Please review this information carefully to learn what we support, eligibility, and how to proceed through the application process.
Before You Apply
Eligible programs, services, and operations
The activities funded by The Oishei Foundation are:
- Primarily located in Erie and Niagara Counties
- Support is primarily focused on activities in Erie and Niagara counties (NY), however we will consider requests from other WNY counties including Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming.
- Contact us for guidance if you are unsure of eligibility.
- Within our five focus areas
- Aligned with our strategic goals
- Defined by specific objectives and timelines
We are only able to fund a limited number of applications. Many worthy applications that meet our requirements are denied due to our limited resources.
Eligible activities may receive support for:
- Expansion or improvement of existing, demonstrably successful programs
- Creation and implementation of new, innovative approaches
- Core operations improvement
- Strengthening internal operations to help organizations better fulfill their missions
- Fundable activities may include (but are not limited to) capital expenditures, capital improvements, capacity building, and technical assistance; please contact us for additional guidance
- Exploring and implementation of possible mergers or strategic alignment with other organizations that result in greater efficiencies and benefits to greater community.
- Administrative and overhead expenses: Organizations may include reasonable administrative or overhead expenses as a percentage of the overall budget (generally up to 10-12% based on actual costs)
Organizations seeking funding should be:
- Tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
- Well-managed, with an active board drawn from a cross-section of the community, and a consistent record of sound fiscal management
- A demonstrated track record of efficient operations and effective programming; newer organizations should contact us for guidance
While organizations are not required to collaborate in order to receive funding, we look for opportunities to support entities that work together to better achieve impact and efficiency and to reduce duplication.
The Oishei Foundation does not make grants to:
- Governmental (public) institutions, agencies, or projects
- Religious organizations for sectarian purposes, or for propagation of faith
- Organizations that make grants to others
- Lobbying or advocacy for specific political candidates or legislation
The Foundation does not typically support:
- General operating support (i.e., unrestricted funds for any use)
- Deficit funding
- Individual scholarships or fellowships
- Single-occurrence conferences, seminars, or workshops (except as they relate to core operations improvements)
- Fundraising events (e.g., annual dinners and tournaments)
Length of funding
- Grants may be short-term or multi-year and will depend on the complexity of the project, sources of other funding, and implementation schedule.
We accept and process Letters of Inquiry (LOI) and applications on a rolling (ongoing) basis throughout the year, which means you can submit an LOI or application anytime; there are no set deadlines.
Pursuing other sources of funding
- We strongly encourage you to pursue other funding sources vigorously; do not wait for our response before you apply to other foundations or corporations
- We may ask you what other funding sources are available and have been approached
- If more than one source approves your request, we can make adjustments as needed
All grantees are required to comply with our reporting requirements. Please see the Info for Current Grantees page for details.
Support beyond funding
- Grantees may be eligible to receive philanthropic support in addition to funding; please see our Philanthropic Support page for more information
- All organizations (including those that are not grantees) are welcome to use our Capacity Building Tool Kits.
Please contact us if you have questions about what we fund.
How to Apply
Step 1: Review eligibility requirements (above)
Step 2: Create an online account (new users only)
> Create an account
Step 3: Submit a Letter Of Inquiry (LOI)
You will be able to save your form and return later to edit and submit it
There is no time limit to the session; you will not be timed out
> Log in to your account
> Quick Reference Guide
Step 4: We will contact you within 30-60 days with questions, or to approve / deny your LOI
Step 5: If your LOI is approved, you will be invited to complete a full grant application
Do not apply unless you are invited. To complete the full application:
> Log into your account
- You will be able to save your form and return later to edit and submit it
- There is no time limit to the session; you will not be timed out
Step 6: We will contact you within 90 days with questions, or to approve / deny your grant request
- If your application is approved, please review the Info for Current Grantees to understand reporting and other requirements