Our Program Interests




With assets over $2.3 billion at December 31, 2014, the Richard King Mellon Foundation has built on the vision of these founders. The Foundation’s current giving priorities primarily serve Southwestern Pennsylvania with a program focus on Regional Economic Development and Conservation, along with Education and Human Services and Nonprofit Capacity Building. The Foundation gives first consideration to requests that clearly align with these interests and demonstrates the greatest likelihood of achieving measurable results.

The Trustees have shown a preference for supporting established organizations with specific objectives, and for partnering with other donors rather than solely underwriting the entire cost of projects. The Trustees believe that this policy allows the Foundation’s funds to benefit the largest number of people. In 2014, Trustees approved grants totaling $104,578,500.

Commitment to Southwestern Pennsylvania
— Seeking to build a vibrant Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Richard King Mellon Foundation invests in a broad range of economic development programs in the region. The Foundation recently has supported projects that strengthen Pittsburgh’s urban core by diversifying downtown housing, encouraging good riverfront usage, and creating or maintaining open spaces within the city.

The Foundation also contributes to a variety of endeavors to stimulate business development, to promote economic health in rural areas, to leverage the economic impact of the regional health care, education and cultural assets, and to attract and retain talented people to Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Commitment to the Natural Environment Nationwide
— The Foundation has built innovatively on Richard and Constance Mellon’s commitment to the conservation of wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, and historic battlefields throughout the United States. Often working in partnership with state and local governments and conservation agencies, the Foundation has ensured the protection of more than 2 million acres of land at sites in all 50 states. These gifts of land have been donated to the American people for their use and enjoyment in perpetuity.

Geographic Focus

The Foundation does not fund outside the United States. Its funds are committed almost exclusively to Southwestern Pennsylvania.