To celebrate its 10th anniversary, ReNU Niagara is going back to its roots. The Niagara University-backed community outreach program has created a yearlong series of courses that will help its partners improve the capacity of their organizations.

Capacity College will offer participants weekly training during the fall semester on the basic aspects of grants, including finding, applying for and managing funding opportunities. Throughout the course, participants will learn how to locate and draft a grant proposal. A review of the mock draft will be conducted during the last week of class.

Beginning Sept. 20, all courses will be held on Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. in St. Vincent’s Hall on the Niagara University campus. The deadline to register is Sept. 13.

A $20 fee covers all fall semester courses and handouts.

Training for the spring semester has yet to be finalized.

ReNU Niagara was launched in 2006 as a Community Outreach Partnership Center focused on working with small, local nonprofits and other organizations to help them build capacity. At that time, ReNU Niagara offered workshops and trainings on fundraising, grant-writing and nonprofit administration.

The Capacity College initiative is a way for ReNU Niagara to commemorate its origin, with the assistance of several partners, including Niagara University’s Office of Continuing Education.

“This program truly reflects the proverb about teaching a man (or woman) to fish,” said Tom Lowe, director of ReNU Niagara. “By addressing the topics that affect organizations on a daily basis, participants will be empowered with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage and grow their organizations.”

ReNU Niagara, a program of the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement, works to build the capacity of residents and organizations that are working to make Niagara Falls and its surrounding areas better, safer communities. Originally established in 2006 with government support and NU investment, ReNU successfully completed a three-year HUD-funded COPC initiative. In 2005, it was established as a program of Niagara University.

ReNU Niagara has worked in partnership with nonprofits and other community-based organizations to fulfill its mission of engaging, empowering and educating diverse community stakeholders to mobilize their collective capacity and resources to improve Niagara Falls and the surrounding areas based on a collaborative vision consistent with the mission and core values of Niagara University.

For more information on ReNU Niagara and “Capacity College,” please call 716.205.0074 or visit