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The Buhl Foundation

How to Apply

A proposal should demonstrate the intersection of all or many of the following considerations which are important to the Buhl Foundation:

  • Leadership in education, economic and civic improvement, human services and youth development
  • Unique, innovative, timely and creative solutions to meeting community needs
  • Collaboration with community partners
  • Outreach to diverse populations, especially those who are economically disadvantaged or at-risk
  • Preventive solutions that are enduring

The greatest volume of Buhl grants, both in total dollars and in number of proposals funded, fall in the range of $2,500 to $25,000. Buhl's largest grants tend to focus on sustaining regional institutions that play a unique role in our community based on historic relationships with the Foundation and its mission.

The Henry C. Frick Educational Fund supports K-12 public school initiatives and the McCreery Fund focuses on programs that encourage musically gifted and interested students. Grant requests to both follow the same guidelines and procedures as the Buhl Foundation.

Application and Grant Procedures

It is important to note that the Foundation has embarked on a revisioning effort to determine how Buhl's historic giving themes might be integrated into a more geographically focused effort on the Northside of Pittsburgh.  Until that process is completed, grantees, and prospective grantees, are encouraged to contact Buhl staff to determine how that effort might impact granting opportunities.

  • A written letter of inquiry, not to exceed three pages, should be sent to the President, to be followed by a formal proposal meeting Buhl guidelines, if invited. Electronic inquiries are not accepted.
  • The staff meets regularly to review letters of inquiry and either a phone call or a letter regarding the inquiry should be expected within 6 weeks, if not sooner. If taken under consideration, an inquiry may be acted upon immediately, followed by a request for a proposal or it may be allowed to percolate over time so as to evaluate its potential impact in relation to other funding options in the face of limited resources. The staff will often meet with potential applicants to discuss feasibility and may work with prospective grantees to develop a proposal that appears to have potential for community impact consistent with Buhl's giving priorities. Expression of interest in a proposal, or work with an applicant to assure best possible presentation, should not be construed as an indication of forthcoming grant approval.
  • If a proposal is invited, the staff will work with the applicant to establish a specific time frame for submission of the proposal and consideration by the Board.
  • Interviews or site visits may be carried out by arrangement with the staff.
  • The Board of Directors of the Foundation usually meets five or six times a year to act on grant proposals.
  • When a grant has been awarded, the grantee and Foundation agree upon a schedule for grant payments. A report on program achievements, including accounting for dollars spent, is required at the conclusion of the program.
  • All letters of inquiry and proposals are reported to the Board of Directors.

Proposal Guidelines

A formal proposal when invited should include all of the following:

  • Cover Sheet from the Common Grant Application Format
  • Mission of the organization
  • Short, concise information about the organization
  • Purpose of the grant request
  • Amount requested/total project need
  • Program description/need/schedule of implementation
  • Audience/population served
  • Impact
  • Evaluation
  • Collaborative partners
  • Financials (income/expenditure current year and forecast)
  • Budget for project
  • Other funders
  • Most recent audited financials
  • Leadership/Board of Directors
  • IRS Determination Letter

Applicants may also use the Common Grant Application Form available from Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania.

Proposals are limited to 10 typewritten, double spaced pages. The cover sheet, director lists, evidence of tax status and financial documentation can be attachments and are not included in the ten page limitation.