The Pittsburgh Promise

Pittsburgh, PA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

The Pittsburgh Promise

EIN: 26-1982661


The Pittsburgh Promise promotes high educational aspirations among urban youth, funds scholarships for post-secondary access, and fuels a prepared and diverse regional workforce.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Saleem Ghubril

Main address

1901 Centre Avenue Suite 204

Pittsburgh, PA 15219 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Economic development

Population served info

Children and youth


Young adults

Ethnic and racial groups

Low-income people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Economic Development (S30)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Pittsburgh Promise strives to strengthen the region, inspire systemic change, and transform lives. When The Promise started in 2007, the City of Pittsburgh's population was falling; the urban, public schools were not serving our students equitably or well; and the workforce pipeline coming from our own schools was not robust enough to instill confidence in employers looking for local talent. With a partnership between the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the City of Pittsburgh, and a variety of corporations and foundations, The Promise was created to address these needs and to give Pittsburgh's youth hope for their own strong future. Promise Scholars can attend any accredited college, trade or technical school in Pennsylvania with a substantial scholarship and equip themselves with a degree or workforce certification that fits Pittsburgh employers' needs. After graduation, Scholars stay in Pittsburgh, raise their family here, and contribute to our communities in meaningful ways.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


The Pittsburgh Promise provides scholarships of up to $5,000 annually to all graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools who achieve at least a 2.5 grade point average, and meet the attendance and residency requirements of the program. Scholarships can be used for up to four years of higher education at any accredited college, university, trade, or technical school within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Population(s) Served

The Pittsburgh Promise's Career Launch connects Promise Scholars and Alumni with employers from top regional companies who have the potential to hire these scholars. Scholars learn about career fields, soft skills, and appropriate preparation for their job search.

Population(s) Served

Promise Coaches, embedded in Pittsburgh's high schools since Fall 2020, dedicate themselves to raising the number of and diversity among all PPS students attending college, trade or technical school. Coaches focus on post-secondary preparation, and guide students toward majors that best suit their interests and needs. Although Coaches will help all high school students, they will focus especially on African American students, who are least represented among Promise Scholars despite the abilities and goals they may possess.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

Select post-secondary institutions in Pennsylvania which have extended additional academic-support, transitional services, and room and board money to Promise Scholars. These schools find great value in having Promise Scholars attend their programs, and wish to offer them meaningful incentives to attract and keep them in school. The list, which is constantly increasing in number, can be found at

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

More than 11,260 Pittsburgh Public Schools graduates have used a Promise Scholarship to attend college, trade or technical school in Pennsylvania since 2008.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Young adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants

Related Program


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

$167.3 million in scholarship dollars has supported Pittsburgh Promise Scholars at 146 institutions across Pennsylvania since 2008. This covers room, board, books, fees.

Number of employer partners offering jobs to clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Students

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Promise Alumni have been employed by more than 700 regional companies

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

~ Send all eligible urban youth to college or trade school with a scholarship.

~ Promote the reform of urban schools so that young people are prepared for successful and meaningful lives.

~ Invest in our region's workforce by preparing the next generation of workers to meet the demands and opportunities of our economy.

~ Raise $265 million in order to fulfill our promise for generations to come.

The Pittsburgh Promise's staff, board, and volunteers are regularly connecting the organization to potential donors, are giving to our overall fundraising goal themselves, and are communicating the accomplishments of our students to our community thus indicating the value of The Promise to our businesses and the neighborhoods in which we all live, work and/or play.

Promise staff, teachers, and trained high school leaders called Student Ambassadors are in the Pittsburgh Public Schools daily talking about The Promise and helping students to become "Promise Ready." The culture of the Pittsburgh Public Schools has changed since The Promise's inception to focus on better attendance in the schools (K-12) and achieving at least a 2.5 grade point average. For students on the cusp of these requirements, additional programs have been put into place to guide them academically and socially so they might be able to set higher standards for themselves and achieve them.

We are in daily contact with employers and potential employers who need trained and educated employees to fill their workforce needs now and in the future. The information we absorb is shared with the school leadership, and partnerships have been put into place to bolster the credentials of students in Career and Technical Education before they graduate from high school making them far more work-ready than their counterparts from other schools. Because Pittsburgh Public School graduates may go to any accredited school in Pennsylvania, they have endless career opportunities.

A highly experienced staff which is dedicated to the mission of The Pittsburgh Promise represents The Promise in all sectors of our city on a daily basis. In addition, we are blessed with a plethora of volunteers who raise money and awareness for our mission and the benefits that it provides to Western Pennsylvania. Teachers, administrators, parents and guardians within the Pittsburgh Public Schools also are great supporters of The Promise and utilize The Promise as a motivator for our young people. Promise Coaches will be embedded in our high schools starting in Fall 2020 to give special attention to the college preparatory process, and will guide struggling students toward eligibility for Promise Scholarships. This multi-faceted team of people works hard to promote The Promise and demonstrate its value.

Pittsburgh Public School graduation rates have increased from 63% in 2007 to 79% in 2018. We want this rate to continue to increase.

The gap between the high school graduation rate of Caucasian and African American students was reduced from a high of 15 percentage points in 2011, to eight percentage points in 2018.

PPS students who are enrolled in post-secondary education during the first two years after high school has increased from 57% in 2005 to 63% in 2017. We want this rate to continue to increase.

