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.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Learning Network Meets In-Person for First Time


Author: Megan MacDavey

Since November 2020, representatives from several grant partner organizations have met monthly to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in their work. This group, convened by Program Officers Chuck Colston and Megan MacDavey, has blossomed into a network that supports and learns from one another.  After many months of meeting by Zoom, this group finally … Continued

Guest Blogger: Niko DelValle, Intern & Advisory Team Member


Author: Guest

Niko DelValle has been a member of the Tower Advisory Team since its first iteration in 2019.  This year he joined the Tower Foundation as an intern to help support Advisory Team activities. Here Niko talks about his experience as an Advisory Team member. Back in 2019, I was at a bit of a crossroads … Continued


Author: Tracy Sawicki

The Tower Foundation is shocked and saddened by the senseless mass shooting that took place in Buffalo, New York. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families as they grieve the tragic loss of their loved ones. We are also deeply concerned about our community. Our staff members live in Buffalo and are still … Continued

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