• Summary of Giving

    Contributions reach a broad spectrum of community organizations

  • 2014 Summary of Giving  
    Foundation Grants: $7,441,895
    Community Sponsorships: $2,628,109
    TOTAL: $10,070,004

    Total Giving by Category:

    • Youth & Education: 45%
    • Community Development & Neighborhood Revitalization: 24%
    • Quality of Life: 31%

    This support assisted 1,248 nonprofit organizations and partners in 2014 across the footprint.

    2014 Grant Awards

    Examples of First Niagara community support:

  • WNY Grant-May2015

    Western NY

    This past year, First Niagara’s WNY region supported the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers’ Young Environmental Leaders Project, which is a mentoring program on ecological restoration geared toward students residing in highly impoverished areas of the city. First Niagara is proud to support a program that provides an opportunity for young people to learn about environmental issues and solutions. Riverkeepers’ goal is to empower the next generation of leaders by demonstrating the transformation that is possible through ecological science both on an individual and community level.

    First Niagara is also pleased to support the AK Teens program at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. This program is designed to provide teens with their own unique access to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery where they can engage in modern, art-based activities with their peers. First Niagara’s support has provided the AK Teens program with the resources to create opportunities for area teens to explore careers in the arts, exhibit their work, investigate educational opportunities beyond high school, and develop their knowledge and understanding of art and museums.

    View all Western NY recipients for 2014
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  • RNY Grant-May2015

    Rochester NY

    The First Niagara Fringe Festival is one of the RNY region’s favorite and most exciting events. In just the last three years alone, it has grown to be one of the largest multi-arts festivals in New York State. This year, the Rochester Fringe Festival featured more than 380 shows, across 28 venues in and around downtown Rochester.

    Volunteers of America selected First Niagara as a recipient of their 2014 Corporate Supporter Award in recognition of the work the two organizations have achieved together in providing support services and resources for the underserved in the Rochester community.
    First Niagara has provided crucial funding to help implement and support the Step by Step program. Step by Step, an outreach initiative of Volunteers of America provides highly structured workshops for women currently serving in the Monroe County and Albion State Correctional Facilities, as well as women in residential treatment programs. The program features workshops designed to provide the skills necessary for women to rebuild their lives, attain self-sufficiency and achieve greater financial independence.

    View all Rochester NY recipients for 2014
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  • CNY Grant-May2015

    Central NY

    Volunteers from First Niagara were in the home improvement mode for this year’s Block Blitz. CNY teammates joined hundreds of volunteers on the city of Syracuse’s North Side to repair, paint and landscape nearly 35 homes all in one day. At the event, First Niagara announced its donation to Home Headquarters to support various home ownership and educational programs. Home Headquarters is an organization committed to creating housing opportunities that improve the lives of the underserved in Central and Upstate New York to revitalize the communities in which they live.

    First Niagara provided both a mentoring and sponsorship grant for the Junior Achievement of Central New York’s "You're Hired Challenge". This event promotes career success for young people, and First Niagara employee volunteers added to this experience by helping students learn what it takes to be successful in the job search and how to get ahead once you land the job. More than 200 area students interacted with 100 business leaders from the community at the event held at Onondaga Community College.


    View all Central NY recipients for 2014
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  • Eastern NY

    Eastern NY

    Habitat for Humanity of the Capital District helps to develop and transform communities by building affordable and sustainable homes in partnership with lower-income families.  First Niagara teammates in ENY are proud to be a part of this great initiative.  By volunteering time and talent, they are investing in the revitalization of their neighborhoods.

    As part of First Niagara’s commitment to focus on our youth, the ENY region supports Empire State Youth Orchestra, which assists in providing talented young musicians of all walks of life opportunities to participate in group ensembles with other musicians. The experience of being a member of ESYO allows children the opportunity to perform at concerts at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Center, and Carnegie Hall in New York City.  In addition to its performing groups, ESYO has an outreach program of instrumental instruction for inner-city youth in Albany and Schenectady, New York.


