Learn what’s happening at the Foundation and in the communities where we work. Hear from staff and partners about their accomplishments and lessons learned along the way.

Five young people jumping with a refresh symbol in front of them.
Results-Based Accountability: A Refresher


Author: Don Matteson

About eight years ago, we shared a blog post outlining our approach to Results-Based Accountability (RBA) as a tool for evaluating our grants’ effectiveness. With the benefit of a few more years of working with and thinking about RBA, a refreshed introduction seemed to be in order. Beyond that, we’re now seeing how we can … Continued

Oh, what a night!


Author: Tracy Sawicki

Last week, I attended Mental Health Advocates of Western New York annual fundraising event. It was a milestone occasion in many ways. It was MHA’s 60th anniversary; and for many in the room, it was the first event they had been to in two years. Ironically, this event was also the last event many of … Continued

Changes in Store for Advisory Team 2022


Author: Nicholas Randell

This year, the Tower Advisory Team heads in an exciting new direction. In 2022, a dozen or more advisors will come together to launch and execute a grantmaking initiative of their own making. The young people that make up the advisory team (target age is 18-30) represent a mix of the communities where we fund … Continued

Reflections on our Equity Work


Author: Tracy Sawicki

Last week, I shared our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals. This week, I’ve asked three of our Trustees, Cindy Doyle, Jim Weiss, and Dave Welbourn, to join me in sharing reflections on this milestone. Each of these Trustees have championed the effort to bring an equity perspective to our work and were instrumental … Continued

Announcing our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Goals


Author: Tracy Sawicki

For the last year and a half, the Tower Foundation has focused on bringing an equity perspective to our work. Today I am excited to share new goals we have adopted. At the Tower Foundation, we believe that young people with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders should have the chance … Continued

Sunsetting our COVID-19 Funding


Author: Megan MacDavey

After three cycles and over $1.6 million dollars awarded to 120 agencies, we are sunsetting our COVID-19 grants. Even though the pandemic is not yet over, a new day is dawning for nonprofits that requires our funding to change too. We are moving on from our COVID-19 funding category and embedding the lessons learned throughout our … Continued

Tower Foundation Advisory Team Hits Its Stride


Author: Nicholas Randell

Blog posts in this space have traced the evolution of the Tower Foundation Advisory Team in some detail.  In the fall of 2019, we told you about the initial formation of a seven-member advisory team, made up of young Western New Yorkers with intellectual disabilities. This fun and dynamic group helped us review applications in … Continued

2022 Grantmaking Planning in Process


Author: Don Matteson

Our 2021 funding cycles are now closed* and we know many of you are wondering what our 2022 grantmaking will look like. We’re still working on our 2022 grant guidelines and a finalized grantmaking calendar. Here’s what we can share now: We’ll be increasing the number of opportunities to apply for Strengthening Partner Capacity grants … Continued

Mental Health Stigma and Community Data: A Conversation Starter


Author: Nicholas Randell

One of the aspirational goals for our mental health grantmaking at the Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation is pretty simple: Stigma related to mental illness is eliminated. The recently launched TowerDATA Dashboard looks at community data that may be able to tell us if the counties where we fund are seeing movement towards a reduction … Continued