21st Century Fund Grant

Supporting High-Impact Projects Across Western New York

The 21st Century Fund is a giving circle made up of over 350 separate member donors. One single $100,000 award is made to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit every other year through a member driven vetting and voting process. The 21st Century Fund is unique in that successful applicants will make presentations to and interact with the membership at two separate large group events.

How to Apply

Applications are submitted electronically online through the Foundant Grant Lifecycle Manager.  No paper, emailed, or pdf applications are accepted.

Grant Opportunity

The 21st Century Fund welcomes applications for high-impact projects.  Membership will consider all proposals. However, there is a strong preference for requests that are sustainable, requiring minimal future grant support of any type, and result in long-term significant impact on the eight-county region.

The amount available is one single $100,000 grant that will go to one nonprofit.


  • Application available online October 2, 2023
  • Virtual prospective applicant briefing October 5, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    • If you missed the briefing session, you can view it here.
  • Application due December 4, 2023 at 4 p.m.
  • Semi-finalists announced mid-February 2024
  • Presentation event March 2024
  • Final vote event April 2024


  • Grants are awarded only to organizations that have current Section 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Applicants must be located or delivering services in at least one of the eight counties of Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.
  • Successful 21st Century Fund awardees are not excluded from future application cycles as long as their prior 21st Century Fund grant is closed properly.
  • Organizations are welcome to resubmit unsuccessful requests in future cycles as appropriate.

Detailed Guidelines/Additional Information

Please click here to download the detailed 21st Century Fund competitive process general information and schedule.


For more information about the 21st Century Fund competitive grants process, please contact Darren Penoyer by email at darrenp@cfgb.org or at (716) 852-2857 ext. 206.

Past Grant Recipients

2022 – Mercy Flight

2020 – FeedMore WNY

2018 – Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club

2016 – Gerard Place

2014 – Explore & More Children’s Museum

2012 – Westminster Economic Development Initiative

2010 – Buffalo Museum of Science

2008 – Massachusetts Avenue Project’s Community Food Resource Center*

2006 – WNED/Buffalo Architecture Experience Video

2004 – Buffalo Zoological Society/Rainforest Exhibit Design

2003 – Buffalo State College Community Maritime Center

2002 – Burchfield Penney Art Gallery and Materials Reuse Project/Art on Wheels

2001 – Darwin Martin House Complex Restoration

*The organization declined the grant due to necessary changes to the original proposal.