McElhattan Foundation Awards $1,645,000 in Grants to Eight Nonprofit Organizations

Funded projects include Chatham University's Immersive Media Major, the National Safety Council's Work to Zero workplace-safety initiative, and Museumlab at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

The McElhattan Foundation, a grantmaking foundation based in Pittsburgh, has announced its fall 2018 grant recipients. The funded projects, which total $1,645,000, will further the Foundation’s mission of enhancing and preserving human life.

“This is the McElhattan Foundation’s first major grant cycle focusing on specific program areas,” said Lesley Carlin, the Foundation’s executive director. “We’re supporting very different types of organizations, from the National Safety Council to a rural ambulance company, but they share important characteristics—strong leadership and teams committed to their work. We can’t wait to see what they’ll accomplish over the next year and beyond.”

Carlin also invited other nonprofits to apply for McElhattan Foundation funding. “We envision a world where all workers go home safely after their shifts; where all students are adequately prepared for a 21st-century career; where palliative care is affordable and widely available; and where the family’s hometowns, Knox and Franklin, PA, are vibrant, safe, and healthy communities,” Carlin said. “Nonprofits working toward these goals are welcome to submit a Letter of Inquiry for our next grant cycle by Dec. 14, 2018.”

Projects funded by program area: 

Workplace Safety 

National Safety Council, Itasca, IL 

  • $500,000 to establish a new initiative, Work to Zero, aimed at eliminating preventable workplace fatalities by 2050. Work to Zero will analyze innovations in safety technology, prioritize the most promising technology for employers, and communicate best practices for implementing that technology. 

  • About the NSC: The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, public service organization that promotes health and safety in the United States.  


Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA 

  • $1 million over three years to establish a new undergraduate major in Immersive Media. The program, one of the first of its kind in the U.S., will provide an early pipeline of qualified employees for companies eager to build teams working on immersive platforms. The McElhattan Foundation grant will provide startup support for the new major and set it on a path to becoming self-sufficient. 

  • About Chatham: Chatham University is a fully coed institution that prepares its students to build lives of purpose, value, and fulfilling work through professional skill development and liberal arts learning.

Children's Museum Pittsburgh

  • $40,000 for a permanent technology installation in its new Museumlab facility. Museumlab, housed in the former Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny and set to open in April 2019, will combine design excellence, historic preservation, and innovative learning experiences for children aged 8-13. With this grant, CMP will purchase equipment that allows children to explore programming, 3D design, VR/AR, and other inspiring, cutting-edge technologies. 

  • About CMP: The Children’s Museum Pittsburgh is a hands-on interactive children's museum that provides exhibit areas and experiences that inspire joy, creativity and curiosity.

The Pittsburgh Promise 

  • $25,000 to the Pittsburgh Promise’s general scholarship fund. 

  • About the Pittsburgh Promise: The Pittsburgh Promise promotes high educational aspirations among urban youth by funding scholarships for post-secondary access and fueling a prepared and diverse regional workforce. 

Community Development in Knox and Franklin, PA 

Knox Area Ambulance Company, Knox, PA 

  • $30,000 for equipment replacement and $5,000 to hire a grantwriter and/or marketing consultant to help the company obtain support from other sources. 

  • About the Knox Area Ambulance Company: Knox Area Ambulance Company provides ambulance and EMS services to those in Knox Borough, Ashland Township, Beaver Township, and Salem Township.

Family Service and Children’s Aid Society of Venango County, Oil City, PA  

  • $25,000 toward the construction of a new domestic violence shelter in Franklin, PA. The new shelter will house more residents, including several in family rooms, and will accommodate victims with disabilities.  

  • About FSCAS Venango County: Family Service and Children’s Aid Society of Venango County is a nonprofit organization that provides programs that target issues relating to mental health, promoting healthy behaviors, substance abuse, prevention and education, and domestic and sexual violence to meet the needs of children, individuals, and families. 

Bridge Builders Community Foundation, Oil City, PA 

  • $5,000 for delegates from Franklin, PA to attend the National College Access Network Conference 

  • About Bridge Builders Community Foundation: Bridge Builders Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to facilitate and grow community foundations that serve Clarion, Forest, Venango, Jefferson, and other adjacent counties. 

Palliative Care 

Baptist Homes Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA 

  • $15,000 for Baptist Homes’ facility at Providence Point. 

  • About Baptist Homes Foundation: Baptist Homes Foundation is dedicated to providing care for individuals who lack the financial means to obtain the care that they require. 


About the McElhattan Foundation 

The McElhattan Foundation, established in 1994, originally served as the philanthropic arm of Industrial Scientific Corporation, a company founded by K.E. McElhattan and his son, Kent D. McElhattan. When the family sold Industrial Scientific in 2017, a portion of the proceeds went into the Foundation’s endowment, and the Foundation chose “preserving and enhancing human life” as its mission. Now, the Foundation awards grants twice per year in four program areas: workplace safety; education; palliative care; and community development in Knox and Franklin, PA. More information is available at  

Media contact 

Lesley Carlin, Executive Director

Source: McElhattan Foundation


Categories: Philanthropy

Tags: Nonprofit, Philanthropy, Pittsburgh

About McElhattan Foundation

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The McElhattan Foundation, established in 1994, is a grantmaking foundation based in Pittsburgh, PA.

Lesley Carlin
Executive Director , McElhattan Foundation
McElhattan Foundation
4638 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States