Downtown Boxing Gym

The people—and purpose—
Behind The Work

As we hit the ground running to make a difference, we’re simultaneously learning as much as possible about our communities’ needs. It’s an approach that lets us be responsibly aggressive-acting with the urgency required by our spend-down while also taking the time to understand the complexity of the issues at hand.

With these considerations in mind, in 2015 the Foundation committed $60 million in Transitional Legacy grants, reflecting the personal passion of our namesake and providing grants to many of the organizations Mr. Wilson had a connection to in the past.

In the fall of 2016, we began accepting applications year-round from nonprofits and organizations in Southeast Michigan and Western New York that align within the Foundation’s new mission and focus areas, as determined by our Trustees. To date, these grant recipients include:

Our Grantees

Regions

Focus Areas

Grantee Name

    43North

    Program Area: Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Livable Communities

    Amount: $250,000

    Region: Western New York

    To support the prototyping and refinement of a strategic partnership project in connection with the Western New York-based startup competition.

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    Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development (ACCORD)

    Program Area: Children & Youth, Afterschool

    Amount: $100,000

    Region: Western New York

    To support ACCORD's essential programming, while developing alternative sources of long-term funding for programs.

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Altarum Institute

Program Area: Caregivers

Amount: $175,000

Region: Western New York, Southeast Michigan

To support the evaluation of caregiver grants to help shape the Foundation's grantmaking strategies.

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Alzheimer's Association - Greater Michigan Chapter

Program Area: Caregivers

Amount: $240,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support informal and professional caregivers of older individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities by funding the development of a "train the trainer" model and dispersing it to St. Clair, Livingston, Washtenaw and Monroe counties and other communities.

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Ann Arbor SPARK

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $100,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support plans for the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run.

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Aspen Institute: Project Play

Program Area: Children & Youth, Youth Sports & Recreation

Amount: $1.05 million

Region: Western New York, Southeast Michigan

To support the continued investment in the expansion of quality youth sports opportunities in Western New York, Greater Rochester and Southeast Michigan.

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Bing Youth Institute

Program Area: Children & Youth, Afterschool

Amount: $200,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the Bing Youth Institute's BINGO (Boys Inspired through Nurturing, Growth and Opportunities) Mentoring Program in Detroit to bring together men of color serving as mentors to young high school men of color.

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Buffalo Center for Arts & Technology

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $150,000

Region: Western New York

To support the increased enrollment and job placement of adult participants in its medical coding and pharmacy technician training programs.

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Buffalo Fine Arts Academy
Albright-Knox

Program Area: Special Opportunities

Amount: $6 million

Region: Western New York

While the arts are not our Foundation's core funding areas, we could not pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate and leverage a historic gift to the Albright-Knox to advance this valuable community asset, and improve access for all residents.

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charitySTRONG

Program Area: Livable Communities, Nonprofit Support & Innovation

Amount: $225,000

Region: Western New York

To establish, expand and operate innovative board matching and education programs throughout Western New York, including both Greater Buffalo and Rochester.

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Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Program Area: Children & Youth, Early Childhood

Amount: $675,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the implementation of PEDALS (Positive Emotional Development and Learning Skills) early childhood program in Southeast Michigan.

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Council of Great Lakes Governors

Program Area: Livable Communities, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Amount: $50,000

Region: Western New York, Southeast Michigan

To provide sponsorship support for the Council of Great Lakes Governors' and Premiers' 2017 Leadership Summit.

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Council of Michigan Foundations

Program Area: Nonprofit Support & Innovation, Livable Communities

Amount: $60,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support and expand Learning to Give, a K-12 program that teaches philanthropy as part of daily curriculum in Wayne County.

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Detroit Economic Growth Association

Program Area: Livable Communities, Parks, Trails and Green Design

Amount: $175,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the development of a Sustainability Action Agenda for the City of Detroit's new Office of Sustainability.

