Giving Circles, Initiatives, and Partnerships

A giving circle is a group of like-minded individuals who pool their money each year and decide together how it should be distributed. These groups also offer social, educational, and engagement opportunities and help provide a more thorough understanding of philanthropy and community issues.

The African American Giving Initiative is focused on reversing the negative trends experienced most strongly within the African American community. Through its grantmaking, the Initiative tries to address the needs and aspirations of the community in the greater Rochester region. Learn more »

As family and friends of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD), the Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle is committed to supporting innovative programs that will help loved ones (18 and older who have completed school) lead fulfilling, productive, and meaningful lives. Learn more »




The LGBT+ Giving Circle was created by a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and allies. Through grants from its LGBT+ Fund for Greater Rochester, the Giving Circle hopes to bridge diversity and cultivate community. Learn more »


NextGen Rochester is cultivating its members (typically ages 21 to 45) to be the next generation of citizens who make “giving back” part of their lives through leadership, friendship, and philanthropy. Learn more »



The Rochester Women’s Giving Circle is a community of philanthropic women who combine their financial resources to support women and girls on their journey to economic independence. Learn more »



Throughout its history, Rochester Area Community Foundation has helped to establish or convene several collaborations or more formal affiliates to address specific community issues or needs. Some have spun off and become their own independent organizations. Here are our current initiatives:

ACT Rochester, a community indicators project that launched in 2009, has a data-rich website that has been widely cited as the source for current statistics on education, race and ethnicity, poverty, and much more. Individual county report cards also highlight trends throughout the nine-county region. Go to site »

The Greater Rochester After-School Alliance is a volunteer committee comprised of funders, policymakers, researchers, and after-school family and provider representatives. Started in 2001, its main goal has been to strengthen the quality, quantity, and accessibility of out-of-school-time programs for school-age youth in Monroe County. Learn more »


Rochester Safe and Efficient Homes Initiative was created to help income-qualified Rochester homeowners live in safer, healthier, and more energy-efficient homes. Funding has been provided by $1 million from the New York State Attorney General. Learn more »

Rochester's Child, a volunteer group of business representatives, community leaders, and passionate philanthropists, has forged public-private partnerships and driven changes in policy and practice to improve early childhood and development for Monroe County's youngest children since 1990. Learn more »

Through after-school programs at schools 2, 4, 16, and 34, Quad A for Kids continues to promote the personal and social development of Rochester youth and advance their education through arts, athletics, and academic achievement (the four As of its name). Go to site »

Geographic Affiliates

The estate of Nettie Bullis created several different funds, including the Wayne County Community Endowment, at the Community Foundation to support programs and projects that improve the health and well-being and quality of life for Wayne County residents. An all-local, all-volunteer Advisory Committee reviews and recommends grants from the endowment and other county-specific funds. Learn more »


Year-round and summer residents of Yates County joined forces in 2011 to create this permanent “community capital” fund to support local nonprofit organizations dealing with the area's most pressing issues today and into the future. Learn more »


The best way to achieve anything is to collaborate with others. The Community Foundation has embraced that notion since its early years and works hand in hand with community partners, business leaders, other nonprofits, and generous philanthropists to create an equitable community and strengthen our region's vitality. Here are some examples:

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, based in Michigan, was created from the proceeds of the sale of Mr. Wilson’s beloved Buffalo Bills following his death in 2014. By establishing two funds at the Community Foundation, the Wilson Foundation is providing a strategic community investment in the Rochester region. Learn more »

This collaborative, community-wide initiative is dedicated to ensuring that all children receive the opportunities and support they need to succeed in school and in life. ROC the Future involves community and business leaders and other partners who work together across sectors and along the educational continuum to get better results in education. Go to site »

Summer Meals is a collaboration of the City of Rochester, Foodlink, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Rochester City School District, and other partners that focuses on getting more children to take advantage of free meals available at several dozen locations throughout the summer. Go to site »

PHONE 585.271.4100 | FAX 585.271.4292 |
500 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

PHONE 585.271.4100 | FAX 585.271.4292 |
500 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607


An initiative of the Community Foundation, ACT Rochester uses data to assess our region on key indicators of well-being.