As of January 2019, 3,467 Promise scholars have received their degree or workforce certification.

Promise scholars complete Bachelors degrees at rates comparable to, or better than, national rates.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


The Pittsburgh Promise
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 79.77 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 11 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 21% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The Pittsburgh Promise

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Pittsburgh Promise

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Pittsburgh Promise

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of The Pittsburgh Promise’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $35,363,412 -$8,068,919 -$4,312,753 $4,424,015 -$9,699,639
As % of expenses 175.8% -48.4% -30.0% 35.3% -84.8%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $35,312,412 -$8,134,854 -$4,379,386 $4,364,875 -$9,770,694
As % of expenses 175.1% -48.6% -30.3% 34.7% -84.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $11,765,083 $10,120,091 $12,741,686 $8,011,763 $15,082,951
Total revenue, % change over prior year 116.4% -14.0% 25.9% -37.1% 88.3%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 11.4% 12.7% 9.6% 11.0% 6.1%
Government grants 0.0% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 78.9% 67.4% 75.5% 58.9% 78.6%
Other revenue 9.7% 18.9% 14.8% 30.0% 15.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $20,115,340 $16,677,696 $14,385,281 $12,520,714 $11,442,135
Total expenses, % change over prior year -9.4% -17.1% -13.7% -13.0% -8.6%
Personnel 6.6% 7.5% 9.1% 16.1% 19.4%
Professional fees 1.5% 1.8% 2.6% 3.6% 4.1%
Occupancy 0.3% 0.4% 0.5% 0.6% 0.6%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 88.6% 86.7% 84.3% 75.0% 69.6%
All other expenses 3.0% 3.6% 3.6% 4.8% 6.4%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $20,166,340 $16,743,631 $14,451,914 $12,579,854 $11,513,190
One month of savings $1,676,278 $1,389,808 $1,198,773 $1,043,393 $953,511
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $90,062 $0 $0 $86,459 $209,285
Total full costs (estimated) $21,932,680 $18,133,439 $15,650,687 $13,709,706 $12,675,986

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 4.7 6.8 5.4 2.6 8.7
Months of cash and investments 40.2 42.6 48.3 58.2 53.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 39.8 42.2 45.3 56.2 51.1
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $7,813,227 $9,391,809 $6,498,471 $2,683,808 $8,255,696
Investments $59,530,229 $49,762,605 $51,419,781 $58,066,796 $42,690,627
Receivables $4,201,892 $6,174,990 $5,716,297 $5,637,146 $8,267,369
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $556,800 $567,213 $567,213 $653,671 $862,956
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 45.9% 56.7% 68.4% 68.4% 60.1%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.5% 0.9% 0.8% 0.9% 1.2%
Unrestricted net assets $66,993,519 $58,858,665 $54,479,279 $58,844,154 $49,073,460
Temporarily restricted net assets $4,468,609 $6,161,468 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $4,468,609 $6,161,468 $8,825,334 $7,157,013 $9,808,395
Total net assets $71,462,128 $65,020,133 $63,304,613 $66,001,167 $58,881,855

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Mr. Saleem Ghubril

Saleem Ghubril is a committed and passionate advocate for children and for the City of Pittsburgh. In 1985, Saleem, an ordained Presbyterian minister, founded The Pittsburgh Project, a community development organization that annually provides free home renovations to hundreds of vulnerable seniors, and mentors, educates, and deploys thousands of volunteer youth in meaningful community service initiatives. Saleem led The Pittsburgh Project until 2008, when he assumed the leadership of The Pittsburgh Promise. The Pittsburgh Promise is a regional economic and workforce development entity that focuses on transforming the quality of education and life in the City of Pittsburgh, and making higher education a reality for all of Pittsburgh's urban youth. He is currently the volunteer pastor of the Mosaic Community Church in Pittsburgh. He also serves on the boards of The Buhl Foundation, Vibrant Pittsburgh, and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

The Pittsburgh Promise

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

The Pittsburgh Promise

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

The Pittsburgh Promise

Board of directors
as of 02/23/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ms. Anne Lewis

Oxford Development Company

Mark Laskow

Greycourt and Company

Wayne Walters

Pittsburgh Public Schools

Saleem Ghubril

The Pittsburgh Promise

Franco Harris

Super Bakery, Inc/ Member of NFL Hall of Fame

Kiya Tomlin

Uptown Sweats by Kiya Tomlin

Anne Lewis

Oxford Development Company

Debra Kline Demchak

Community Leader

Ed Gainey

City of Pittsburgh

Chester Babst

Babst Calland

Kirk Johnson

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

James Taylor


Thomas Lang

PNC Financial Services

Jackie Perlow

Community Justice Project

Blake Ruttenberg

American Textile Company

David Schaich

FNB Corporation

James Spencer

Exus Management Partners

Laurie Barkman

Small Dot Big LLC

Joshua Devine

Nat'l Community Reinvestment Coalition

Lisa Schroeder

The Pittsburgh Foundation

Eric Boughner

BNY Mellon Pennsylvania

John Hathaway

Primerock Capital

Aleta Richards


Lisa Witte

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Vanessa Thompson


Patrick Dugan

Wabtec Corporation

Dwayne Finney

Key Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/23/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser