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Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York.
A vibrant and inclusive Greater Buffalo region with opportunity for all.
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is a public charity dedicated to helping donors make the most of their generosity. For more than 90 years the Foundation has managed endowment funds for individuals, families and organizations, and is currently home to over 750 named funds.
Donors choose to work with the Foundation because of the flexibility it provides them when directing their gifts, its sound management of donors’ charitable assets, and its deep knowledge of community needs and grantmaking.
Donors who establish their charitable named funds with the Foundation direct their giving in three ways:
- To support specific organizations
- To support specific issues
- To support the community’s changing needs
Some donors use a combination of these options to do their giving. For example, a donor may choose to actively advise their charitable grants during their lifetime and designate a planned gift that directs the Foundation to use their fund to support the changing needs of the community after they are gone.
Those funds that are entrusted by donors to the Foundation to support the community’s changing needs over time are directed by the Foundation’s volunteer board of directors where they will have the greatest impact in improving lives in Western New York. A comprehensive regional analysis determined those areas of focus to include the following:
- Improve educational achievement for low-income students
- Increase racial/ethnic equity
- Enhance and leverage significant natural resources
- Strengthen the region as a center for architecture, arts, and culture
Beyond grantmaking in these areas, the Foundation also acts as a community leader and convener to address specific pressing needs in our region. Efforts here have resulted in significant improvements in childhood literacy rates, a coordinated collaborative of more than 150 environmental organizations resulting in implementation of a regional agenda for the environment, the elimination of lead poisoning risks for hundreds of at-risk children and the creation of a funding collaborative dedicated to strengthening the mid-sized arts and cultural organizations that anchor our community.
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector.
The National Standards Seal by our name indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that we have met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. It affirms our commitment to financial security, transparency and accountability. It says our grantmaking includes an open, competitive process designed to address the changing needs of our community. The National Standards Seal also confirms our history of honoring donors’ wishes—to support the arts, cultivate gardens, save endangered species, cure illness, expand literacy, feed children—and support countless other important causes.
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program was established in 2000 in cooperation with the Council on Foundations. National Standards guide community foundations in establishing legal, ethical and effective operational practices that serve as blueprints for internal development and benchmarks for external assessment. The 43 National Standards require the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to document its policies in donor services, investment management, grantmaking and administration.
To receive confirmation of National Standards compliance, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo submitted its organizational and financial policies and procedures to a rigorous peer review.