Read our 2021-2022 Biennial Report

Read our 2021-2022 Biennial Report

Laying The Ground For Change That Lasts

See what good work is underway in Western New York and Southeast Michigan

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We’re building something to last forever

Southeast Michigan and Western New York are rich with assets. Regions that once carried the growth of the country on their backs are populated by families accustomed to hard work, looking only for success that is earned from the sweat of their efforts. Bright young minds, seeking just a nudge of support and a glimpse of opportunity, fill our schools and playgrounds and are ready to turn potential into performance. An army of caregivers, needing support and respite, wish only to honor an aging generation’s contributions, wisdom and knowledge.

And it isn’t our foundation

When Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. put into motion the establishment of his namesake foundation, he went from NFL game changer to community life changer. Driven by his love and loyalty for the places that shaped him, his foundation now exists to support and help improve those communities. Improvement comes best when you build on the strong foundation that is already in place, and Mr. Wilson’s mandate of a 20-year spend down requires that the Foundation operate differently, with urgency and collaborative spirit.

Strengthening community
is a team sport

Our Foundation is part of that team. We will work with the players already on the ground—the organizations and passionate individuals that are making a difference in our communities every day. We will share the qualities of our founder—energy, urgency, innovation and heart—in efforts already underway and in new efforts that we can create together. We want to help make a difference differently.

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We are driven to be effective, achieving positive and sustainable outcomes for our communities.


We collaborate with fellow grant makers, leaders and members of our target areas’ nonprofit communities.


We understand and accept the risks—and rewards—that come with investment in innovative strategies.

Apply For A Grant

Organizations in Western New York and Southeast Michigan within our four core funding areas are now welcome to apply through our online process.

Apply now