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ECGRA Invests $646,814 in 9 Erie County Lead Assets

Posted on December 8th, 2016 at 11:30 AM
ECGRA Invests $646,814 in 9 Erie County Lead Assets

At a 10:30 a.m. press conference today at the Watson-Curtze Mansion, 356 West 6th Street, Erie, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA) invested $646,814 in the Erie County Lead Assets—nine culture-, heritage-, and recreation-based nonprofits, listed below, that dramatically impact our economy and improve our quality of place. 

Erie Art Museum


Erie Arts & Culture


Erie County Historical Society


Erie Philharmonic


Erie Playhouse


Erie Zoological Society


expERIEnce Children’s Museum


Flagship Niagara League


Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture


In 2011, ECGRA named and made its initial investments in the Erie County Lead Assets for the critical role they play in the region’s economy. Since that time, ECGRA has made five major cash investments in each of the nine organizations totaling $3,557,466.

ECGRA has made an additional $11,200,791 in investments in the Lead Assets via an endowment fund held in trust at The Erie Community Foundation. Created by ECGRA in 2012, the fund is now valued at $12,500,000 and is expected to support the Lead Assets in perpetuity.

ECGRA Executive Director Perry Wood said, “By investing in our Lead Assets, we’re investing in Erie’s ability to attract, and retain creative talent and innovative businesses. It is by thoughtful design that these anchor institutions receive such a high percentage of ECGRA funding—second only to our investments in local government.”

In grant and endowment funding, ECGRA has invested a total of $15,405,071 in the Erie County Lead Assets representing more than 34% of the $43 million ECGRA has distributed since 2009.

This investment marks only the second made using funds from the endowment. A blended funding model, Lead Assets were funded in both grant and endowment dollars in April 2016. Today, they received $242,414 in cash from ECGRA and $404,400 in payment derived from interest earned on the multi-million dollar endowment. In 2017, ECGRA will fully fund Lead Assets using monies earned on the endowment.

“Erie’s economic health is directly tied to the health of these cultural organizations. Creativity sparks creativity and if there’s one thing we need in today’s economy, it is creative innovation,” added Wood. “ECGRA has always been committed to providing Lead Assets with stable, long-term funding. Thanks to the board of directors’ foresight and The Erie Community Foundation’s expertise in development and investing, we can accomplish that.”

 “We are honored to partner with ECGRA and these exceptional community-based organizations,” said Foundation President Mike Batchelor. “Grants from this endowment will benefit our community forever. It is literally impossible to predict the good that will eventually flow from this thoughtful philanthropy. We hope other donors will join ECGRA and further build the capacity of this fund to help future generations.”


 An impact investor, ECGRA’s mission is to elevate Erie County by galvanizing nonprofits and small businesses toward economic and community development. Since February 2008, ECGRA has invested more than $43 million in Erie County. Learn more at,, or call 814-897-2690. ECGRA PR CONTACT: Amanda Burlingham - 814-504-3037,