Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation


The Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania through strategic and thoughtful grantmaking in support of a wide range of institutions to advance community development, health, education, human services, the arts, and the environment, with a primary focus on improving the lives and future outlook of disadvantaged populations.


Mary Hillman Jennings (1921–1979) was involved in a wide range of community activities in Pittsburgh and, with her sister, Patricia, was a dedicated advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). She created the Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation in 1968 with the intention of advancing her charitable work and her support for Pittsburgh-area nonprofit organizations. Among the wide range of programs and projects it supports, the Foundation continues to honor Mary’s generosity and legacy by providing grants to assist individuals with IDD as well as other behavioral challenges.

Guiding Principles

The Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation works to ensure that citizens of southwestern Pennsylvania, including those who are too often marginalized, receive high-quality, innovative services and have the resources and opportunities to benefit fully from the region’s improving quality of life.

Mary Hillman Jennings believed that a truly world-class region invests in the lives of its most vulnerable citizens and in the improvement of its most disadvantaged communities. Honoring her lifelong commitment to this principle, the Foundation will continue to focus primarily on improving quality of life for the region’s citizens most likely to be left behind by rapid innovation, growth, and changing economic and social conditions.


  • Pittsburgh, PA

Grants Approved, 2018


Grants Paid, 2018


Funding Priorities

In the 2017–2020 time frame, the Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation will continue to prioritize grants in all sectors that aid the region’s most vulnerable citizens, including but not limited to the following groups:

  • At-risk children
  • Homeless
  • Immigrants and refugees
  • Individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities
  • LGBT individuals
  • Low-income persons
  • People struggling with addiction and recovery
  • Prisoners reentering society
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Senior citizens
  • Veterans
  • Victims of violence
  • Women and girls
  • Community / Economic Development
  • Cultural Advancement / Arts
  • Education
  • Environment / Conservation
  • Health / Medicine
  • Human / Social Services

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant organizations must be classified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and as public charities under Section 509(a) of that code.
  • The geographic focus of the Foundation’s grantmaking program is the Pittsburgh/southwestern Pennsylvania area.
  • The Board reserves the right to approve grants in other locations at its discretion.
  • While the Foundation entertains requests from a wide variety of organizations, most grants are initiated at the direction of the program staff and Board of Trustees of the Foundation.

Application Procedure

  • Requests are accepted only through the online application process.
  • The grant portal functions best in Chrome, Safari or Firefox internet browsers.
  • Applications are reviewed weekly; however, please allow sufficient time for the review and consideration, and a timely response.
  • There are no fixed deadlines for the submission of applications.
  • The Board of Trustees meets at least annually to approve requests, but may meet as often as every quarter.
  • Please direct all questions regarding the application process to Carol Long at 412-338-3466; specific project-related questions should be directed to program staff.