How would you use $1,000 to make a difference in your community?

Grand Ideas grants from The Sprout Fund

Grand Ideas $1,000 grants support individuals and organizations in the Pittsburgh area with innovative approaches to community projects and civic engagement. To promote innovation at the grassroots, Sprout is asking the community “What’s your Grand Idea? How would you use $1,000 for an innovative community project?”

Now is your chance to try out your creative idea to make your community more vibrant, engage your neighbors, and build something new. You’ve got an idea. We’ve got a grand. Let’s make it happen.


Applications are no longer being accepted in 2016. Decisions on the current round will be announced in late October.

How to Apply

Before preparing an application, familiarize yourself with the application format and questions in WORD (download here) or PDF (download here) and review Eligibility Information for Prospective Sprout Applicants.

You may also send your application materials as attachments to Postal mail or hand delivery submissions may be addressed to The Sprout Fund / Attn: Catalytic Funding / 5423 Penn Avenue / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206-3423, but please be prepared for a follow-up request to submit your information electronically.

Applicants are encouraged to use this ongoing opportunity to try out creative ideas that raise awareness about innovative new community projects, events, and activities; engage people in taking an active role in the civic life of their community; and provide opportunities for motivated community members to assume leadership roles. Eligible applications must propose activities taking place in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities of Allegheny County during 2016 and 2017.

Support for Prospective Applicants

Sprout encourages prospective applicants to contact program staff in advance of preparing an application and take advantage of several support services available to prospective applicants.

For one-on-one review and discussion of your Grand Ideas application, join Sprout staff for a special Grand Ideas Working Breakfast on September 10, 2016 from 9am to 11am at The Porch at Schenley. RSVP via Eventbrite to sign up for a slot.

General catalytic funding information sessions are hosted on the 2nd Friday of every month at noon at Sprout’s office at 5423 Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh. Draft applications can be reviewed upon request up to one week prior to the deadline.

Make general inquiries or ask other applications questions via email to or by calling (412) 325-0646.

Application Questions

  • Project Description: Tell us about your project idea. Provide a statement that summarizes the project for which you are requesting support and what it will achieve. Where will your project activities be taking place? What are the goals and outcomes for this project?
  • Uniqueness and Innovation: Describe the unique and innovative attributes of your project. What makes it different from prior efforts or other similar community initiatives?
  • Target Audience: Who will participate in your project activities? Describe the target audience that your project will engage.  How will this audience participate in your project? How many people will your project reach?
  • Implementation Plan: Describe how you propose to implement your project, specifying all relevant activities and events. Do you anticipate facing any challenges or barriers to implementation? If so, how do you plan to address them?
  • Leadership Team: Tell us about the people and/or organizations making your project happen. Who will work on this project and what will they do? What skills and experience do they have that demonstrates that they have the capacity to do this work?
  • Promotion: How will you build awareness of your project? What are your plans for promoting, marketing, or advertising?
  • Timeline: When will your project activities occur? Provide start and end dates, and add any key dates or milestones for the implementation of your project.
  • Budget: How do you propose to use $1,000 from The Sprout Fund? Provide a budget, including brief notes for each line item. Include the overall project cost, and any other revenues you anticipate.
  • Write Your Own Headline: Upon successfully completing your project, what will the headline be when the newspaper writes about it?