In 1968, PACE began as a response to civil unrest in Pittsburgh.
Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., PACE was created by forerunners of the United Way of Allegheny County in partnership with the Health and Welfare Association, the Allegheny Conference of Community Development, and key leaders to help the African American community meet its needs by supporting the growth and development of nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, PACE has provided over $10 million in grants and technical assistance to over 300 nonprofit organizations in isolated and neglected areas of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
In the beginning, PACE directed general operating support funds and project grants to grass roots organizations enabling them to grow and provide services. Community jewels we supported in their early years include: Kingsley Center, Pittsburgh Literacy Council, NEED, the Bidwell Cultural and Training Center (Manchester) and many more. Organizations such as Crossroads Foundation, Gateway Medical Society, Naomi’s Place, Brothers and Sisters Emerging, Hill Dance Academy Theatre and Reading is Fundamental Pittsburgh are just a few of the organizations recently supported by PACE that are positioned to serve their communities effectively and meaningfully. For a period, PACE operated the PACE Opportunities Program (POP) that provided youth with after-school academic support and assistance in the pursuit of post-secondary education, vocational training and cultural enrichment.
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 action.
We envision a future where all residents of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region can draw upon stable, effective community-based assistance to strengthen their neighborhoods and improve their quality of life.
What We've Achieved
Since 2005, PACE has directly increased the organizational capacity of 49 small community-based nonprofit organizations (in Allegheny County), serving African American and disadvantaged communities, as evidenced by a pre and post test diagnostic tool measuring changes in organizational capacity in the core competence areas of:
- board development and governance
- human resources
- financial management
- program design and development
- evaluation, communication and technology through individual consulting
- executive coaching
- planning and implementation support -- including grants