NextGen Rochester is awarding $9,000 in grants to support high-impact nonprofit programs in Greater Rochester for 2012. This giving circle of young professionals, which pools its resources for annual grantmaking, also recently announced a campaign to raise an endowment for NextGen — an effort supported in part by a $5,000 challenge grant from the Community Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to help support promising programs at five area nonprofits this year, bringing our total giving to $43,480 to 22 organizations since our founding 2009. As we look to the future, we know that an endowment will allow us to sustain and expand our impact with local nonprofits,” says NextGen Chair Matthew McDermott.

At NextGen’s fourth annual meeting, held November 5 at Geva Theatre Center, the group announced plans to raise an initial $25,000 for an endowment to support its vision to sustain and empower philanthropy from young professionals committed to improving Greater Rochester.

NextGen introduces philanthropy to young professionals early in their careers and provides them with opportunities to initiate positive change in the community by annually pooling financial contributions and awarding grants to nonprofit organizations. Members contribute at least $100 per year and have the opportunity to participate in selecting the grant recipients.

After reviewing more than 100 initial grant applications this fall, NextGen’s Grants Committee invited eight nonprofit organizations to present their grant proposals to Giving Circle members at the annual meeting. The public meeting also gave nonprofit representatives and NextGen members the opportunity for one-on-one networking. The meeting culminated with members voting to select the organizations that would receive grants.

Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $2,500 for the following programs, which were approved by NextGen’s membership:

  • Friends of the Rochester Public Market ($2,500): Funding would support the token program at the market, which was initiated in 2008. Food stamp-eligible residents are able to use their benefits cards to buy tokens and exchange them for fresh produce at the market.
  • Green Angels ($2,000): This program provides a printed community resource guide in Wayne County for low-income residents with limited access to the Internet and other services.
  • Rochester Hearing and Speech Center ($2,000): Summer Services Outreach provides speech language therapy, academic readiness, and early literacy enrichment to 200 preschool-aged children over a seven-week period. Participants are primarily low-income residents of Rochester.
  • NW Neighborhood Outreach ($1,500): Serving residents in the Northwest section of Rochester, this program helps provide identification documents, including birth certificates and non-driver state identification cards, to residents who cannot afford the cost of obtaining them. Once they have the proper ID, these residents have greater access to employment opportunities and services.
  • Writers and Books ($1,000): This grant will support the development of an online literary magazine written for and by local teens. The organization will partner with area high schools and businesses on this project with the goal of encouraging youth to participate in creative writing, poetry and literature.


For more information, visit