Coming Together to Overcome Crisis

Western New Yorkers are known for their resiliency, generosity and collaborative spirit. As the COVID-19 health crisis unfolded quickly, the philanthropic community immediately came together to create the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund. In short order, millions of dollars were raised from foundations, corporations and individuals and then granted out to support more than 300 nonprofits serving the 8 counties of Western New York.

The Community Foundation is honored to lead this effort with the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.

  • To date, more than $8 million has been raised from nearly 70 foundations and corporations, 40 community leaders and almost 1,900 individuals
  • $6.8 million in grants has been given out to more than 300 organizations
  • These organizations are serving on the front lines of the crisis in the areas of food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation and other emergency services
  • Grantees represented all 8 counties of WNY in both urban and rural areas

As the granting phases of our Fund comes to a close, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund’s Build Back Better committee is now assessing the anticipated needs of our community during the recovery process. We are hearing that there will be significant need in sourcing personal protective equipment, strengthening the food security system and addressing homelessness. It is anticipated that additional funds raised will support collective efforts to address these critical needs in the eight counties. A Request for Ideas was issued in June to solicit innovative solutions from and for the nonprofit sector to address systems change needs. More information can be found here. The RFI deadline is July 31, 2020.

To see a full list of funders, grantees and the link to support the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, visit