OVERVIEW: The Erie Community Foundation supports economic development, education, workforce development children and youth, safe neighborhoods, arts and culture downtown revitalization, nonprofit capacity-building, and other community needs in and around Erie, Pennsylvania.
FUNDING AREAS: Economic development, education, workforce development children and youth, safe neighborhoods, arts and culture downtown revitalization, nonprofit capacity-building
IP TAKE: ECF’s most accessible grants are the “helping today grants,” which are limited to one year. They have four deadlines per year for unsolicited applications.
PROFILE: Established in 1935, the Erie Community Foundation (ECF) is a community foundation based in Erie, Pennsylvania. Elisha H. Mack, the co-founder of the Boston Store, created a charitable endowment fund, which fueled broader philanthropic efforts at that time that led to the formation of ECF. Today, ECF has more than 800 charitable endowments under its administration, and all of them were created locally. ECF aims to “improve the quality of life for all in our region by evaluating and addressing community issues, by building permanent charitable endowments, and by promoting philanthropic and community leadership.” It funds local efforts for economic development, education, workforce development children and youth, safe neighborhoods, arts and culture downtown revitalization, and nonprofit capacity-building.
The Erie Community Foundation awards grants through donor-advised, donor-designated, community impact, field-of-interest, and pass-through funds, as well as scholarships and agency endowments. It awards “helping today grants” for capital needs, facilities, communications and marketing, technology, vehicle purchases, program expansions, public policy, advocacy, and planning. ECF’s “shaping tomorrow grants” fund multi-year collaborative projects, while Community Fund Drives grants require an endorsement from the Drives committee. Nonprofits can contact the foundation directly about urgent grant needs.
Grants range between about $5,000 and $30,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving on the grants awarded to date page on the funder’s website. Grantmaking focuses on Erie County in Pennsylvania. Past local grantees include Culture Arts Festivals and Events, Dafmark Dance Theater, Eagle’s Nest Leadership, and the YMCA of Greater Erie.
This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits for its “helping today grants.” The application deadlines are typically in January, May, July, and October. Direct general questions to the staff at 814-454-0843 or to individual staff members via email.
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