James H. Cummings Foundation was established to support the philanthropic vision of its namesake. Throughout its 52-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 grant application. 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: 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, 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.
geographic areas: The Foundation is limited geographically to the following three metropolitan areas: Grant requests for Hendersonville County will be reviewed for October and March cycles. Grant requests from Buffalo, NY will be reviewed for all cycles. Grant requests for the City of Toronto will be reviewed for December and May cycles.

impact areas: The Foundation's interests are directed toward not-for-profit organizations actively engaged in the following strategic goals:
  • To advance post-secondary medical education, medical research and education (Buffalo, Toronto and Hendersonville).
  • To provide services for vulnerable children (limited to Buffalo and Hendersonville).
  • To assist aged and infirm persons (limited to Buffalo and Hendersonville).
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:
  • Applying organizations must be tax exempt.
  • Priority is given to capital projects.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All applications must be submitted through our online process.
  • For tips, consult our Online Application Guide.
  • The Directors of the Foundation meet quarterly.
  • Grant requests from Buffalo, NY will be reviewed for all cycles.
  • Grant requests for Hendersonville County will be reviewed for October and March cycles.(Scroll for dates)
  • Grant requests for the City of Toronto will be reviewed for December and May cycles.(Scroll for dates)

2017/2018 key dates & deadlines:
LOI open
July 10, 2017
    LOI open
Oct. 2, 2017
LOI due
July 24, 2017
    LOI due
Oct. 16, 2017
Application due
Aug. 9, 2017
    Application due
Nov. 6, 2017
Board meeting
Sept. 13, 2017
    Board meeting
Dec. 13, 2017
LOI open
Jan. 2, 2018
    LOI open
March 12, 2018
LOI due
Jan. 15, 2018
    LOI due
March 26, 2018
Application due
Jan. 29, 2018
    Application due
April 16, 2018
Board meeting
Feb. 28, 2018
    Board meeting
May 16, 2018

follow up / grant approval:
  • Organization must submit proof of paid expenditures to receive payment of grant.
  • 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.
Apply Online
For more information, consult our Online Application Guide.
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:
Mary Jo Hunt
120 West Tupper Street, Suite 201
Buffalo, New York 14201-2170

telephone: (716) 874-0040
fax: (716) 854-2659

email Mary Jo: mjhunt@jameshcummings.com
email Erin: emckendry@jameshcummings.com

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, 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 James H. Cummings Foundation.