The Hear Foundation convenes events that bring police, the community, local leadership, and national experts together in meaningful ways to address the challenges of gun violence reduction, trauma, and workforce development.
Working with our community stakeholders to reach consensus on the action steps that are the right fit for our local community, The Hear Foundation develops grantmaking programs that support initiatives addressing one or more of these pillar areas and incorporate one-to-one collaboration between residents and police.
The Hear Foundation Community Microgrant Program
Nonprofits and community organizations are invited to apply for financial support for efforts that promote public safety through work in one or more of The Hear Foundation’s three pillar areas: trauma and resilience, workforce development and gun violence prevention. Preference will be given to efforts and organizations that contain elements of constructive interaction and relationship-building between residents and police.
To be eligible for this grant, you must:
- Be one of: (1) a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, or (2) an organization with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, or (3) an organization willing to be fiscally sponsored by New Sun Rising. We encourage applications from efforts and organizations that haven’t historically received grant funding.
- Engage in work that primarily benefits residents and/or police in the city of Pittsburgh.
- Address at least one of following areas related to public safety: Trauma and resilience, Workforce development, Gun violence prevention, Police/community relationship-building
We do not fund annual appeals, fundraising events, lobbying, advocacy or funding for individuals.
Applicants may request programmatic support for new or existing efforts. Applicants may only request general operating support where the mission and core programs of the organization are strongly aligned with the core purpose and intent of the grantmaking goals.
Preference will be given to proposals that contain elements of constructive interaction and relationship-building between individual residents and police officers, or are from organizations with a track record of collaboration with the police.
At our organizational launch, The Hear Foundation funded three projects that are good examples of the type of work we aim to support. Descriptions of these projects can be found below. Each of these projects took either a short-term or long-term view of public safety with program work in one or more of the three pillar areas, and had elements of constructive interaction between youth, residents and police.
Applicants can apply for any amount between $10,000 and $20,000. We anticipate distributing up to $200,000 in total grant awards.
- November 11, 2022: Announcement of grant opportunity.
- December 15, 2022: Open for grant submission.
- February 15, 2023: Deadline for grant submission.
- Mid-April, 2023: Notification to applicants of grantmaking decisions.
- Mid-May, 2023: Grants awarded.
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive updates and notifications regarding this grant opportunity or to ask any questions.
Organizations and individuals interested in applying or learning more may attend an optional virtual information session. The next session will be held on Wednesday February 8, 11am-12pm. Please send email to email@example.com to register or to get access to view a previously recorded information session.
“Through our grantmaking efforts, The Hear Foundation supports local organizations that are on the ground, working directly with our youth and in our neighborhoods to make Pittsburgh a safe and thriving community for all. Funding provides them with the resources they need to increase collaboration and position them to do great things.”
Kamal Nigam, Executive Director
Summer of Healing Microgrants
On June 22, 2022, The Hear Foundation announced its first community microgrant projects to begin the process of healing and community-police collaboration in our neighborhoods. Made possible by the generous support of Heal America, each inaugural grant addressed one or more of our three pillars: gun violence reduction, trauma, and workforce development.
Youth Summer Camps
Our first project supported youth in Pittsburgh’s underserved neighborhoods. The Hear Foundation funded three summer camps: Voices Against Violence, Hope 4 Tomorrow, and Youth Enrichment Services. Each six-week camp provided programs on holistic care of the child, academic achievement, wellbeing, self-empowerment, and community service.
Our project embedded community engagement police officers in weekly camp programs, engaging young people in discussions on topics such as police reform, public safety concerns, careers in law enforcement, processing prior police encounters, and media portrayals of police and youth.
Additionally, Imagine Further, an organization of local experts on mental health education for youth, joined the camps for weekly sessions to help participants develop their support systems, positive coping skills, and resiliency. To facilitate these positive interactions, five young adults were hired to serve as ambassadors accompanying officers to summer camp visits.
Perry High School Youth-Led Safety Plan
In its 2021-22 school year, following 18 months of isolation for many students due to the pandemic, Perry High School saw an escalation in fights, violence, and disruption, which led to the formation of a safety council. The Hear Foundation supported A+ Schools in the hiring of five youth this past summer to develop and implement a student-focused safety ambassador program, in conjunction with a school social worker and a nonprofit leader focused on violence prevention.
The project provided a workplace experience for safety-engaged youth as they developed a school-wide plan to create after-school safe passages, recruit student safety ambassadors, and build connections to mediate conflicts before they escalate. Pittsburgh police participated to build relationships and introduce the concepts of relationship-based policing.
Students are developing as peer leaders and have gained a platform to give input and create solutions to address safety issues in the school. Ancillary soft skills were developed as the students learned to report for planning sessions on time, log and report hours worked, express ideas, and develop viable implementation strategies.
Center for Victims: Building Trauma and Resilience
The Hear Foundation engaged the Center for Victims to host a series of Healing Rivers workshops, during which community leaders are trained in the science and impact of trauma, and equipped to share tools and strategies to build wellbeing and resilience.
These workshops provide an understanding of the impacts of direct and vicarious trauma from violence, abuse, chronic adversity, toxic stress, and social inequities on children, adults, families and communities. Participants include grassroots community leaders, clergy and police, as well as individuals such as athletic coaches and street outreach workers.