Community Foundation Competitive Grants
Maximizing Impact in the Community
At more than 100 years old, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is committed to making grants that maximize impact on the eight counties of Western New York within four Community Goals. These goals were selected by the Board of Directors as a result of a thorough strategic planning process using community input along with the most up-to-date data and information available.
How to Apply
The Community Foundation competitive process has two stages. The first step is completion of an online Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI requests basic information to determine fit with the solutions listed under each of the four goals. The LOI that align best with the solutions listed under the goals are invited to submit a full application.
LOI and applications are submitted electronically online through the Foundant Grant Lifecycle Manager. No paper, emailed, or pdf applications are accepted.
Detailed Guidelines/Additional Information
Please click here to download the detailed Community Foundation competitive process general information and guidelines.
The Community Foundation’s competitive grants will align with one or more of the four following goals and solutions detailed below:
Special consideration will be given to requests that fit a Solution AND advance the racial equity work of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Taskforce: www.racialequitybuffalo.org:
I. Achieve racial/ethnic equity. Requests must address one of the following Solutions:
- Increase interaction and bridge racial/ethnic divides between residents and organizations throughout WNY.
- Promote civic engagement and leadership in communities of color.
II. Promote economic mobility through educational achievement for residents living in low-income households. Requests must address one of the following Solutions:
- Improve the school readiness of children (ages 5 and under) living in communities of poverty.
- Improve the academic achievement and postsecondary completion of students living in low-income households with a preference for systems change.
III. Steward significant environmental resources in the context of climate resilience. Requests must address one of the following Solutions:
- Protect and restore the region’s waterways.
- Strengthen individual environmental organizations and support a more racially inclusive and collaborative environmental community.
IV. Promote regional vibrancy through architecture, arts, and culture. Requests must address one of the following Solutions:
- Increase access to long term arts instruction for children and youth living in low-income households.
- Strengthen race equity through the arts.
- Restore and leverage significant historic buildings and architectural landmarks, with a preference for sites that promote cultural tourism. (Defining historic as official recognition by State/National Register of Historic Places or local preservation ordinance.)
Special funding available to support the following:
- Programs that serve the visual, speech or hearing impaired (~$5,000)
Preference for this funding will be given to requests that also align with one or more of the four Community Goals.
The historical average for a competitive grant through this process is in the $18,000 to $20,000 range. The maximum available grant is $50,000.
- LOI available online January 1, 2023
- LOI due February 3, 2023 by 4 p.m. No exceptions
- Selected organizations invited by email to submit full applications March 10, 2023
- Application due April 7, 2023 by 4 p.m. No exceptions
- Decision notification mid-June 2023
- 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.
For more information about the Community Foundation competitive grants process, please contact Darren Penoyer by email at email@example.com or at 716-852-2857 ext. 206.