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Foundation Support and Production Funding

The Foundation and Community Development Department secures grant funding for television and radio productions, education and outreach, as well as for equipment and building needs.

Funders who are interested in productions or initiatives are encouraged to contact us to receive details about programs in need of funding.


Lori Overdorf
Director of Foundation & Government Relations

Production Support and Production Funding icon

Television (Seeking Funding):

Western New York Makes

Western New York has a rich history for innovation and invention. Surprising things are made here every day: furniture for the Oval Office is made in Buffalo; the only metal kazoos in the U.S. are made in Eden; the only independently owned and operated wind tunnel in the U.S. is based in Buffalo.

Western New York Makes will be an ongoing video series that takes viewers behind the scenes to see how these products are made while also learning about the company that made them and their impact on the WNY region.


Women's Suffrage in New York

Discovering New York Suffrage Stories | Premiered February 1, 2021

Buffalo Toronto Public Media has a unique opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. WNED PBS is producing a television program that shares the inspiring history of women in New York who played instrumental roles in the suffrage movement. The program will achieve two goals: To share the stories of women in New York who played critically important roles in the advancement of the movement, and to examine how far we have come as a nation regarding equal rights for women today.

Funders: The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Susan Howarth Foundation, and KeyBank in partnership with First Niagara Foundation. With additional funding from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation and Humanities New York.

The Warrior Tradition

The Warrior Tradition

This is a one-hour documentary on the story of the involvement and contribution of Native Americans in the military throughout American history. The project will contain an extensive website and a content-rich educational component.

Funders: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Independent Health, Arizona Humanities

Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark

Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark

The largest and most influential design by architect Henry Hobson Richardson, today the Richardson Olmsted Complex is being reimagined as a cultural destination for the Western New York region. This is a 30-minute television documentary on the fascinating history, ongoing rehabilitation, and future of Buffalo’s Richardson Olmsted Complex. Corresponding digital components, including digital videos and online educational materials, allow for increased engagement opportunities.

Funders: Peter C. Cornell Trust, The Zemsky Family


WBFO News Desks

As a way to enhance, expand, and focus WBFO’s news coverage, the station has established several content-specific desks. Each desk focuses on a specific subject such as Arts & Culture, Business & Economy, Education, Health & Wellness, Older Adults, and Women. Each news desk may have up to two funders, and we also continue to seek funding for new desks to explore additional topics, including Veterans, Science & Tech, Binational Issues (U.S. and Canada), Disabilities and Sport in our Society.


Art and Culture - Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

Business and Economy - The M&T Charitable Foundation

Disabilities - The Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation

Health and Wellness - BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

Older Adults - Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, Elderwood

Women - Catholic Health System


Digital Projects:

Making Buffalo Home - A Refugee's First Year

Making Buffalo Home

This year it is estimated that over 2,000 refugees will resettle in the area. We know that statistics do not tell us the full story of immigration—people do. In that vein, we are working closely with community partners to create online videos, personal video essays, and a project website to share these important stories with the Buffalo community.

Funder: Rich Products Corporation and Rich Family Foundation

Reach Out: Recognize Relationship Abuse

Reach Out: Recognize Relationship Abuse

One in three teens will experience some form of abuse in their dating relationships. Reach Out: Recognize Relationship Abuse was created through a partnership between WNED and the Family Justice Center to shed light on this subject and provide people with the tools and resources to identify the red flags and warning signs of abuse and understand how to best approach someone who might be in an abusive relationship.

Funder: West Herr

Mental Health Initiative

Mental Health Initiative

There is a need for better understanding among the general public of the subtleties and significance of mental illness within our community. Through reporting on WBFO, digital video segments on the web and shared on social media, Facebook Live discussions, and the creation of educational tools, we will work to normalize the conversation about mental illness and destigmatize this issue through sustained informational and educational efforts.

Funder: Patrick P. Lee Foundation

Racial Equity Project

Racial Equity Project

In recent years, Western New York has experienced a significant economic and cultural resurgence, resulting in an increase in some residents’ quality of life. As the city continues to experience this growth, it is imperative to address concerns of racial equity. We envision a Buffalo where everyone has the ability to access, experience, and participate in all that our region has to offer, and to achieve this goal there must be a greater understanding of how the issue of racial equity impacts all of us on a daily basis. Through radio broadcasts, Facebook Live events, and digital content, we will provide substantive and engaging stories and discussions meant to educate the community and collectively search for solutions.