    View all Eastern NY recipients for 2014
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  • NE Grant-May2015

    New England

    The Greater New Haven Help Alliance was selected by community members as the first place winner of the 2015 First Niagara Mentoring MattersSM Grant Giveaway. The Alliance, based in New Haven, CT was recognized as part of the grant giveaway the bank sponsored in recognition of National Mentoring Month.  The organization provides positive male influence to young men ages 8-18 whose lives are devoid of these role models.

    The NE region is proud to provide continued support to the Connecticut Association for Human Services' Financial Avenue program, an online financial literacy platform designed for low to moderate income teens and young adults that covers a wide range of topics including budgeting, credit, and debit management. CAHS partners with more than 70 social services organizations across the state that offer financial literacy programs to targeted audiences. First Niagara provided the initial grant to launch Financial Avenue in 2012 and continues to support the program.


    View all New England recipients for 2014
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  • TRI Grant-May2015


    First Niagara Tri-State teammates are also proud to support the Learning Links and Summer Links programs of the Neighbors Link of Northern Westchester. With our support, Learning Links provides orientation, training, and coordination of 60 high-school students who volunteer in the Neighbors Link Family Center and serve as role models, mentoring young children to develop the study and academic habits of successful learners. The mission of Neighbors Link is to strengthen the whole community by actively enhancing the healthy integration of recent immigrants. Their strategy is to educate, empower and employ immigrant families whose lives have been economically impoverished and educationally deprived.

    The Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce hosts the Small Business Development Academy, which is an eight-week course on how to start and sustain a successful small business. The program, taught by First Niagara teammates in our Tri-State region, along with other experienced business professionals, seeks to give those in attendance the knowledge, resources and confidence to succeed as a small business owner. The program is free and open to all, allowing community members to participate and educate themselves about small business ownership. The Small Business Development Academy aids and improves the lives of individuals, strengthens families, provides job growth, and fosters economic and community development.


    View all Tri-State recipients for 2014
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  • WPA Grant-May2015

    Western PA

    Our Western PA region supports the Child Life Department at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, which provides specialized programming, events and activities for patients and their families. Children who are hospitalized for lengthy periods often miss out on some of childhood's most memorable experiences such as birthday celebrations, a visit from Santa Claus, or even attending a school dance. Through Child Life programming, Children's provides fun, family-focused opportunities and events where kids can "just be kids," and families can create memories that are family-focused, not medically-focused.

    First Niagara provides program support for the completion of an alliance between the Goodwill Employment Training Center and the new Energy Innovation Center Institute located in the City of Pittsburgh.  The Goodwill Employment Training Center provides Administrative Office Skills and Health Care programs and offers opportunities for persons with disabilities, disadvantages or barriers to employment. The Energy Innovation Center Institute is a new education facility for sustainable technologies and offers classes for Electronic Technicians.


    View all Western PA recipients for 2014
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  • EPA Grant-May2015

    Eastern PA

    Philabundance was created in 1984 with the simple belief that no man, woman or child should go hungry. Their growth and eventual integration with the Philadelphia Food Bank in 2005 has made them the region’s largest hunger relief organization. First Niagara is proud to provide continued support for Camp Out for Hunger, Philabundance’s yearly food drive. Philabundance serves approximately 72,000 people per week through its neighborhood distribution programs and its network of nearly 500 member agencies which include food pantries, shelters and emergency kitchens.

    First Niagara is committed to community development and neighborhood revitalization and the efforts of the Housing Association and Development Corporation in Philadelphia goes hand-in-hand with those goals. This organization works to revitalize neighborhoods through the development of affordable housing, the provision of employment and job training, and the pursuit of community development initiatives. HADC's production of affordable housing includes both new construction and the rehabilitation of existing houses. The organization also operates a rental program, offering apartments in multi-unit buildings as well as single-family homes.


    View all Eastern PA recipients for 2014
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