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First Niagara Foundation Grants

Grants to New York Nonprofits in Erie and Niagara Counties
for Education, Workforce, Mentorship, and Community

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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First Niagara Foundation

Deadline Date:

11/01/18 - Suggested LOI submission deadline


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Grants to New York nonprofit organizations for programs serving the communities of Erie and Niagara Counties. Program areas include education, workforce development, and community development, as well as mentorship related to education or workforce development. Priorities within these program areas include the following:


The First Niagara Foundation is committed to investing in education and initiatives at the pre-K through 12 level which contribute to the enhancement of the learning environment and provide equal opportunity for all students to reach their potential.

Of particular interest are programs that:

- Address one or more of the following: School Readiness, Literacy, Low High School Graduation Rates, Opportunities for Out of School Time, and improvement in College and Career Readiness
- Are designed to improve education attainment and enhance the educational experience especially for disadvantaged students
- Provide quality mentoring opportunities for students

Workforce Development:

The First Niagara Foundation supports workforce development initiatives that focus on enhancing the region’s economic stability and prosperity by preparing unemployed and underemployed individuals for life sustaining jobs.

Primarily projects that address the needs of the underserved by providing high-touch programs of empowerment, mentoring and wrap around services.

Community Development:

The First Niagara Foundation is focused on community development initiatives that advance and increase self-sufficiency, improve neighborhoods, encourage community collaboration and build partnerships.


The Foundation will consider applications from organizations with a proven track record of providing outstanding mentoring programs especially in the fields of education and workforce development.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161579

Term of Contract:

The First Niagara Foundation does participate in multi-year grants at the discretion of the Board.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All grant recipients must demonstrate the following:
- Tax Exempt Status
- Need for Private Financial Support
- Direct Relevance to the Foundation’s Focus Areas
- Primarily Serve Residents of Erie and Niagara Counties
- Organizations Outside of WNY may apply by invitation only

The following are ineligible for funding:
- Religious organizations, political organizations or candidates for political office or to individuals
- Organizations that discriminate based on: age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, receipt of public assistance, sexual orientation, or military status
- Individual scholarships
- National or international organizations, unless their programs have significant local impact
- Annual funds
- Sponsorships/Galas/Events

Pre-Application Information:

The First Niagara Foundation has a rolling application process; however, the Foundation Board formally reviews grant applications three times annually.

While the Foundation will provide regular communication during the process, you should allow up to four months from the date of LOI submission for a final decision on funding.

Below are suggested dates for LOI submission:

- March 1, 2018 - Spring Cycle for Decision in May
- August 1, 2018 - Fall Cycle for Decision in October
- November 1, 2018 - Winter Cycle for Decision in January

The Foundation will contact all applicants within 30 days of submitting their LOI and no more than 90 days of submitting their application.


Contact Information:

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

Apply for a Grant:

First Niagara Foundation
726 Exchange Street, Suite 700
Buffalo, NY 14210

Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director
Tel. (716) 819-5680

Nancy Gleason, Foundation Administrator
Tel. (716) 819-5795

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Erie and Niagara Counties