Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will the Foundation operate?

A: As a spend down foundation, we anticipate continuing grant making through 2022.

Q: How do I apply for a grant from the First Niagara Foundation?

A: First Niagara Foundation utilizes an online application system. All first-time applicants must create an account prior to starting the application process.

Q: Are there deadlines for applications?

A: No, First Niagara Foundation accepts applications continuously throughout the year.

Q: When does our application need to be submitted if funding is for a summer program?

A: If you are requesting funding for a summer program, your application should be submitted no later than November 1st of the prior year.

Q: How and when will I be notified if the Foundation has accepted my application?

A: The Foundation will contact all applicants within 30 days of submitting their application.  

Q: Does the Foundation require collaboration for funding?

A: No, collaboration is not required to apply for funding, but it is highly encouraged when appropriate.

Q: Does the First Niagara Foundation fund multi-year grants?

A:  As of 2022, the Foundation will no longer award multi-year grants. 

Q: Can I apply for a grant if my organization is located outside of the Western New York area?

A: First Niagara Foundation focuses primarily in the WNY area; however, select organizations within the former First Niagara Bank footprint may occasionally be invited to apply for funding. No organizations outside of WNY may apply without invitation.

Q: How frequently can I apply to the Foundation?

A: An organization may apply no more than once a year.

Q: Can additional materials, not specifically requested, be included with my application?

A: Yes, there is room on the application to include additional supporting documents pertaining to the program/project or organization.

Q: If the Foundation will not fully fund my request, is it possible to receive partial funding?

A: Yes

Q: Does the Foundation provide general operating support?

Q: Can I call the Foundation with questions?

A: Please contact us with any questions by phone at 716-819-5795 or by email at

Q: How do I know that my application has been successfully received once submitted online?

A: Once an applicant submits an application in the online system, they will receive an email confirmation notifying them that their submission has been successfully received by the Foundation.