NCCF - building for tomorrow, today

The mission of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation (NCCF) is to enrich the area where we live and work. Since its establishment in 1986, the NCCF has been at the forefront of local philanthropy, strategic grantmaking, and community leadership. By providing the means for our neighbors to give back to the community, NCCF is building for tomorrow, today. With over $23.8 million in assets, the NCCF distributes more than $800,000 each year in grants and scholarships, all to better northern Chautauqua County. 

Community foundations, such as NCCF, play a key role in identifying and supporting the most pressing needs in a community. By bringing together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses NCCF can fulfill its mission of a better community. Its unique combination of personalized service and local expertise set NCCF apart when it comes to local philanthropy. The dedicated board, staff, and volunteers at NCCF assures that resources are distributed locally where they are needed most and that the goals of each and every donor are met. Services and funds are customizable to meet each donor’s charitable intentions. Today, NCCF holds over 400 funds that support arts & culture, education, environment & animals, health, religion, community development and other areas of interest.

Through their Bequest Society, the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation makes it possible for community members to leave a legacy. NCCF makes it simple to leave a charitable bequest to the community. Whether establishing a new fund through NCCF or contributing to an existing fund, donors’ bequests will be used wisely for generations. The NCCF staff gladly assists donors in charitable planning or to answer any questions.

Through a multitude of programs, NCCF awards local nonprofit organizations and other charitable endeavors the grant dollars necessary to run projects and ongoing programs. For example:

·         The Environmental Fund awards grants in January of each year for projects that promote environmental education, particularly which relate to Lake Erie and its watershed.

·         The Community Pride Program, awarded in March every other year, supports community-building projects such as beautification projects, signage, community events and other projects that promote a sense of community pride amongst community members.  This year, 2017, is a Community Pride year. Community-based, not-for-profit organizations, such as garden clubs, service clubs, church groups and civic improvement associations have until March 1 to submit a Letter of Interest to the NCCF office.

·         The Community Grants Program distributes awards each spring and fall.  It is the NCCF’s primary competitive grant program.  “Our Community Grants Program supports our community’s current needs and opportunities. Over the past 30 years it has significantly impacted the northern Chautauqua County community,” says NCCF Grants Coordinator, Eileen Dunn.  Nonprofits have until March 1 to submit a Letter of Interest.

·         The Service Learning Grants Program encourages middle and high school teachers to incorporate community service into their current curriculum.

·         In 2016, NCCF issued a Neighborhood Pride Challenge. The NCCF Neighborhood Pride Challenge (NPC) will provide funding to collaborations of community groups, schools, nonprofits, businesses, and others who are committed to their neighborhoods and desiring to make improvements, increase pride and establish strong connections among neighbors. 

The Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation administers 203 scholarship funds. In 2015, 273 scholarship awards were made totaling over $183,650. The awards ranged from $10 to $4,000 and benefited students in eighteen school districts as well as nontraditional students throughout the community.

Significant support is also provided to local agencies through the NCCF’s designated, agency and field of interest funds. For example, designated funds for the 1891 Fredonia Opera House and the Lakeshore Humane Society provide annual financial support.

NCCF provides leadership to targeted initiatives and collaborates with other stakeholders to address issues important to the community. For example, the Local Economic Development Committee, established at the NCCF in 2011, works in close cooperation with local, county and state agencies to strengthen and develop the local economy.

The public is invited to breakfast on March 25 from 8 – 10 a.m. for the 5th annual Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser and Basket Raffle to support the Service Learning Mini-Grant program. Tickets are only $5! For additional information or to order tickets contact or call Ida at 716-366-4892.

The NCCF is committed to improving the community through the promotion of local philanthropy, strategic grantmaking, and community leadership.  Served by a small staff and governed by an all-volunteer board of directors, the organization has distributed over $12.9 million in the form of grants and scholarships within the community.  Truly community in nature, the NCCF is an organization created by and for the people of northern Chautauqua County.  For more information, visit or call 716-366-4892.