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Photo credit: East Side Avenues/University at Buffalo Regional Institute

Showing strength in the face of unthinkable tragedy

Our purpose

The Buffalo Together Community Response Fund (BTCRF) was created to work together toward a more just and equitable community after the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, on May 14, 2022. A person filled with hate and racism targeted a thriving local grocery store in a historically Black neighborhood and killed 10 members of our community because of the color of their skin. Three others were injured and countless others in our community were traumatized.

The BTCRF is a collaboration of 14 local funding organizations coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and United Way of Buffalo & Erie County with support from 100 local and national foundations and corporations, as well as more than 2,000 community members.

To date, we have raised $5.5 million. Our first priority was to support black-led organizations mobilizing resources in the neighborhood to enable them to respond to immediate critical neighborhood needs utilizing $655,000 in grants distributed to 86 organizations.

Now, our work addresses conditions resulting from long-standing structural racism and lack of investment that have harmed communities of color and blocked investment in East Buffalo neighborhoods. With local residents leading the effort, we expect to turn the remaining funds into long-term initiatives to support and lift the neighborhoods east of Main Street.

Progress to date

  • May 2022: Collaborative group of funders, coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the United Way of Buffalo, form the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund; more than 100 local and national foundations and 2,000 community members contribute.
  • June 2022: More than $655,000 in grant funding is distributed to 89 Black-led organizations working in the community in the immediate aftermath of the shooting to provide food access, mental health services, and to address critical community needs.
  • August 2022: Dr. LaVonne Ansari, CEO and executive director of the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc.; and Thomas Beauford, Jr., president and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League, are asked to co-chair a community-led initiative to address systemic issues and structural racism in East Buffalo.
  • September 2022: 15 community members are chosen to participate on the Steering Committee with the responsibility to develop priorities and a plan of action to address critical issues that will address racial inequities.
  • October 2022: The Steering Committee, with separate funding from local philanthropic organizations, hires Minneapolis-based Rainbow Research to lead the process.
  • November 2022: Steering Committee and consultant are publicly announced and commence work.

News & press releases

Buffalo Together Community Response Fund Announces Formation of Community-Led Steering Committee

Members chosen based on experience, insight and connection to East Buffalo Community

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June 24, 2022, Announcement

Buffalo Together Community Response Fund Announces Additional Grantees, Fund Co-Chairs and Updated Fund Total

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May 27, 2022, Announcement

Buffalo Together Community Response Fund Announces Effort to Address Community Need after Jefferson Avenue Tragedy

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FAQs

The BTCRF was created to address conditions resulting from long-standing structural racism and lack of investment that have harmed communities of color and blocked investment in East Buffalo neighborhoods. The BTCRF can only provide funding to nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations.

The BTCRF is a collaboration of 14 local funding organizations coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.

Thanks to the generosity of more than 100 corporations and foundations, as well as over 2,000 individuals from around the country, the BTCRF has raised $5.5M.

Currently, the BTCRF is not distributing emergency response grants.

For any questions, please email BuffaloTogetherFund@cfgb.org.