A Community is Only
as Strong as its Foundation

For over 40 years POISE has been serving the Black community by making hundreds of grants to worthy organizations, providing thousands of scholarships to deserving Black students and acting as a philanthropic leader and resource in our community.

Mark Lewis, PRESIDENT | CEO of POISE Foundation

“We play a very unique role to be able to understand not only how investments and philanthropy work, but how they work in our community.”

Meet our Leadship team and staff

Any great organization is made up of a great team.

We have surpassed over $35 million in grants and scholarships to the Black community



THE THERESA AND ALLEN THOMAS BIPOC EDUCATION FUND - We created this Fund with the intended purpose of assisting, primarily, African Americans, but also Indigenous Peoples and other People of Color with the ever-rising cost of funding education. This assistance will initially focus on Veterinary Students matriculating at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Theresa and Allen Thomas DONORS

DORRIS CATHERINE HASELRIG RIDEOUT SCHOLARSHIP FUND - I chose POISE to be the most sustainable administrator of this scholarship because of its focused, well administered, and successful direction of a philanthropical network.

William D. Jackson DONOR

THE ESTELLE MARTIN CARTLEDGE MEMORIAL FUND - I believe we all should find some way to give to our communities. A stable, productive, contributing community enriches all of our lives. I have been the recipient of others’ generosity and this is one means of reciprocity.

Gwendolyn Cartledge, PhD donor

THE GENESIS FUND - I partner with POISE because I deeply believe in the foundation’s mission of strengthening the Black community. POISE connects a community of givers and is empowering us to think of the difference we can make.

Ervin Dyer donor

THE DR. MILTON ALLEN AND JERRY ANN ALLEN FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP FUND - Jerry Ann and her husband Milton have been empowered to serve the community with spiritual gifts as well as help address the shortage of nurses by providing scholarship through POISE Foundation for African American students interested in nursing.

Dr. Milton Allen and Jerry Ann Allen donors

THE WORLD CHANGERS FUND - It is my passion to get urban youth to see the world. POISE helped me think more strategically about the ways I can leverage my passions and network to provide sustained funding. Now, I am a philanthropist, supporting international educational opportunities for urban youth.

Sharnay Hearn donor

Become a Donor

Create a fund that helps others

If you wish to make an impact through charitable giving, you can establish a fund with POISE to address your areas of interest.

Stay Connected with POISE Foundation

Email Address


(412) 281-4967

Mailing Address

Two Gateway Center, Suite 1700, 603 Stanwix Street,  Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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