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Catholic Charities of Wayne County offers items free of charge at the Community Clothing Center in Wolcott.

Expanding Grantmaking in Counties Outside Monroe

July 21, 2023

In an effort to expand and enhance its support for counties in the Greater Rochester-Finger Lakes region, Rochester Area Community Foundation awarded a total of $140,970 this year to nonprofits serving Wayne and Yates counties.

The Community Foundation’s infusion of grant dollars into these two counties is part of a new, intentional strategy to do more grantmaking — about $50,000 — in each of the counties in its service area outside of Monroe. The next round of grants will be directed to Genesee, Livingston, and Orleans counties.

Erin Budd Barry

“Rural counties, often overlooked by funders, need a great deal more support to bolster social innovation and lessen the disparities faced by their residents. With this boost in funding, our goal is to increase access to critical services and enhance operations of outstanding nonprofits that serve our rural neighbors,” said Erin Barry, vice president of Community Programs at the Foundation.

This effort began with Wayne and Yates counties because the Foundation already has affiliates there led by advisory committees that oversee annual grantmaking. Those committees are comprised of individuals who live in those counties, know what their communities’ pressing needs are, and can help identify where funding gaps exist.

“Our staff collaborates with those local advisory committees to leverage their knowledge of the counties, make more impact together, and co-invest in projects and programs that promote the Foundation’s broad grantmaking goals of equity and vitality,” Barry said.

In Yates County, the Foundation joined forces with the Yates Community Endowment (YCE) to award a total $142,200 to 16 nonprofits serving Yates County and its residents.

YCE and funds that support Yates County contributed $50,400, and the Community Foundation added $91,800 from a variety of discretionary and field of interest funds to this grantmaking round. With additional money from the Foundation, the Yates grant round represented a 126 percent boost over last year’s grant distribution.

The 16 grants range from $1,000 for the Yates County History Center and the Penn Yan Theatre Company summer camp to $45,000 to help Rainbow Junction, Ltd. renovate its current location and another site in order to provide more families with reliable and safe childcare. 

Dundee Children’s Center in Yates County closed in 2022 and was bought by Rainbow Junction, which will update the facility with help from a Foundation grant.

In Wayne County, the Foundation and Wayne County Community Endowment awarded a total of $108,670 to 14 nonprofit organizations.

Several funds created to benefit programs providing services specifically to Wayne County residents and the Endowment together distributed $44,500. The Community Foundation contributed an additional $64,170 from discretionary and field of interest funds. With the additional money from the Foundation, this grant round represented a 227 percent increase over last year’s investment in Wayne County.

The grants ranged from $1,000 to Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc., for a kindergarten readiness program to $20,000 for the Wayne County Action Program’s STEADY Work’s paid work-study program for at-risk 14- to 24-year-olds.

These grants were made possible by the following funds at the Community Foundation:

In Wayne County: Wayne County Community Endowment Fund and its component funds, which include the Arley Mae and Louis Delisio Youth Fund, Dr. Norman and Laura “Jinny” Loomis Fund, Wayne County GTF Corporate Fund, Wayne County Quality of Health and Life Fund, and the Wayne County Youth and Seniors Fund. This year, additional funding came from Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Community Impact Fund, which pools contributions from more than 100 permanent funds that support changing community needs, the Feinbloom Supporting Foundation, and the Greater Rochester Women’s Fund.

In Yates County: The Yates Community Endowment Fund and its component funds, which include the Robert F. Flickinger Memorial Fund, McMullen Family Fund, Spring Hill Fund, and Willie Taaffe Memorial Fund. Community Foundation funding came from the Community Impact Fund along with grants from the Greater Rochester Women’s Fund, Iacona Youth Success Fund, David and Carol Laniak Family Fund, Philip and Dolores Neivert “Fun Fund,” V.J. Stanley Sr. Fund, and William P. and Abigail Roberts Van Wagenen Fund II.

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