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 2021 Annual Operating Grants is now open. Applications are due July 8, 2020.

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: due to the uncertain economic impacts of COVID-19, discretionary capital grant applications will not be accepted for 2021 funding.


If you intend to seek funding for the first time, please carefully review the content of this page which details the District's Goals, Eligibility, and Restrictions.


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.


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;

- organizations not open to the public on a regular and consistent basis.


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

2021 Operating Grants Applications will be accepted now through July 8, 2020.

If you are interested in learning more about our guidelines for funding, please review our 2021 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 or email Diane Hunt: dh@radworkshere.org 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.