The mission of the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE) is “to strengthen the community-based nonprofit organizations that potentially or demonstrably can assist African American and economically disadvantaged communities to identify their needs and take effective actions.”  The organization is governed by a board of commissioners comprised of a diverse group of community stakeholders committed to providing support to the African American and disadvantaged communities in Pittsburgh and the region.

A partner since 1968, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania has provided over 10 million dollars in support to over three hundred organizations.  Eleven years ago, PACE redesigned its grant program into a capacity building program with the opportunity for an implementation grant. In 2011-2012, BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania joined PACE as an investing partner of this program. Additional supporting investors include McAuley Ministries (2013-2014), The Faulk Foundation (2014-2015), and PNC Charitable Trust (2014-2017).

The purpose of the intensive services capacity-building program is to develop stronger, more resilient community-based nonprofit organizations to serve the community effectively and meaningfully.  Capacity building funds are designed to strengthen community-based nonprofit organizations by helping them improve internal governance and leadership, cultivate strategic community linkages, and develop financial and human resources for long-term stability. Building organizational capacity is a long-term, evolutionary process.


*click on the organizational titles for more information


A Philip Randolph Institute

Mission/Purpose: The Pittsburgh A Philip Randolph Institute is committed to social progress for minorities, the poor and working people. The Pittsburgh APRI is dedicated to providing programs that extend democracy, education and opportunity to those traditionally disenfranchised or discouraged from participation.

Alliance for Police Accountability

Mission/Purpose: The mission of APA is to: (1) bring the community, police and government officials to a working relationship and (2) to bring an end to racial profiling, police brutality and injustice within the criminal justice system. The APA accomplishes these goals through advocacy, education, policy, and reconstruction!

Ambassadors Football

Mission/Purpose: To communicate the good news of Jesus to all people through soccer.

Vision: Transformation of individuals and communities through indigenous soccer outreach through service and prioritizing the marginalized.

Bible Center Church - The Oasis Project

Mission/Purpose:: The Oasis Project is the community and economic development division of Bible Center Church, Inc. We use research and evidence-based best practices to create oases - places of peace, safety, and happiness in the midst of trouble and difficulty. The project delivers high quality in- and out-of-school programs for Homewood’s children and youth and acquires then adaptively reuses vacant/abandoned properties for productive use, and creates social enterprises - businesses that address pressing community needs.

Brothers and Sisters Emerging

Mission/Purpose:: To strategically advocate and connect youth of promise and families to life sustaining resources.

Franklin Center of Beaver County

Mission/Purpose:: The Franklin Center of Beaver County facilitates access to life-changing opportunities for the low-income, the underserved, and others in need.

Fund for Advancement of Minorities Through Education (FAME)

Mission/Purpose:: FAME’s mission is to educate, empower, and embolden African American youth to become student ambassadors of today, leaders of tomorrow, and stewards of their communities.

Vision: FAME’s vision is to see the African American community prosper by achieving racial and socioeconomic equality through educational opportunity.

Gwen’s Girls

Mission/Purpose: Our mission is to empower girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education and experiences.

Healthy Start, Inc.

Mission/Purpose: The mission of Healthy Start, Inc. is to focus primarily on the reduction of infant mortality and low birth weight babies in Southwestern Pennsylvania in such a way as to make valuable use of its resources, preserve its flexibility and continue to offer seamless services with the intent of improving the quality of life of infants, toddlers, youth, siblings, parents, and grandparents.

Latino Community Center

Mission/Purpose: The mission of the Latino Community Center (LCC) is to engage, educate, and empower Latinos and their families to thrive in Allegheny County.

New Century Careers

Mission/Purpose: New Century Careers (NCC) contributes to the economic health of Southwestern Pennsylvania through meeting manufacturing workforce needs by working to deliver a capable workforce to employers of the region. NCC seeks to improve the lives of individuals through the development of skills that lead to good quality family wage jobs and careers.

The need for a highly skilled workforce formed the foundation of New Century Careers. As a workforce development organization, NCC supports pre-employment and incumbent manufacturing workers, as well as their current or future employers by helping each set of clients advance economically through continuous workforce education and training.

Although the emphasis is on training and placing people in jobs, New Century Careers collaborates with community partners who help the trainees overcome barriers.

No Crayon Left Behind

Mission/Purpose: No Crayon Left Behind’s mission is to empower every child by providing them with repurposed crayons for creative, self-expressive and developmental purposes, which thereby prevents these same non-biodegradable crayons from ending up in landfills.

Our organization’s mission comes from the belief that art is not a luxury, and that the need to express one’s self and to be creative is vital to a person’s development and well-being.  All of our activities are designed to further our ability to promote our passion for art as a critical part of the human experience, and to help ensure that every child, and every person for whom the use of a crayon might be a healing and empowering activity, has access to this most simple instrument and its profound potential.  That fulfilling this mission prevents tons of crayons from ending up in landfills, thereby improving the environment in which we live, makes our activity all the more critical.

Steel Smiling

Mission/Purpose: Steel Smiling’s mission is to bridge the gap between community members and mental healthcare providers through comprehensive, human-centered interventions. We do this by visiting under-served neighborhoods to engage and empower our community members who lack adequate mental healthcare; then we connect community members to sustainable support services via storytelling, therapeutic intervention, and training/education.

The Legacy Arts Project

Mission/Purpose: The mission of the Legacy Arts Project is to preserve the history and traditions of African art as presented throughout the diaspora. This is done through study, practice, and performance.

Veterans Place of Washington Blvd

Mission/Purpose: Veterans Place was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to ending homelessness among veterans in the Pittsburgh region. The goal of Veterans Place, working with the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and other organizations, is to facilitate the transition from homeless to home for homeless vets, and to help them become engaged, valuable citizens who contribute to their communities.

For additional information, please contact Peg Fiedler at or by phone at 412-562-0290 ext. 218 and Hilary Ferencak at or by phone at 412-562-0290 ext. 214