Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County – Empire State Development

The Yahoo Community Benefit Fund and the Yahoo Fund for Niagara County were created in 2015 as a part of Yahoo’s agreement with Empire State Development to establish a customer care and data center in the Town of Lockport. Due to corporate changes, the fund has been renamed the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County – Empire State Development.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted electronically online through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s Foundant Grant Lifecycle manager. Only applications submitted online through Foundant will be accepted.

Grant Opportunity

Approximately $230,000 will be available annually through the Fund. Priority will be given to projects that have matching funds from sources other than other public funds.


  • Application available online September 13, 2021
  • Application due October 15, 2021 by 4 p.m. No exceptions.
  • Decision notification Mid-November 2021


The Fund, which will operate for seven years from 2015–2021, will consider proposals that:

  • Implement smart growth
  • Foster a culture of entrepreneurship
  • Prepare our workforce

Applicants must:

  • be located in or provide services to Niagara County
  • demonstrate the development and financial management expertise to successfully develop, design, construct, manage and implement the project
  • demonstrate ownership or site control of all real estate considered part of the proposed project


For questions regarding the Community Foundation’s online applications system, please contact Colin Perry at or call at (716) 852-2857.
For all other questions related to the Verizon Media Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County-Empire State Development Grant Process, please contact John Risio at

Additional Information

Please click here to download the complete set of guidelines.

Please click here for frequently asked questions.