Our grants support organizations engaged in charitable activities, generally within our eight-county service area of Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties in upstate New York. Public sector entities are also eligible for funding. Scholarship recipients are the only applicants eligible for individual funding; otherwise, we give exclusively to organizations. The Community Foundation’s competitive grants program generally does not fund special events, fundraising campaigns, religious activities, endowments, buildings (except for historical assets), or debt retirement.

Principles for Competitive Grantmaking

Rochester Area Community Foundation’s competitive grants support programs, projects, and initiatives within our region that address the Foundation’s goals and action areas and align with the applicant’s mission.

Proposals for competitive grants are expected to address each of the following principles:

Capacity for impact: Demonstrate capacity and potential for achieving and sustaining significant and long-term impact.

Plan of action: Include a plan of action with evidence that the plan is likely to achieve its intended outcomes.

Structural change and innovation: Promote structural change and/or inspire innovation that

  • strengthens and stabilizes local assets and/or
  • dramatically improves policies, systems, operations, or relationships

Collaboration and inclusion: Bolster collaboration by working to involve a relevant and diverse community of stakeholders in planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Leveraged assets: Leverage new and existing assets, organizations, relationships, initiatives, and investments to improve the likelihood of significant impact, efficiency, and sustainability.

Measurement, monitoring, and evaluation: Include measurable objectives and outcomes with a plan to monitor and evaluate progress.