About Our Organization

The John Ben Snow Foundation

The John Ben Snow Foundation is a private foundation that focuses funding for tax-exempt organizations primarily serving Central New York (defined as Onondaga County and its four surrounding counties of Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, and Oswego) across a range of program areas (detailed below) while responding to the ever-changing needs of various segments of the population, especially to the needs of youth and people who are disadvantaged either physically or economically.

  • Arts and Culture: This program offers grants that promote arts education and appreciation, particularly for young adults, via the development of educational curriculum, instruction, visiting artists, and performance support.
  • Community Initiatives: This program provides funding for programs or services that directly improve the quality of life within the Central New York community. Examples include support for libraries, literacy programs, food pantries and shelters, and neighborhood revitalization.
  • Education Program: This program targets funds to organizations that provide educational opportunities or academic assistance to individuals who demonstrate an intellectual aptitude as well as a financial need. Examples include scholarships, fellowships, academic counseling and services.
  • Environmental: This program provides funds for organizations that strive to protect strategic parcels of land and bodies of water as well as programs that educate the general public on key environmental issues such as conservation, endangered species, and water management.
  • Historic Preservation: This program provides funding for organizations that preserve historical artifacts (e.g. sites, structures, objects) and accounts (e.g. events), and educate the greater community on their significance. Examples include museums, historical societies and educational programming.
  • Journalism: This program targets funds for programs that impact or advance the area of journalism. Examples include summer workshops, journalism scholarships, and literary recognition.
  • Disabilities and Universal Access: This program offers grants to organizations in complying with ADA requirements within their facilities (e.g. elevator, hand rails, automatic doors, and ramps) or offering services targeted for disabled individuals, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.
  • Youth Initiatives: This area of grant making offers grants that build character education via mentoring, after-school programming, artistic expression, camp scholarships, or sports.

It is the Foundation’s general policy to give preference to proposals seeking funds for new or enhanced programs, one-time, short-term grants to sustain a program until funding is stabilized, matching grants used to encourage the participation of other donors, and “last dollars” towards a capital campaign.

The Foundation will not accept proposals from individuals or for-profit organizations. Additionally, the Foundation does not encourage proposals from religious organizations, government agencies, or proposals for endowments, contingency funding, or debt reduction. There are no minimums or maximum grant amounts; however, most grants range from $5,000 to $10,000.

For additional information regarding the Foundation's past grants, please refer to our Annual Reports as well as Foundation Maps.

Board of Directors

  • Jonathan Snow, President
  • David Snow, Vice-President and Treasurer
  • Emelie Williams, Secretary
  • Angus Burton
  • Marion Hancock Fish
  • Valerie MacFie


  • Elizabeth Snow, Grants Manager
  • Ann Scanlon, Program Director Emeritus