Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo


annual report


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 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to helping donors make the most of their generosity. Since 1919, the Community Foundation has managed endowment funds for individuals, families and organizations, and is currently home to over 800 named funds.

Clients choose to work with the Community Foundation because of the flexibility it provides them when directing their gifts, its sound management of clients’ charitable assets, and its deep knowledge of community needs and grantmaking.

Clients who establish their charitable named funds with the Community Foundation direct their giving in three ways:

  • To support specific organizations
  • To support specific issues
  • To support the community’s changing needs

Some clients use a combination of these options to do their giving. For example, a client may choose to actively advise their charitable grants during their lifetime and designate a planned gift that directs the Community Foundation to use their fund to support the changing needs of the community after they are gone.

Those funds that are entrusted by clients to the Community Foundation to support the community’s changing needs over time are directed by the Community 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 students living in low-income households
  • Increase racial/ethnic equity
  • Preserve and restore significant environmental resources and promotes equitable access
  • Strengthen the region as a center for architecture, arts and culture

Beyond grantmaking in these areas, the Community 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.

Higher Standards

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has been accredited with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® for operational quality, client service and accountability in the community foundation sector.

The National Standards Seal 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 clients’ wishes — to support the arts, increase racial/ethnic equity, leverage significant natural resources, improve educational achievement for children — and support countless other important causes.

To receive accreditation with National Standards, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo submitted our policies and procedures to a rigorous review of 41 National Standards in six key areas of community foundation operations, including donor services, investment management, grantmaking and administration.

The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program was established in 2000 in cooperation with the Council on Foundations. For more information about National Standards, visit

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