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The McCune Foundation focuses its grants in southwestern Pennsylvania, principally the Pittsburgh area. Unsolicited proposals from outside the region are not accepted.


The McCune Foundation places a high value on the historical work in which it has been engaged, as well as on the relationships with organizations that have helped carry out its mission. Therefore, ending well, by accelerating a body of work or helping organizations achieve stronger operations or service delivery, is at the heart of the Sunset Strategy.


Sunset Grants


Sunset Grants can be designed for transformational or incremental results, depending on the opportunity at hand and the capacity of the organization. A set of tenets was developed that encapsulates the Foundation’s intent for its final engagements. Sunset Grants should be:


  • Viewed as permanent, “living” assets that continue well beyond the term of a grant;

  • Additive to an organization’s core mission, helping to substantially accelerate activities in new ways; and

  • A base for more sustainable operations well into the future.


The Foundation will likely not consider unsolicited requests for a Sunset Grant. Alternatively, a Sunset Grant will be the culmination of a series of one-on-one conversations with grantees. Foundation staff has begun engaging many of its historical grantees in conversations about potential Sunset Grants. However, if your organization has a significant history with the McCune Foundation, and you would like to discuss the possibility of submitting a concept paper for a Sunset Grant, please contact Grants Manager Valerie Fahrny for more information.


Standard Grants


Until 2012, the Standard Grants program had been the primary means by which the Foundation accomplished its mission. With the development of the Sunset Strategy, more resources are being allocated to enable Sunset engagements. Moreover, the Standard Grants program has been redefined to support several aspects of the Sunset Strategy. Examples include:


  • Ending Well grants are focused on finishing work with organizations that will not likely receive a larger final Sunset Grant.

  • Readiness grants address business model changes or other organizational obstacles that could challenge an organization’s ability to receive a Sunset grant.

  • Concept Testing grants allow potential Sunset grantees to “test” a project or idea in advance of consideration for a Sunset grant.

  • Special Project grants allow for consideration of opportunities that may not fall neatly into one of the aforementioned grant categories.


Where possible, the Foundation will prioritize projects that leave an organization in a stronger place (diversified revenue, improved capacity, program enhancements, leadership transitions, etc.). As with Sunset Grants, it is recommended that organizations interested in applying for a Standard Grant contact Foundation staff to discuss eligibility and alignment with the Sunset Strategy.



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