First Niagara Foundation Grants

First Niagara Foundation

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Next deadline: Mar 1, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Aug 1, 2020 (Letter of inquiry), Nov 1, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University Nonprofit Elementary / Secondary School

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in New York: Erie County, Niagara County

Location of residency: Counties in New York: Erie County, Niagara County

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About this funder:




The First Niagara Foundation is dedicated to empowering disadvantaged individuals and neighborhoods through investing in education, mentoring, workforce development, and neighborhood revitalization. Additionally the Foundation is committed to supporting programs that will provide long term enhancements to the quality of life primarily in Western New York.

What We Fund


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 our 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.


Mentoring Matters is a legacy First Niagara Foundation program started in 2007. Since its inception, the program has invested over $9 million in mentoring programs. 

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.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • 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.