• Summary of Giving

    Contributions reach a broad spectrum of community organizations

  • 2013 Summary of Giving  
    Foundation Grants: $9,326,337
    Community Sponsorships: $2,542,719
    TOTAL: $11,869,056

    Total Giving by Category:

    • Youth & Education: 55%
    • Community Development & Neighborhood Revitalization: 19%
    • Quality of Life: 26%

    This support assisted 1,168 nonprofit organizations and partners in 2013.


    2013 Grant Awards

    Examples of First Niagara community support:

  • Western NY

    Western NY

    First Niagara supports Jericho Road Community Health Center’sFocused Learning for Youth (FLY) program, serving low-income refugee students on Buffalo’s West Side. By enriching student academic and social skills, FLY addresses participants’ low literacy and limited English and math proficiency in a supportive environment. The end goal is creating healthy, educated and responsible adults who will contribute positively to our community.

    First Niagara proudly supports the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York, a collaboration offering U.S. Veterans and their families the convenience of a "one-stop," barrier-free location in which to access a holistic range of social and health services. A collaborative among independent service providers, this community-based care model provides clients with a community connection while addressing the challenges Veterans and their families face as they transition back into civilian life.

    View all Western NY recipients for 2013
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  • Rochester NY

    Rochester NY

    Drawing over 50,000 attendees, the second annual First Niagara Fringe Festival was one of the top three most attended “fringe festivals” in the nation. The 10-day Festival is an all-out, no-holds-barred, multidisciplinary visual and performing arts festival featuring international, national and local artists. With 25 venues and 360 performances, the Festival has quickly grown into one of Rochester's most successful young festivals. Impacts include increased access to the arts for urban dwellers, vital exposure for local and national artists and confirmation of Rochester’s rightful place as a premier performing arts destination.

    First Niagara invests in CASH, a community collaborative led by the Empire Justice Center and the United Way of Greater Rochester which works to reduce poverty by providing low-income workers with opportunities to obtain, maintain and build economic assets. CASH offers free tax return preparation services and introduces clients to resources available to improve financial well-being, such as financial literacy programs, affordable health care and job counseling services. In 2013 alone, nearly 500 trained volunteers prepared more than 13,000 federal and NYS tax returns for participants, resulting in nearly $25 million in tax refunds and credits for CASH clients.

    View all Rochester NY recipients for 2013
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  • CNY - Rescue Mission

    Central NY

    Finding work and keeping a job can be difficult, especially if you are homeless. In Syracuse, First Niagara supports Rescue Mission and its Willing to Work workforce development program.  Clients learn valuable job skills and gain work experience through internships, and benefit from having direct access to experienced case managers.  In 2013 the Rescue Mission purchased a for profit business, Mission Returns: Bottle and Can Redemption Centers which function as an extension of the Willing to Work program by providing on the job training while creating an essential revenue stream, enhancing the organization’s sustainability.

    First Niagara supports Circles®, a program of Housing Visions Unlimited, which helps low-income people residing in Onondaga County to become financially self-sufficient. Led by a 57-member Guiding Coalition, Circles® works to eliminate barriers that hold people in poverty, supporting approximately 120 individuals each year as they move toward financial stability. Outcomes include increased earned income, job attainment and decreased reliance on public assistance.

    View all Central NY recipients for 2013
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  • Eastern NY

    Eastern NY

    First Niagara partnered with the University at Albany to create the family-friendly First Niagara Family Berm area at UAlbany’s $19 million, 8,500-seat Bob Ford Field. Tens of thousands of individuals will benefit from the amenity, as affordable tickets, concessions and kids activities make the stadium a popular destination for families from the Capital region and beyond. In addition to providing local families with affordable Division I collegiate competition and entertainment, UAlbany Athletics donates thousands of tickets each year to local groups that serve low-income families.

    First Niagara provides both monetary and employee volunteer support to Capital District Habitat for Humanity as the organization pursues its mission of transforming communities by building affordable and sustainable homes in partnership with lower-income families. This winter First Niagara team members and players of the Albany Devils Hockey team braved single-digit temperatures to work on a house in Fox Hollow in Troy. Additionally, the Devils hosted a special Habitat for Humanity Community Night with First Niagara at an April game versus Springfield.

    View all Eastern NY recipients for 2013
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  • New England

    New England

    In Stamford, CT, First Niagara supports the Women's Business Development Council (WBDC), which helps women achieve economic self-reliance through education and counseling as they start and grow businesses. With job creation and community vitality as its main goals, the Council’s Entrepreneurial Training and Financial Education Programs educate, motivate and empower women to achieve economic independence, making them natural partners of First Niagara.

    Eastern Connecticut State University and First Niagara are partners in the Dual College Initiative, which enables low-income, first generation, high-risk students from Hartford and Manchester to attend ECSU while providing individualized guidance, small group instruction, tutoring, mentoring and employment. Additionally, ECSU’s First Niagara Scholars program assists students in closing financial gaps and continuing their college careers.

    View all New England recipients for 2013
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  • Tri-State

    Tri-State

    First Niagara is a partner in supporting the Underserved Youth Arts Initiative of the Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts. Responding to cuts in school arts education programming, the program targets youth from under-resourced communities and provides them with unique, engaging educational experiences and cultural enrichment opportunities. Nearly 2,200 students will benefit from the Initiative’s 2013-2014 programs.

    First Niagara supports Neighbors Link Northern Westchester, where our financial investment provides the orientation, training, and coordination of high-school students who volunteer in the Neighbors Link Family Center. The student volunteers serve as role models, mentoring mostly immigrant children, providing academic support with a focus on math and literacy skills and sharing the study habits of successful learners. Over 170 children participate in the after-school and summer programs.

    View all Tri-State recipients for 2013
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  • Western PA

    Western PA

    First Niagara supports Junior Achievement of Western PA (JA) through a variety of activities. First Niagara Regional President Todd Moules served as Chairman of JA’s2013 Annual Fundraising Campaign, one of their largest fundraising efforts, where contributions ultimately impact nearly 60,500 students. Additionally, First Niagara supports the JA Titan program and competition, a business strategy tournament uniquely designed to unleash student creativity, test leadership skills and demonstrate the competitive nature of our economic system.

    In Pittsburgh, First Niagara supports the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group through its Investing in LMI Neighborhoods initiative, which seeks to advance the creation of a land bank to obtain, hold and recycle blighted and tax-delinquent properties. The initiative’s goals include housing investment, vacant property mitigation, financial literacy and homeownership educational services, all of which are addressed through strategic community engagement and tactical planning.

    View all Western PA recipients for 2013
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  • EPA-Chester-Co-Food-Bank-Backpack-2013-

    Eastern PA

    In Eastern PA, First Niagara supports the Credit Counseling Center’sForeclosure Prevention and Loss Mitigation Counseling program. The organization provides high-quality community-based services through a variety of financial literacy programs designed to improve money management skills for life-long independence. Counselors work with clients on resource reallocation options, managing nonessential spending, options for additional income potential and other strategies which guide homeowners struggling with a default on their mortgage. Nearly 240 families received services through this program this past year.

    First Niagara provides funding and employee volunteers to the Chester County Food Bank for its Children's Food Backpack Program. The program provides food-filled backpacks to low-income children who are at risk of not having enough to eat over the weekend. Our financial support ensures that 50 children receive food on weekends during the school year. Additionally, First Niagara team members assist with sorting and packing food donations. Nearly 1,000 children from low-income families in Chester County, PA, are directly impacted by this essential program.

    View all Eastern PA recipients for 2013
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