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Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $1.5 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the transformation of the A. Philip Randolph Technical Education Center into a state-of-the-art construction and skilled trades training facility for youth and adults in metro Detroit.

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Detroit Food and Entrepreneurship Academy

Program Area: Children & Youth, Afterschool

Amount: $126,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To expand the reach and depth of the Academy's afterschool and summer programs and long-term strategic planning for Small Batch, its revenue generating business.

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Detroit PAL

Program Area: Children & Youth

Amount: $575,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To provide support for staff and operational capacity to successfully transition the organization into a new and expanded facility, while continuing to provide quality service programs.

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Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

Program Area: Livable Communities, Parks, Trails and Green Design

Amount: $345,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support a professionally led, community-driven design competition that will help transform West Riverfront Park into an internationally recognized public gathering place.

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Fair Food Network

Program Area: Livable Communities, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Amount: $1.5 million

Region: Western New York, Southeast Michigan

To expand Double Up Food Bucks produce incentive program through innovative technology and communications in Southeast Michigan and Western New York.

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German Marshall Fund "BUILD" Conference

Program Area: Livable Communities, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Amount: $30,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support its BUILD conference, a unique transatlantic urban and regional policy and leadership conference, that will take place in the U.S. for the first time this November in Detroit.

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GreenLight Fund

Program Area: Livable Communities, Nonprofit Support & Innovation

Amount: $250,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the inaugural GreenLight Detroit Fund, which will identify non-profit service gaps, and fund and import innovative solutions to fill those gaps to improve community outcomes for low-income and working class families and children in the region.

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Grow Detroit's Young Talent Initiative

Detroit Employment Solutions

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $2 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

To provide work experience, skills training and exposure to career pathways for Detroit youth through the Grow Detroit's Young Talent (GYDT) Initiative.

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Head Start Innovation Fund

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Program Area: Children & Youth, Early Childhood

Amount: $2 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

As a new member of the Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, a group of regional and national foundations working to strengthen early childhood development and education, we provided a grant to the Head Start Innovation Fund to expand its good work to the larger region, including Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

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Hearts and Hands

Program Area: Caregivers

Amount: $31,000

Region: Western New York

To provide general programmatic support during a capacity building process and review.

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Help Me Grow Western New York

Niagara University

Program Area: Children & Youth, Early Childhood

Amount: $1.8 million

Region: Western New York

To support and expand the Help Me Grow Western New York initiative in achieving its goal of helping young children stay on track in meeting developmental milestones and receiving appropriate assistance when they're not meeting milestones.

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Hunter's Hope
https://huntershope.org/

Program Area: Caregivers

Amount: $25,000

Region: Western New York

To support the 2017 Family and Medical Symposium.

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Independent Sector

Program Area: Livable Communities, Nonprofit Support & Innovation

Amount: $100,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support sponsorship of the Independent Sector 2017 national conference in Detroit.

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Inner Circle Greenway

City of Detroit

Program Area: Livable Communities, Parks, Trails and Green Design

Amount: $2 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the design and pre-construction of all uncompleted portions of the Inner Circle Greenway and overall framework planning to connect the 26-mile loop in the most impactful way.

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Invest Detroit

Program Area: Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Livable Communities

Amount: $250,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition to create jobs and support high-growth company development in Southeast Michigan.

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Launch NY

Program Area: Livable Communities, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Amount: $2.5 million

Region: Western New York

To create jobs and build a more entrepreneurial culture by supporting Launch NY's efforts to accelerate the commercialization of intellectual property, and execute planning towards building a broader network of coordinated business support in the region.

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Livingston County Catholic Charities

Program Area: Caregivers

Amount: $90,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the operations of senior service programs (Be Our Guest Adult Day, Volunteer Caregiver and Resource Advocacy) that provide resources and respite to caregivers.

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Macomb Community College Foundation

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $1.1 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support a workforce development training program - PRISM (Prosperity Reaches into Southern Macomb) project - that will support training for adults in advanced manufacturing, outreach to introduce and engage high school students in information technology fields, and a pilot on enhancing employer engagement in sustaining workforce training programs.