Funder: Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Previous Productions:

Ralph Tease
Rating: TV-G

The Ralph Wilson Story

This program will share the story of Ralph Wilson, Jr., former owner of the Buffalo Bills and well known philanthropist, in a television documentary celebrating his life, love for football and commitment to the people of both cities.

Co-funder: New Era Cap Co. Inc.

Watch The War of 1812
Rating: TV-PG

The War of 1812

With stunning re-enactments, evocative animation and the incisive commentary of key experts, this national PBS documentary presents the conflict that forged the destiny of a continent.

Funders: The National Endowment for the Humanities; The Wilson Foundation; Warren and Barbara Goldring; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; The Arthur Vining Foundations; Philip B. Lind; The Annenberg Foundation; The Baird Foundation, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission; and The Jackman Foundation.

Watch Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America
Rating: TV-G

Frederick law Olmsted: Designing America

This national PBS documentary explores the life and legacy of America’s greatest landscape architect. The film explores the enormous contributions of Olmsted to the American landscape, as well as his marked failures and loss.


Funders: National Endowments for the Humanities; The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation; HSBC, the Tiffany & Co. Foundation; C.E. and S. Foundation, The Peter C. Cornell Trust; and Mass Humanities.

Watch The Adirondacks
Rating: NR

The Adirondacks

The story of the Adirondacks is told through a series of passionate characters, each with a distinct perspective on its past, present and future. This national PBS program explores this remarkable region and reveals, at its very heart, a delicate and dynamic relationship between progress and preservation.


Funders: The Kevin T. and Betty Ann Keane Family; The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; PBS; Adirondack Council; I Love NY; The Lyme Timer Company; and Ted and Lisa Pierce.

Watch Chautauqua: An American Narrative
Rating: TV-G

Chautauqua: An American Narrative

Over its 135 year history, Chautauqua has been home to an educational, cultural, and recreational renaissance. This four-part series covers the region’s storied history, its prominent figures, and the influences it still holds today.

Funders: The John R. Oishei Foundation. The Erie Insurance Group, Eric and Marianne Laine and the CUTCO Foundation, The Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development and Gary and Willow Brost.

Watch The Canadian Rockies by Rail
Rating: TV-G

Hockey: More Than A Game

This documentary celebrates one of the fastest, most challenging games in the world, relaying its Canadian spirit, traditions and dramatic human stories. Exploring hockey history and culture, this national program offers an insightful look at the game described as “Canada’s gift to the world.”


Funders: New Era Cap Co., Inc.; NOCO; Frank L. Ciminelli Family Foundation; the Consulate General of Canada in Buffalo; and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Understanding the Opioid Epidemic
Expires: 2022-01-16
Rating: TV-PG

Understanding the Opioid Epidemic

This national broadcast documentary explores the critical issue of painkiller abuse and addiction. Part of this project includes outreach materials that focus on the issue of prevention for middle and high school students.

Funders: BlueCross BlueShield Association, The Brain Research Foundation

Watch The Klondike Gold Rush
Rating: TV-PG

The Klondike Gold Rush

Tracking the rise and fall of Canada’s Dawson City, The Klondike Gold Rush details the luck and loss at the heart of the 1896 gold rush. With input from historians and an award-winning author, the program offers a new perspective on the three-year rush and how those years continue to impact the town and its residents.

Funders: The Wilson Foundation, The Cable Public Affairs Channel, with additional funding provided by The Rogers Documentary Fund, and The Rogers Cable Network Fund. With the participation of The Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC and the assistance of The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

Watch Underground Railroad: William Still Story
Rating: TV-PG

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story

In a span of fourteen years, Philadelphia clerk William Still helped nearly eight hundred fugitive slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. Through Still’s diaries and records, his incredible influence as the leader of a string of abolitionist networks is detailed in this hour-long PBS documentary.

Funders: CN Railway, Rogers Cable Network, Canada Media Fund and the Rogers Documentary Fund. Additional support by David W. Pretty, Vernon Achber and Phil Lind, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Watch If Our Water Could Talk
Rating: TV-G

If Our Water Could Talk

A WNED PBS docuseries, If Our Water Could Talk examines the issues facing Buffalo’s waterfront—from pollution to conservation and the effects of industrialization—and possible steps to reconnect the community to the Buffalo River.

Funders: HSBC and Honeywell. With additional funding from The Joy Family Foundation, Lawley Insurance and The Baird Foundation.