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WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund Build Back Better (B3) Initiative

Grants to New York Nonprofits in Eligible Counties to Address
Community Needs and Support COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (CFGB)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/31/20 3:00 PM


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Grants to New York nonprofit organizations in eligible counties for innovative projects to address systemic issues that have arisen due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Funding is intended to focus on issues related to arts and culture, childcare, food security, housing and homelessness, out of school time, behavioral health, community-based health, and eldercare support and services. Collaborations between community organizations across issue areas are encouraged as new ways of addressing community challenges and improving outcomes. Applicants must be located in or serving one of the eight counties of Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.

The impact of COVID-19, coupled with the persistent challenges to racial equity, has been felt across multiple systems in the WNY region. Systems intended to support community needs have been stretched beyond their capacity. The WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is now moving to support the region’s longer-term recovery, with a Build Back Better (B3) initiative. The purpose of B3 is to support innovative solutions from and for the nonprofit sector as it strives to continue to serve the needs of the region.

B3 will focus on identifying and supporting innovative solutions developed by the nonprofit community in three phases:

  1. Phase 1—Request for Ideas (RFI): In this time of extraordinary need, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is releasing an RFI to solicit visionary concepts from nonprofit leaders that have the potential to improve the quality of life for people living in WNY. The RFI is intended to surface creative ideas. Concepts will describe an innovative approach to address systemic issues that impact the WNY community and which no one nonprofit, private, or public entity could solve independently. RFI responses may include innovations that require planning or plans that are ready for piloting, and submissions should take into account the guiding principles below. For further information about the guiding principles, see the links at
    • Racial Equity
    • Equity for Vulnerable Populations
    • Regional Approach—Where Applicable
    • Alignment with Social Determinants of Health—Where Applicable
    • Trauma-Informed Care Principles
    • Inclusion of Human-Centered Design
    • Nonprofit-Led Cross-Sector Collaboration (Some combination of cross-sector engagement—Public, private, nonprofit at minimum on planning team.)
    • Leading to Systems Change
    • Public Policy Component—Where Applicable
  2. Phase 2—Planning or Piloting: Grants will be awarded to a selected group of concepts for planning or piloting innovation. These grants will support the development of plans or pilots for addressing challenges per the guiding principles.
  3. Phase 3–Implementation and Change: Selected plans or pilots from Phase 2 will be eligible for implementation grants based on available funding.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 190680

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are awarded only to organizations that have a current Section 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

The RFI is intended to support innovative solutions; B3 will not consider funding concepts that:
- Close immediate service gaps.
- Address the needs of individual nonprofit organizations.
- Improve healthcare infrastructure.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Information Sessions:
- Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 4 to 5 p.m. – Registration required; click here for the link:
- Friday, June 26, 2020, from 9 to 10 a.m. – Registration required; click here for the link:

Pre-Application Information:

1) Phase 1: RFI
- RFI Application Opens: Thursday, June 18, 2020
- RFI Application Due: Friday, July 31, 2020, at 3 p.m. (no exceptions)
- Notification of Planning or Piloting Grants Decision: Late August/Early September 2020
2) Phase 2: Selected Concepts Move to Full Proposal Development
- Full-Proposals Due: By End of October 2020
3) Phase 3: Implementation Grants Awarded
- Full Proposals Reviewed & Implementation Grants Awarded: November/December 2020

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Grant portal:

For questions about the RFI application process or technical assistance, please contact Sira Faye at

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
(Larkin at Exchange)
726 Exchange Street, Suite 525
Buffalo, NY 14210
Phone: (716) 852-2857
Fax: (716) 852 – 2861

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming

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