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The Buhl Foundation

Annual Report

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 | Download (.pdf)

Department store owner and philanthropist Henry Buhl, Jr. died June 11, 1927, and stated in his will was the creation of the first multipurpose foundation in Pittsburgh which, endowed with more than $11 million at the time, made it then one of the ten largest such foundations in the country. Confident in his own charitable intent, Mr. Buhl created a Foundation that was free in vision and purpose, and structurally capable of adaptability and usefulness. Shortly thereafter, the President of the Carnegie Corporation referred to the Buhl Foundation as "a model for an endowment broadly conceived as to purpose, but with special reference to the needs of a given locality."

Over the ensuing decades, the Buhl Foundation has been blessed with leadership that has taken that responsibility seriously while exercising the adaptability so important to continued community impact. As the fortunes of Pittsburgh have ebbed and flowed over the decades, so too has the Buhl Foundation attempted to meet the changing needs of its residents. One such example is Buhl's focus on education which over time has evolved from funding research into the mysteries of the atom or the polio vaccine, to the post World War II endowing of college scholarships, to the funding of distance learning centers in the advent of the computer era, to most recently, a strong emphasis on K-12 education as urban schools face the challenge of educating an increasingly disadvantaged and minority population of students.

In a broader sense, the ability of the Foundation to maintain its philanthropic mission while adapting to changing times is most recently seen in the Foundation's commitment to the Northside of Pittsburgh. Following in-depth planning for more than two years, ably led by Vice President Diana Bucco, this past fiscal year has witnessed a concentration of Northside-focused, community-led funding. Some 50 grants, totaling more than $3,500,000 were awarded, ranging from $1 million for expansion of the Carnegie Science Center and $500,000 for mini grants encouraging neighborhood and citizen participation to $250,000 for the Food Bank and its community-wide feeding program for students and $175,000 to United Way for a coordinated system of Northside afterschool activities. A host of smaller grants have aided everything from playgrounds and summer camps to technology improvements and activities for underserved youth. Regardless of the amount of the grant, each of our grants has been carefully considered in light of priorities established by community planning efforts. In short, our funding supports the present day interests of the very neighborhoods that meant so much to Henry Buhl, Jr.

As exciting as this first year of implementation for our new Northside strategy has been, we understand the reality that it is but year one of a commitment that will play out well into the next decade. Having said that, we are equally confident that the resourcefulness of the Northside communities and the spirit that its residents bring to this endeavor ensures that it will become a model for community revitalization. Our legacy continues as the face of Pittsburgh changes in new and exciting ways.

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 | Download (.pdf)

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 | Download (.pdf)

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 | Download (.pdf)

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 | Download (.pdf)

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 | Download (.pdf)

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009 | Download (.pdf)

Annual Report by the President

July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008 | Download (.pdf)