Philanthropy for Erie's Transformation

June 19, 2018


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The Erie Community Foundation announced its Transformational Philanthropy 2.0 grant, an array of large grants, to organizations whose projects and programs are deemed vital to Erie's positive transformation.

These grants, together totaling $1,950,000, show the Foundation’s investment in our youth, our neighborhoods and our downtown. “We are supporting efforts to revitalize our downtown, transform our economy, improve our neighborhoods, block by block, and to invest in our most important resource, our citizens,” said Michael L. Batchelor, President of The Erie Community Foundation.

Grants invested in our youth include a $200,000 grant to Gannon University for Go College at Strong Vincent Middle School, a $150,000 grant to Mother Teresa Academy for facilities Renewal and Recommitment program, a $200,000 grant to Penn State Erie, The Behrend College for Susan Hirt Hagen CORE Expansion Project, and a $250,000 grant to United Way of Erie County for the Community School Truancy Prevention through Community Coordination.

Grants invested in our neighborhoods include a $250,000 grant to Bayfront East Side Taskforce for its BEST Focused Neighborhood Revitalization project, a $250,000 grant to Bayfront NATO, Inc. for Minority Community Investment Coalition, and a $250,000 grant to Our West Bayfront for the West 8th Street Corridor Revitalization.

Grants invested in our downtown include a $100,000 grant to Erie Downtown Development Corporation for Revitalizing Erie’s Downtown through strong Community Vision and Activation, a $100,000 grant to Perry Square Alliance for Accelerate Infrastructure Investments in Perry Square, and a $200,000 grant to The Urban Oasis Project for The Oasis Market.

“All of these grants are designed to support our unprecedented $10 million investments designed to establish an Erie County Community College, a downtown Innovation District and to strengthen neighborhoods and community centers. We are currently planning a third, multi-year, round of grants to accelerate our momentum,” said Batchelor.

During the announcement event held at the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Transformational Philanthropy, each of the organizations receiving grants spoke to the transformation impact of their projects. “When our community collaborates to achieve a specific agenda, 2 + 2 equals much more than 4,” said Batchelor. “The community is fortunate to have these and many other such organizations leading critical efforts that have direct, measured outcomes for Erie's betterment. The Erie Community Foundation is committed to investing our community's support in projects such as these that will have transformational impact for all in our community."

The Erie Community Foundation is committed to community impact in step with efforts to move the needle on the Erie Vital Signs indicators in ways to further position Erie as a place of choice to live, work and play.  The Foundation, as routine, will be working with each community partner to track progress.  Special effort will be made to seek synergies.  For example, the Foundation has invited several to a discussion on urban agriculture as a result of recognizing this theme across several partners of the proposals.