Updated: Dec. 9, 4:15 p.m.
Applications for grants are now available online. The deadline to apply is Jan. 9, 2017.
For the first 100 days of his presidency, Donald Trump has his own set of priorities: repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, selecting a Supreme Court justice nominee and funding the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
What are the priorities of Pittsburghers during that time? That’s what the Sprout Fund’s 100 Days of US campaign is asking people to think about.
The East End-based nonprofit will select ideas and fund plans from a diverse list of areas — including criminal justice, the environment, free press, housing and immigrants and refugees — as Trump takes office in January.
The 100 days initiative “is an opportunity for us to try to respond and make sure that the issues and priorities that are important to the people in Pittsburgh … have the opportunity to garner some support,” said Matt Hannigan, Sprout Fund deputy director and co-founder.
Sprout has put $100,000 of its own money up to fund these projects — $4,000 in each category — but Hannigan said the hope is that individuals will donate as well. The project areas featured on the campaign’s Crowdrise page are a “broad canvas for people who are thinking about this.” It’s encouraging people to suggest other issues that deserve funding.
Hannigan said Sprout also wants other communities to take the model they’ve created and use it to support priorities in those areas.
The Sprout Fund is asking those interested in the grants to share their project ideas on social media and to attend or hold public meetings (a planning kit is forthcoming). The idea is to start a conversation around these topics before applications become available in December, Hannigan said.
“What challenges will you face under the new administration? What will you do in the first #100days to support and protect what’s most important?” Sprout asks on the campaign site. “Share your idea using the hashtag #100days.”
So far, people on Twitter have pledged to support women entrepreneurs, to give voice to people from all ethnic groups and to continue to exercise free speech by drawing cartoons.
While some of the post-election calls to action in Pittsburgh have been expressly anti-Trump, Sprout is a public charity, and the 100 Days campaign is not partisan.
“We want to make sure that people have the opportunity to take leadership in their communities,” Hannigan said. “That means that the agenda is not necessarily for the next administration alone to set. It’s an opportunity for all of us to contribute to the futures of cities and our communities and our country.”