John R. Oishei Foundation Grants

Grants to Western New York Nonprofits and IHEs for
Education, Community Development, Health, and Arts

GrantWatch ID#: 158760
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

John R. Oishei Foundation


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Grants to Western New York nonprofit organizations, colleges, and universities to strengthen communities primarily in Erie and Niagara Counties. Projects may extend to other areas of Western New York, including Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties. Programs may address education, economic self-sufficiency, livable communities, health, arts, and culture.

Focus Areas:
-Strengthening the Education Continuum
-Enhancing Options for Self-Sufficiency
-Building Livable, Stable Neighborhoods
-Promoting Health and Improving Systems
-Expanding the Role of Arts, Culture, and Heritage in Regional Development

Support is provided in three broad categories:

1) Expansion or improvement of existing, demonstrably successful programs, including support for new staff and equipment related to those programs;

2) Creation and implementation of new, innovative approaches to issues related to the Foundation’s interests; and

3) Core Operations Improvement - This category comprises requests that result in strengthening the internal operations of organizations that help to better fulfill their missions. Fundable activities may include, but are not limited to:

-Capital expenditures and/or improvements related directly to an organization’s mission and programs which may include purchase or upgrade of equipment or limited renovation of facilities to improve service. Support for the purchase and/or extensive renovation of buildings may be considered. Organizations are encouraged to contact the Foundation for additional guidance.

-Capacity Building and technical assistance including professional development and training of board and/or staff; strategic planning and implementation activities; consultant assistance with improving financial or other managerial processes; and shared services, facilities, or personnel with other agencies.

Grants may be short-term or multi-year (usually no more than four years in length). Multi-year grants are generally in decreasing amounts each year, and interim report(s) are required by the Foundation. Grants for longer periods of time are possible, and may be considered in light of the organization’s progress during the initial grant period.

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

Eligibility Information:

The Foundation does not have any submission deadlines. Letters Of Inquiry (LOIs) and applications are accepted throughout the year. The Foundation's goal is to send applicants written notification of its decision within 90 days, but this may vary depending on the application.

LOIs and applications for general funding requests must be submitted online.

If you are invited to submit a full application, log into your account to fill out a full proposal. The Foundation will make every effort to contact you within 90 days with a response.

Grantmaking Overview:

Types of Support:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit an LOI:

Gayle L. Houck, Director of Finance & Grants Manager

The John R. Oishei Foundation
726 Exchange Street, Suite 510
Buffalo, NY 14210 USA

(716) 856-9490

Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties

See the full text of this grant

USA: New York

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