YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Mission Expansion
The $20 million capacity-building grant awarded to YWCA Greater Pittsburgh by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott will accelerate the expansion of our mission to eliminate racism and empower women in the Greater Pittsburgh region. In February 2021, the YWCA Board of Directors approved Phase One spending, which plans to invest $10 million over the next three years. This transformative gift enables the immediate expansion of seven mission-critical initiatives that involve collaborating with other nonprofit organizations across the region and Pennsylvania to expand YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s work, including:
1. RESOURCE CENTER EXPANSION
The grant immediately enables YWCA Greater Pittsburgh to expand its capacity to meet women and families’ basic needs through an enriched Resource Center, which provides food, housing, transportation, and other urgently needed support services. Prior to the pandemic, many families were living paycheck-to-paycheck and lacked sufficient savings to cover a financial setback. The pandemic has further challenged already financially vulnerable families and greatly increased the demand for support with basic needs.
2. PAY EQUITY CAMPAIGN
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh desires to become a model nonprofit workplace for a diverse workforce. The organization will begin by performing a holistic review of its current compensation packages, ensuring that all staff members are paid a living wage and offered competitive benefits, and meaningful opportunities for professional development and career advancement. As part of the strategic pay equity campaign, there will be a $15/hour or more starting pay rate.
3. YWCA FELLOWS PROGRAM
For adults re-entering the workforce or who had to leave due to COVID-19, funds will be used to build partnerships to support women pursuing wage-sustaining careers. In addition, through the creation of a new YWCA Fellows program, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh will offer six- to 12-month paid internships so women can develop professional skills, build networks, and gain tangible work experience.
4. STATEWIDE ADVOCACY INITIATIVE
YWCA will advance racial justice and gender equity through advocacy training and a communications strategy aimed at amplifying the voices of women, especially women of color. A collaborative statewide outreach 3 initiative – through the Pennsylvania Zone of YWCA Associations – will address racial trauma resulting from disparities and injustice.
5. LIZ PRINE MEMORIAL FUND
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s ongoing effort to empower women will be further supported by expanding the impact of the Liz Prine Memorial Fund, which honors the memory of a former YWCA Board Member by offering one-time grants to women that help them improve their circumstances and move towards financial stability and safety.
6. CAPACITY BUILDING
Through a strategic partnership, we will support organizations focused specifically on the intersectionality of race and gender equity.
7. WBE & MINORITY WBE RECOVERY
Funds will be used, in partnership with local organizations, to help women-owned and minority women-owned businesses recovering from the COVID crisis. Supports would include grants to complete employment training, technology enhancements for businesses, and exploring opportunities for shared back-office support. In addition, incubator space will be provided through YWCA Greater Pittsburgh facilities.
Read the February 11, 2021 press release on the transformative gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott here.