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Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Program Area: Livable Communities, Parks, Trails and Green Design

Amount: $500,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To fund the implementation of several green infrastructure elements as part of the 6568 Woodward Avenue building redevelopment to serve as a case study and education tool for those doing similar development projects in the city and region. With the Foundation taking the second floor of the building as its headquarters, this will provide staff with a direct learning experience.

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National Comedy Center

Program Area: Livable Communities, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Amount: $3 million

Region: Western New York

To increase tourism and economic development in Western New York by supporting the development of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY.

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New Economy Initiative

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Program Area: Livable Communities, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Amount: $5 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

To create jobs and build a more entrepreneurial culture by supporting the New Economy Initiative, an effort to build a network of business support organizations, accelerate the commercialization of intellectual property and create greater inclusion in business ownership.

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NY Funders Alliance

Program Area: Livable Communities, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Amount: $50,000

Region: Western New York

To support the biennial NYS Funders Conference in Buffalo this November.

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Operating Engineers 324

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $450,000

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support purchasing and deploying six equipment simulators for both classroom and career event environments that will assist in the engagement, recruitment and education of both apprentices and current journeypersons in skilled trades career opportunities.

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Playworks Education Energized

Program Area: Youth Sports & Recreation

Amount: $1.14 million

Region: Western New York

To grow and expand programs in Western New York and Southeast Michigan in order to increase the social competencies in elementary students that are critical to educational and life outcomes.

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Research Foundation at SUNY (UB)

Program Area: Caregivers

Amount: $135,000

Region: Western New York

To connect occupational therapist graduate students with caregivers to provide them with practical, customized solutions for their unique caregiving challenges.

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Rochester Presbyterian Home

Program Area: Caregivers

Amount: $151,000

Region: Western New York

To support the implementation of a new professional development curriculum designed to empower staff and improve the quality of life for residents.

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Say Yes to Education

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $800,000

Region: Western New York

To support Say Yes Buffalo and advance the city as a Place of Opportunity for Boys and Young Men of Color.

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SisterFriends

Southeastern Michigan Health Association

Program Area: Children & Youth

Amount: $2 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the establishment and operations of SisterFriends, a project of the Detroit Health Department designed to reduce the infant death rate and increase healthy practices by providing volunteer mentors called SisterFriends to women during pregnancy and for one year after birth.

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Soccer for Success

Independent Health Foundation

Program Area: Children & Youth, Youth Sports & Recreation

Amount: $650,000

Region: Western New York

To support the expansion of Soccer for Success in Western New York region by adding five additional sites, increasing the number of students served each year to 3,000 by the 2019-2020 academic year.

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Teach For America

Program Area: Children & Youth, Early Childhood

Amount: $225,000

Region: Western New York, Southeast Michigan

To support the expansion and development of its early childhood recruitment, development and training programs in both Detroit and Buffalo.

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TechHire

Detroit Employment Solutions

Program Area: Young Adults & Working Families

Amount: $2 million

Region: Southeast Michigan

To support the Detroit Regional TechHire Initiative, and provide the region's growing IT industry a local, diverse source of talent, while at the same time developing career pathways and employment opportunities of Metro Detroiters of all skill levels.

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WNY Mentoring Collective

Community Connections of NY, Inc.

Program Area: Children & Youth, Afterschool

Amount: $2.15 million

Region: Western New York

To support the WNY Mentoring Collective, a cohort of nine mentoring programs using a collaborative approach to expand and strengthen the field of mentorship programs across the region, ultimately connecting more children with mentors.

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Women's Sports Foundation

Program Area: Children & Youth, Youth Sports & Recreation

Amount: $1 million

Region: Western New York, Southeast Michigan

To bring the Women's Sports Foundation's Sports 4 Life program to Western New York and Southeast Michigan to strengthen and grow eight local youth sports organizations in order to attract and retain more girl participants.

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