Message from the President

As we head into the fall, our Centennial celebrations are in full swing! As you may recall, in January, we announced plans to award a total of one million dollars in honor of 12 individuals who have made change in Western New York. We are pleased to tell you about the 12 finalists in this newsletter. Each has a truly inspiring story of deep impact in Western New York.

Additionally, on behalf of clients, the Community Foundation is committed to leading change through partnerships. Some highlights of our work in the second quarter include:

  • The Community Foundation and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership co-hosted the Diversity & Inclusion Symposium at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Hundreds of attendees representing employers in our region experienced a day full of deep dives into workplace diversity and inclusion, with national experts like Mary-Frances Winters on-hand to lend their knowledge on subjects like implicit bias, building an inclusive culture, and the best practices for inclusion.
  • In June, the Community Foundation welcomed Alan Jenkins, co-founder and President of The Opportunity Agenda, a communications, research and advocacy organization. Over the course of two days, Mr. Jenkins spoke to various groups, including CEOs and government officials, communications professionals, and young men of color, about shaping compelling narratives and messages to advance racial equity.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will be providing $2.9 million to support the newly-established Buffalo College Success Network. Learn more in this newsletter.

This is also a busy time of year for our giving circles:

  • Every other year, area nonprofits are invited to submit a grant application for a high-impact project through the 21st Century Fund, as they compete for one grant of $100,000. Applications for the 2020 grant cycle will be accepted Oct. 1 to Dec. 6, 2019.
  • The application process for the Emerging Philanthropists of Color (EPC) Grants closed in August, and two grants of $2,500 each will be awarded in November. The EPC initiative is a unique giving circle of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative (CGLI) that provides special access to civic leaders and philanthropists of color on the CGLI Council for mentoring, networking and inspiration.

More highlights follow, featuring our education work, and we will also share the story of our clients, Edward and Mary Seaton Kleinhans, and the legacy they left through us that continues to serve our community today

As always, we remain thankful to our generous clients and hundreds of collaborative partners as we continue connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York.

Focused forward with gratitude,

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker