Community Development Initiative

Updated for grants starting in 2015

NOTE: Our Community Development initiative has granted its entire budget for 2018; we will not be accepting any other Community Developments letters of inquiry. Please check back in July for the June 2019 meeting Initiative LOI submission dates.


To rebuild and strengthen healthy and sustainable neighborhoods.


The Foundation has the following priorities for its Community Development grants:

  • Geographies – Dorchester, Roxbury, and their contiguous neighborhoods in Boston, MA; the Hill and East End in Pittsburgh, PA. The Foundation occasionally considers grants in other neighborhoods in those cities and for city-wide projects.
  • Strategies – Proposals with clear and measurable objectives to serve those geographies through one or more of these strategies:
    • Economic Development – Expanding economic opportunity for low-income and disadvantaged people through workforce readiness and retention, entrepreneurship and business development, and wealth creation and asset development.
    • Neighborhood Revitalization – Bringing hope, vitality, and economic benefits to disadvantaged areas through renovating or building new community centers, commercial areas, and public amenities.
    • Partnerships – Working closely with other funders with deep connections to those geographies and/or finding opportunities to align work with the Foundation’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.

All proposals should closely connect with a neighborhood-approved vision or plan and/or regional economic development plan.

Types of Foundation Support

The Foundation considers proposals for programs, projects, facilities, and public amenities. The Foundation annually awards 3-6 grants. Grants for programs and projects range from $25,000 to $75,000. Grants for facilities and public amenities range from $50,000 to $250,000. The Foundation makes multi-year grants on a selective basis. The Foundation may act as early risk capital when the applicant shows a method for assessing risk, adapting along the way, and learning from any changes or failure.


The Roy A. Hunt Foundation has a long history of improving the lives of low-income people through grants for a variety of purposes. The Trustees created the Community Development Initiative in 2000 as a collective expression of that commitment. The Initiative has since awarded more than $4 million, primarily in Pittsburgh and Boston.

The Foundation’s Community Development Committee updated its guidelines in 2015 based on a review of its grantmaking history, recent research in the field of community development, and the family’s interests.

The Foundation’s Trustees are committed to community development work that improves the prosperity of both people and places. And they remain interested in the intersections between economic development, community development, and workforce development programs.

The following reports provided a backdrop for the Foundation’s recent assessment of its community development grants:

Download a pdf list of the FY17 and FY18 Community Development grants.

Next Steps

Follow the directions as advised under Letter of Inquiry Submission.

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