As part of our philanthropic support efforts, we provide programs and work directly with executive directors, development officers and trustees to help nonprofits build leadership talent and organizational structure to improve effectiveness.
The Oishei Leaders program gives local nonprofit leaders the opportunity to connect, restore, and recharge in an informal setting, helping them become even more engaged, proactive, and effective.
Bringing together Buffalo’s change agents
Each year we invite a new group of Oishei Leaders to participate (our entire group numbers approximately 125). We look for emerging leaders who have a demonstrated passion for their work and who represent a variety of nonprofit organizations to encourage cross-sector discussion and collaboration.
Oishei Leaders are invited to gather together throughout the year, including an annual overnight retreat that allows time for listening, talking, and thinking about issues in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Perhaps the most unique part of the program is that Oishei Leader retreats don’t have an agenda or expected outcomes. Without any pressure to achieve a specific task, attendees are free to:
- Think more deeply about their own initiatives in a distraction-free setting
- Relax and rediscover their passion for nonprofit work
- Discover opportunities to collaborate for the common good
- Share strategies and solutions with peers
"Oishei Leaders is an oasis in our work lives. Many of us in the nonprofit sector are so busy doing our day-to-day jobs that to have an opportunity to step aside in a different environment, with different colleagues to talk about what we're doing and how we can help each other, is a gift."
Laurie Dean Torrell
Executive Director, Just Buffalo Literary Center
Oishei Fellowships for Leaders of Color
As part of our ongoing commitment to strengthening the education continuum, The John R. Oishei Foundation works with our community partners to fund life-changing scholarship programs. For more information about any these scholarships, please contact the respective foundation or agency.
Oishei High School Scholarship Program
As a means to develop young leaders, we have awarded more than $10 million to 300 students over the 20 years that we have offered Oishei Scholarships in partnership with the Education Collaborative of WNY (EdCO). Designed to make a positive difference in the perception, attitudes, and lives of students, their families, and the people at the academic institutions the students attend, these full-tuition scholarships are awarded to talented, dedicated students of color who have demonstrated financial need, enabling them to attend one of fourteen private high schools.