Grant Application Information

Everything you need to know about RAD grant opportunities.

Pittsburgh Zoo © Julie Goetz/RAD

Annual Operating and Capital Grants

The application process for 2020 Annual Operating and Capital Grants is now closed. Applications were due July 1, 2019.

RAD funds many programs, events, and places enjoyed by the people of Allegheny County. District grants support and enhance regional assets in the areas of libraries, parks, sports and civic facilities, and arts and cultural organizations.

Operating Grants: support for ongoing activities of the organization.  Support is typically unrestricted.

Capital Grants: repair of existing facilities; new equipment or repairs to equipment.

If you intend to seek funding for the first time, please review the District's Goals, Eligibility, and Restrictions detailed below.

District Goals for Annual Grants

1. To sustain and enhance the growth and quality of a diverse group of well-managed and financially sound District-based regional assets, programming in areas funded by the District.

2. To extend the benefits of asset programming to the widest possible audience.

3. To encourage the involvement of young people as both audience and participants in asset activities.


RADical ImPAct Grants

The deadline for RADical ImPAct Grant applications was June 15. We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you to all who applied!

RADical ImPAct is a new grant program that will celebrate RAD’s 25 years of public investment impact and will shine a spotlight on bold, forward-looking projects that demonstrate the creative ability of RAD assets to inspire the region for the next 25 years. Applications are expected to be reviewed and awarded in 2019 with projects fully underway in 2020.

In 2019, RAD implemented its 25th budget – the first adopted budget of more than $100 million. This “silver” anniversary is notable for the deep and substantial impact the RAD program has had in the region: by the end of 2019, the RAD revenue is expected to have invested $4 billion in the Allegheny County economy, with half of the proceeds funding our regional libraries, parks and trails, sports and civic facilities, regional facilities, arts and cultural organizations, and transit. The other half of the proceeds directly support the County and its municipalities for tax reform and municipal services.

RAD has allocated $2.5 million in funding for its RADical ImPAct Grants in 2019; the minimum grant is $25,000 and the maximum is $2.5 million. The number of grants will depend on the quality of the proposals received; it is possible that no grants might be awarded. It is also possible that one grant of $2.5 million might be awarded.   

Projects are meant to be bold and far-reaching, and to demonstrate the best that assets have to offer as an inspiration for the next 25 years of RAD and the region

Contact Diane Hunt at DH@radworkshere.org with any questions.

Special Project Grants

RAD Special Project Grants incorporate both Connections Grants and Accessibility/Inclusion Grants and their application processes are ongoing. (See Application Information below.)

Connections Grants: These are one time project grants designed to assist in the implementation of asset connections, including mergers, agreements to share a significant portion of administrative costs or facilities, and collaborations that result in revenue enhancement or cost control. 

Accessibility/Inclusion Grants: As part of its Regional Assets are for Everyone Initiative, the District is accepting special project grant applications for projects that will have a long term benefit toward enhancing opportunities for those with physical and cognitive challenges to enjoy the benefits of asset programming.  These project grants are meant as one time investments in facilities, equipment or program development.  See the application for types of projects that will be considered.


Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for RAD funding, an applicant MUST:

- be a governmental entity or non-profit, tax-exempt corporation, with an IRS 501(c) (3) certificate on file with the District on the date of application.

- have a minimum of the most recent two fiscal years entered in the DataArts project system.

- have a board-adopted budget and regularly evidenced financial reporting to its board.

- have an independent audit if requesting a total of $25,000 or more in RAD support.

- have a board-adopted diversity plan and provide progress on implementation of plan. (See RAD Diversity Plan as an example.)

- have a position/office designated as the organization's accessibility coordinator.

- be the owner/beneficial owner and operator of the program or facility for which funds are sought. No "pass through"  or fiscal agent arrangements are permitted.

- be current on all government taxation and regulatory compliance matters.

- provide the majority of its programming or services funded by the District in Allegheny County.


Act 77 prohibits the District from funding:

- any health care facility;

- institutions of elementary, secondary or higher education;

- any park less than 200 acres except for linear parks located in more than one municipality;

- any asset which fails to serve a significant number of residents outside of the municipality in which the asset is located;

- any library which is not part of a library system serving multiple municipalities.


In addition, RAD does not provide funding for:

- social/human service agencies and programs;

- parades, single or short term events or festivals;

- local recreation programs, facilities and activities such as teams and leagues;

- economic and/or housing development organizations, agencies and programs;

- planning and feasibility studies;

- services such as public safety and health programs, water and sewer projects, bridges, vistas and roads other than in qualifying parks;

- historical monuments unless part of an otherwise eligible regional asset, such as a regional park or museum, or sufficient funds have been raised and set aside at the time of the application.

Eligibility criteria are reviewed each year by the RAD Board, and are subject to change.

All applicants must submit a Board-approved Diversity Plan (click here for sample plan) and comply with the District's Accessibility and Inclusion Policy requirements. 


Application Information

2020 Operating and Capital Grants Applications Open Closed; Deadline: July 1, 2019.

If you are interested in learning more about our guidelines for funding, please review our 2020 Application Guidelines which include detailed eligibility requirements. Requirements may change from year to year; please review this most current version.

Currently, all applicants must have current data (as of the time applications are submitted) entered into the DataArts system. You are able to submit updated information free of charge to the DataArts system year round. The guidelines contain complete information on the DataArts system and how to get help with that process.

If you have never applied for RAD funds, you are required to meet with RAD staff prior to applying and receiving credentials for the application system. Please call RAD (412-227-1900) and ask to speak with a program officer to discuss eligibility and other requirements.

RAD has an annual budget process that begins with the application process, and ends with a budget adoption in December for the following year. Each proposed allocation requires the support of six Board members. All meetings and votes of the Board are conducted under the provisions of the Sunshine Act which requires public meetings and opportunities for public comment.  All applications are public record.

Special Project Grants: Connection Grants, Accessibility/Inclusion Grants (Applications ongoing.)

RAD Special Project Grants incorporate both Connections Grants and Accessibility/Inclusion Grants. 

Applications may be submitted at any time for future consideration.  Download the application for Special Project Grants  (in Word) which details eligibility and criteria. View the list of Special Project grants to date (in pdf).