Gifting Guidelines

The Grigg Lewis Foundation, Inc. is a private non-operating foundation that is required to distribute at least 5% of our assets annually for charitable purposes. The financial market plays a large part in our decision making, as our board members have a fiduciary responsibility to honor our founder’s wishes, and to ensure that the Foundation continues in perpetuity. The Foundation has often granted over and above this required 5% distribution, but must weigh our current investment performance to ensure we are not consistently taking from our principal.

Each request is reviewed carefully and objectively to ensure that we are here, as an asset to the residents of Eastern Niagara County and the greater part of Western New York, for many generations to come.

The following stipulations will also be considered:

  • The Grigg Lewis Foundation makes grants only to tax-exempt organizations with 501(c)3 classifications from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The Foundation does not provide direct aid to individuals (including scholarships).  We do not make donations to religious causes other than to those that were supported by Mrs. Lewis during her lifetime.
  • Projects must show a benefit to residents of Niagara County, with special regard given to those benefiting Eastern Niagara County. They must provide a substantial benefit to this area and must not be duplicates of programs or services already existing.
  • Although there may be exceptions, the requesting charity organization should not be supported by tax dollars or other ready sources of income to include insurance reimbursement and fee based programs. 
  • Charities must have a clear mandate, purpose and leadership. Charities must be willing to provide reports covering the operation of the programs for which the grants are paid.
  • The requesting organizations must be well organized with a successful track record. Start-up programs will be subject to a thorough examination of their feasibility and sustainability, and must supply a business plan.
  • The Grigg Lewis Foundation will consider multi-year grants and will encourage challenge or matching grants.


  • Arts & Cultural Programs
  • Senior Programs
  • Preservation & Restoration of Local History
  • Human Services
  • Health & Wellness Programs (non-clinical)
  • Youth Programs
  • Local Tourism
  • Community Improvement & Development
  • Educational Programs

Total Financial Assets: $44,494,254.42 (2020)
Total Number of Grants Made: 100 (2020)
Total Value of Grants Awarded: $1,516,804.00 (2020)