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Richard King Mellon Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-06-09

At A Glance

Richard King Mellon Foundation

BNY Mellon Ctr., 500 Grant St., 41st Fl., Ste. 4106

Pittsburgh, PA United States 15219-2502

Telephone: (412) 392-2800


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $2,365,151,629

Total giving: $127,606,870






Trust established in 1947 in PA; incorporated in 1971 in PA - Mr. Mellon, nephew of Andrew W. Mellon, directed the Mellon family fortune both as chairman of the board of the Mellon National Bank and Trust Co. and as a director of the Aluminum Co. of America and the Gulf Oil Corp. A lifetime resident of the Pittsburgh, PA, area, the financier-philanthropist was a prime mover of the "Pittsburgh Renaissance," a program to clean up and revitalize the city. In addition, he served as trustee of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, which was renamed Carnegie-Mellon University in recognition of Mellon's contributions, and as trustee emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh The assets of the foundation increased substantially after the death of the founder in 1970 as a result of the receipt of distributions from his estate as well as from appreciation in investments. The foundation is family controlled

Purpose and Activities

Local grant programs emphasize conservation, education, families and youth, regional economic development, system reform; support also for conservation of natural areas and wildlife preservation elsewhere in the United States.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:


This program has a regional focus on Pennsylvania. Priority areas are: land preservation, watershed protection and restoration, and sustainable environments.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made a PRI to an economic development support organization. In 1988, the foundation initiated the American Land Conservation Program to acquire land, threatened by development, that has lasting historical or environmental value to the nation. Working with the Conservation Fund and state and federal conservation agencies, the foundation augments the work of public agencies and nonprofit organizations with direct acquisitions and gifts of high-priority conservation properties. PRIs paid through this program in 1999, 2000, and 2001 totaled $32.03 million, $3.78 million, and $11.78 million respectively.

Southwestern Pennsylvania

The program focuses on the following areas: 1) Regional Economic Development: downtown and neighborhood development, building a research and technology economy, business stimulus initiatives and workforce development, and rural economic development; 2) Education: higher education, independent and parochial schools, and early childhood education; and 4) Human Services: broad-scale system reform, nonprofit capacity building, and after-school programs.

Fields of Interest

  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Early childhood education
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Family services
  • Human services
  • Natural resources
  • Urban development
  • Youth organizing
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Children
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students
  • Young adults

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $2,365,151,629 (market value)

Expenditures: $127,606,870

Total giving: $127,606,870

Qualifying distributions: $35,328,777

Giving activities include:

$127,606,870 for grants

$10,000,000 for loans/program-related investments