Guidance & Advisement

The Children’s Guild Foundation’s work is more than just its grant making. The Foundation works to change what is, into what should be. As community leaders, we see our grant making and advocacy blending together to ensure that our vision is not just an aspiration but something that can really be done, something that is within reach.

We engage in research, data collection and elevation of public dialogue surrounding issues pertinent to our mission. We help develop leadership and build organizational capacity within the nonprofit organizations we fund. And we continue to partner with others in our field to create new initiatives that will bring about better opportunities for differently abled children and their families.

An area of great interest to our Foundation has been helping to ensure access for families to quality special education and support services.  Through several years of gathering together stakeholders in education, related support services, state regulators and fellow funders to learn and understand the challenges and road blocks facing families, we are leading, along with these partners, an initiative that will ensure that all children with disabilities in Western New York have access to high quality educational opportunities through the establishment and operation of a collaborative center. This center will be a leading resource in Western New York dedicated to assuring timely and effective support services and advocacy to serve all differently abled students particularly those enrolled in charter and non-public schools. 

Recently established as a 501(c)3 organization, the Opportunities Collaborative for Special Needs Students will provide technical assistance and advocacy for member schools in Western New York to best serve differently abled students with a non-exclusive focus on charter and non-public schools, through:


1.    Offering training and professional development for school leaders, teachers, and governing boards so the schools they represent can best support these students;
2.    Partnering with stakeholders to develop new funding streams, increase existing funding streams, and make use of untapped funding streams toward the aim of best supporting high-quality outcomes;
3.    Sharing effective practices for serving differently abled students from the Western New York region, the State of New York, and nationally;
4.    Advocating for differently abled students and their families, to assure that these students receive an appropriate inclusive education;
5.    Working to ensure that the civil rights and educational best interests of these students are protected;
6.    Building capacity for all schools, particularly charter and non-public schools, to provide high-quality related services;
7.    Developing strong local, state, and national partnerships with all stakeholders, districts, schools, philanthropies, institutes of higher education, community-based organizations, other advocacy groups, governmental agencies, among others, to increase opportunities, services, and resources afforded to differently abled students ; and
8.    Enabling all schools to increase academic, socio-emotional, and life skill outcomes for these students.