country. Mayors have until September 14, 2012 to submit an idea and the Bloomberg Philanthropies will choose 20 finalists to attend the Bloomberg Ideas Camp to sharpen their proposals. One grand prize winner will receive a $5 million prize and four runners up will receive $1 million each.

Mayor Bloomberg knows that cities are the laboratories of innovation and I applaud his efforts to use his personal wealth to help spur the next big idea.

For more on the announcement and the challenge, check out this video on YouTube.




The Convergence Partnership, a consortium of grantmakers interested in the intersection of health and place, is looking for some innovative new ideas. The Fund supports innovative programs at the local and regional levels that expand access to healthy food and build sustainable communities -- particularly in those neighborhoods and communities that haven't seen economic development in decades.

Convergence is a foundation that funds foundations. They seek out local and regional grantmakers and encourage them to take risks, focus on equity in their funding, and look for sustainable, long-term solutions. They provide several years of matching funds -- up to $200,000 to accomplish these goals.

Pittsburgh is blessed with a world-class community of foundations and I encourage them to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.




The PNC Neighborhood Wishlist is a new program by PNC Bank which helps make good things happen in our neighborhoods. Up to 100 ideas will receive up to $500 each for community improvement projects. To get started, go to their Facebook page and submit a project. If your project is picked, you'll need to get your friends to vote for it -- one vote for every dollar you're requesting.

PNC Neighborhood Wishlist will only be reviewing the first 500 projects submitted by July 1st. Submissions started this week, so apply now.




Carnegie Mellon University's Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund (OFEF) provides early-stage business financing to recent CMU graduates who want to become entrepreneurs and drive innovation. The fund was created by CMU alumnus Jonathan Kaplan, the creator of Flip video camera; Kaplan's wife, Marci Glazer; and Kaplan classmate and bitly CEO, Peter Stern. OFEF recently granted $500,000 to 10 startup companies -- 7 of which are located in Pittsburgh.

If you've graduated from Carnegie Mellon in the last 5 years, you can apply for the next round of grants online here.




Throughout the 1950s, acclaimed newsman Edward R. Murrow ran a radio program called "This I Believe." During the program, notable leaders of business, politics, and community read essays about their core beliefs and guiding principles -- the things that made them successful. In 2004, This I Believe, Inc. was formed to carry on that legacy and encourage youth and adults alike to write about what drives them and create conversations and educational opportunities around these ideas.

Judith R. Robinson, a Pittsburgh-based poet, was asked to submit one of these essays and it is my pleasure to share it with you.

Do you have an idea on how to build a better Pittsburgh that you'd like to submit for inclusion in our newsletter? If you have some thoughts or a project you'd like to share, please email and your idea may appear in The Guest Post in a future newsletter.



Be sure to visit every week to learn more about what is happening in Pittsburgh and in order to know what is happening in City Council. You can also subscribe to Bill on Facebook, follow Bill on Twitter, and connect with Bill on Linked-In.





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Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach with Neighborhood Learning Alliance

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