In general, Foundation support is limited to activities in Erie and Niagara Counties (NY). Organizations within those counties that wish to partner with organizations in other counties of Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming) are encouraged to contact the Foundation for guidance. Colleges and Universities in the eight counties of Western New York are eligible to apply.

An organization seeking support must be determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Private foundations, as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, are not eligible for Foundation support.

To receive Foundation support, an organization must be well managed, including an active board drawn from a cross-section of the community. It must have a consistent record of sound fiscal management and a demonstrated track record of efficient operations and effective programming. New or recently formed organizations that have strong case statements and the above elements of sound management are encouraged to contact the Foundation for guidance.

The Foundation does not make grants to governmental (public) institutions, agencies or projects. Organizations that rely heavily on government funding are eligible to apply, but must be able to demonstrate that a grant from the Foundation would supplement rather than supplant public funding.

The Foundation does not make grants to:

  • Individuals
  • Religious organizations for sectarian or propagation of faith purposes
  • Organizations which make grants to others
  • Lobbying or advocacy for specific political candidates or legislation