First Niagara Foundation Announces $80,000 Grant to Support

Governor’s Prevention Partnership 

Governor Malloy Applauds First Niagara’s Support for Mentoring Initiatives in Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, CT., October 28, 2013 – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined First Niagara Bank in announcing a commitment of $80,000 from the First Niagara Foundation to support the Governor’s Prevention Partnership (GPP), a statewide public-private alliance building a strong, healthy future workforce through leadership in mentoring. Governor Malloy serves as Co-Chair of the GPP Board of Directors.

“Last year, with the help of volunteers and local businesses like First Niagara, the Governor’s Prevention Partnership was able to support mentoring relationships for 20,000 youth in 135 programs,” Malloy said. “I applaud First Niagara for its efforts to support mentoring initiatives in Connecticut and look forward to continued success as a result of this collaboration.”

Over the past two years, First Niagara’s support has allowed GPP to create public service announcements and marketing materials to increase mentor recruitment in Connecticut by 67%. The organization has also laid the groundwork for a greater New Haven mentoring hub, and recently launched a new mentoring program at Parkville Community School in Hartford, where First Niagara employees participate as mentors.

“The funding we receive from the First Niagara Foundation allows the Governor’s Prevention Partnership to raise awareness of the growing need for mentors, and to expand our mentoring initiatives across the state,” GPP President and CEO Jill Spinetti said. “We’d like to thank Governor Malloy and First Niagara for their continued support of our mission.”

Monday’s event coincided with several across First Niagara’s footprint, announcing a total of $1 million awarded to 33 organizations in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The 2013 donations were made through First Niagara’s Mentoring MattersSM signature grant program to support youth mentoring in communities it serves. The Mentoring Matters program funds youth mentoring programs designed to close the achievement gap, help children improve school attendance and performance, prevent substance abuse and behavioral problems, and give at-risk youth a chance to reach their potential whether it be in college or the work place. 

“First Niagara began working with Jill Spinetti and her team immediately upon entering Connecticut in 2011, and it was clear from day one that we had found the perfect non-profit mentoring partner,” First Niagara New England Regional President David Ring said. “We’re pleased to continue our support for the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, and for mentoring initiatives across our footprint through our Mentoring Matters program.”

Including today’s contributions, First Niagara has provided more than $5.25 million in financial support for mentoring programs in all the communities it serves since the program’s inception in 2007.  Additionally, First Niagara team members are encouraged to volunteer with mentoring initiatives in their communities across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In making grant decisions, First Niagara evaluates specific community needs along with program metrics and outcomes. The $1.0 million investment in this year’s 33 community-based recipient organizations will directly support more than 45,000 youth participants in proven mentoring programs.

Why Mentoring Matters

Mentoring Matters is First Niagara’s charitable giving program that provides monetary and employee volunteer support to organized mentoring initiatives.  Established by the company in 2007, Mentoring Matters reinforces the importance of mentoring and the positive impact that it has on today’s young adults.  In 2009, First Niagara expanded the reach and impact of Mentoring Matters by launching its annual Day of Mentoring, offering young people the opportunity to spend a day with First Niagara volunteers to learn about financial literacy, work place awareness and enhanced life skills.

About The First Niagara Foundation

First Niagara Foundation is a not for profit corporation founded in 1998.  The Foundation is committed to supporting organizations in the communities in which we live and work with specific focus on youth and education, community development and neighborhood revitalization.  In 2012 the Foundation contributed more than $10 million in charitable grants to community partners.  For more information, visit

About First Niagara

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with approximately 420 branches, $37 billion in assets, $27 billion in deposits, and approximately 5,800 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  For more information, visit