The James H. Cummings Foundation was established to support the philanthropic vision of its namesake. Throughout its 40-year history, the Foundation has aided countless organizations engaged in advancing charitable interests according to the guidelines and policies espoused by Mr. Cummings. Not-for-profit groups in these specific areas may submit a proposal under our grant application procedures at any time. All such applications will be duly considered by our board of directors, who are dedicated to the fulfillment of the Foundation’s mission. We welcome you to contact us with any further questions.
history: The James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit corporation organized in New York State in July of 1962 for the purpose of complying with certain directions in the will of its founder and namesake.
     James H. Cummings was a resident of Buffalo, New York where he owned and operated a pharmaceutical business, American Ferment Company. Routinely spending 14-hour days working at his desk or in the laboratory, Cummings built the company’s success around a group of proprietary medicines which carried the trade name, “Caroid.”
     With offices and plants in both Buffalo and Toronto, Canada, Mr. Cummings grew strong ties to both cities, but he was just as much at home raising cattle on a farm he owned near Hendersonville, North Carolina.
     Admired for his unassuming manner, friendly air, and a quiet generosity, he is remembered as a down-to-earth man whose keen interest in medicine inspired those who knew him to call him “Dr. Cummings.”
     After selling the pharmaceutical business in 1938, Cummings made it a priority to give back to the communities with which he had grown connected, funding hospital and church construction projects, among other philanthropic undertakings.
     After his death in 1959, the James H. Cummings Foundation was established to carry out the wishes outlined in Mr. Cummings will, continuing the support for charitable interests he had served during his life.
  • To advance post-secondary medical education, medical research and education.
  • To provide services for underprivileged children (limited to Buffalo and Hendersonville).
  • To assist aged and infirmed persons (limited to Buffalo and Hendersonville).
The Foundation is limited geographically to the following three metropolitan areas: Grant Requests for Hendersonville County will be reviewed for September and February cycles.
Grant requests for the City of Toronto will be reviewed for December and May cycles.

The Foundation’s interests are directed toward not-for-profit organizations actively engaged in the fields mentioned and situated in one of the geographic locations.

policies: In addition to specific interests and limitations set forth in Mr. Cummings’ will, the Foundation’s Board of Directors has adopted the following additional policies:
  • Grants are not made to individuals, including scholarship aid or fellowships.
  • Grants are not made toward salaries, ordinary operating expenses, program costs, deficit financing, contingency reserves or endowments.
  • Grants are not made to national organizations.
  • Priority is given to medical proposals and capital projects.
A preliminary letter or telephone inquiry to the Executive Director concerning the Foundation’s policies is encouraged since it may save the time and expense of preparing a complete application. It would be helpful for applicants to submit drafts of their intended requests to discuss with the Executive Director before sending a complete proposal.
grant application procedures: Application forms are not used. Applying organizations must be tax exempt.
     The Directors of the Foundation meet quarterly, usually in February, May, September and December. To be considered at the next meeting, a completed proposal should be received as soon as possible but no later than 30 days prior to the meeting. Specific meeting dates can be ascertained by calling the Foundation office. Applications, which are not received in time for one meeting, are carried over to the next one. A grant request from any one organization to which payments from a previous grant are outstanding will not be accepted until the previous grant is paid in full.
     The application must be signed by both the organization’s top administrative officer and its board chair. It should represent the organization’s highest funding priority for the Foundation. The following should be included:
  • Six copies of a two-page proposal, one-sided pages, to include:
    1. A short history and mission of the organization.
    2. The grant purpose and amount requested.
    3. Expected outcomes.
    4. When funds are needed and other essential facts.
  • Six copies, one-sided pages of:
    1. Board of Directors list.
    2. The most recent audited financial statements.
  • One copy of the tax exemption certificate from the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of National Revenue in Canada.
Applicants wishing to submit further information may send one copy to the attention of the Executive Director.

monitoring: The Foundation asks the organization to which a grant has been made, to submit progress reports that document the expenditures related to the grant and evaluate the outcomes. Grantee accountability in this respect will influence future grant request consideration by the Foundation.
     A copy of the Foundation’s 990-PF form is available in the office for anyone wishing additional information.
board of directors:
Charles F. Kreiner, Jr. President
Richard C. Bryan, Jr. Vice President
William L. Joyce Treasurer
Amy L. Clifton
Christopher T. Greene
Robert J.A. Irwin
Theodore I. Putnam, MD
executive director & secretary:
Brigid Doherty
120 West Tupper Street, Suite 201
Buffalo, New York 14201-2170

Telephone: (716) 874-0040

Fax: (716) 854-2659


Member of Western New York Grantmakers Association
James H. Cummings
Admired for his unassuming manner, friendly air, and a quiet generosity, Cummings was dedicated to giving back to the communities he called “home”.
Buffalo, New York
It's fitting that the charitable organization, The James H. Cummings Foundation, calls Buffalo “home,” just as Cummings himself did for years as a resident of
Depew Avenue in the heart of the city.
North Carolina

James Cummings spent long hours in his office and laboratory, but was also very much at home raising cattle on the farm he owned near Hendersonville. His personal ties to that community are carried forth in the work of the Foundation.
Toronto, Ontario
Home to one of the American Ferment Company’s manufacturing facilities, Cummings developed a connection with Toronto which is reflected in the mission of the James H. Cummings Foundation.