Targeted, coordinated efforts are going to pull our community through this.

We in WNY are vulnerable to moments like this. Our region’s general health and general economy are lacking in comparison to other metros in the country, but these are times where our reputed grit doesn’t mean supporting the Bills outside in December. It means no excuses, we get the work done to protect the most vulnerable in our community, whatever it takes. People are popping up everywhere to take on volunteer work whether they still have their day job or not, or parting with dollars they fear they may need in the future in order to help others now. Beyond individual heroism, our region is rich with foundations who dedicate their operations to helping our children, our cultural institutions, our poorest families, and more, each with its own mission and expertise. Yesterday, in an unprecedented showing of solidarity and shared vision and direction, 17 local foundations are now pooling funds and determining priorities, in coordination with the United Way, to help those most in need first, and move forward through other initiatives as this situation evolves.

“WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is open for donations of any amount through the United Way’s website.  They are collecting individual contributions and initial grants will be supported right away to organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 response on our community.  The collective response is being done in tandem with the county to complement, not replace government funding,” said Betsy Constantine, Executive Vice President of the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo.

Find their complete statement below, including links where you can make contributions of any amount that you can trust will be going to the right places with the right strategy in place:

In Western New York, we take pride in our resiliency, generosity, and collaborative spirit. As the COVID-19 health crisis unfolds, these positive attributes will be called upon like never before.

To address the most critical needs in our community, local philanthropic organizations (full list below) are collaborating to create and support the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund. And we need your help.

Responding quickly and compassionately.

The WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is an opportunity to assist those who are working tirelessly to meet the needs of people affected by COVID-19. By pooling funds and encouraging additional support, we can help essential organizations with funding designed to complement public sector funds.

Help the helpers.

Your donations will help us to rapidly deploy resources in the immediate areas of health, human services, food, childcare, and support for frontline responders. The needs are immense and time is of the essence. We invite you to share this message with anyone who may be able to contribute.

Anyone can donate by clicking here.

How organizations can stay informed.

We recognize that many nonprofit organizations are facing immediate and unprecedented challenges. Rest assured, we are working diligently to fully understand the evolving needs and determine how to best support those on the front lines of this crisis.

Immediate funding will complement public sector efforts and granting decisions to 501(c)3 organizations will be focused on basic needs. Local foundations have been assessing immediate community needs and will invite a selection of organizations who are addressing these needs to apply for funding.

To receive updates on WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, please sign up for the fund mailing list.

Join the effort.

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted our daily lives—but it cannot change who we are or what our community stands for. At this time of need, we are committed to supporting WNY through the crisis. We hope you can join us.


The WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is supported by a coalition of the region’s philanthropic organizations, including:

Bank of America Charitable Foundation
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Blue Fund
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
East Hill Foundation
Grigg Lewis Foundation
Health Foundation for Western & Central New York
James H. Cummings Foundation
Key Bank and First Niagara Foundation
M&T Charitable Foundation
Patrick P. Lee Foundation
Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation
Pinto Family Foundation
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
The Baird Foundation
The John R. Oishei Foundation
The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
Western New York Foundation