The words philanthropy and Pittsburgh are often linked. A Gift of Belief: Philanthropy and the Forging of Pittsburgh describes how individuals, families, companies, congregations, giving groups, and funders of many shapes and sizes defined and pursued the public good to benefit the Pittsburgh region. Published by The University of Pittsburgh Press in June 2021, the book’s 12 chapters are the “first-ever look at organized philanthropy in one region over time.”
Editor Kathleen W. Buechel was kind enough to invite me to write the chapter “Advocacy and Public Policy.” I wrote about how donors and foundations used tools of public education and advocacy to influence public policy, reform government services, and address inequity in the Pittsburgh region. The chapter features a set of private foundations founded by siblings who stopped speaking with each other in 1974, two foundations launched as public charities to engage donors in both giving and grantmaking, and a private foundation created from the sale of a health-care institution.
My sincere thanks to Kathleen, Anne Marie Toccket, and the other authors who were super patient and helpful with my first foray into academic books.