A child falls behind—or charges ahead without ever looking back.
A family struggles—or celebrates a new career opportunity.
A caregiver goes it alone—or takes heart with a partner on the longest road.
A community’s energy lags—or reignites with the promise of a new day.
In the places most beloved by Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., there are pivotal moments demanding immediate action, promises that require the right support to be kept, and individuals and organizations that are already responding to remaining challenges.
We support that good work by responding with investments channeled through our four core funding areas. Within each, we leverage good work already underway in Western New York and Southeast Michigan, collaborating with organizations, communities and one another to disrupt the cycle of need immediately—and lay the groundwork for change that lasts.
Our 4 key areas of focused investment
By supporting access to safe spaces and programs that get kids physically active and moving, the Foundation aims to introduce lifelong healthy habits through its Youth Sports & Recreation grantmaking. Spanning all generations, the Foundation’s investments in Parks, Trails & Green Design looks to connect people and communities to each other, nature and recreation.
Preparing for Success
Strong work ethic, confidence and a desire to learn are attributes that can be instilled at a young age and carried through adulthood. Our Preparing for Success focus area is centered on providing the communication, teamwork and critical-thinking skills people need to grow and adapt throughout their life and career.
There are more than 40 million family members - spouses, daughters, sons, grandchildren - and friends in the United States caring for older adults, a number that will grow dramatically in the coming years. The Foundation aims to elevate caregivers’ critical roles by highlighting the often-hidden value and contributions they make to families and communities every day.
Entrepreneurship & Economic Development
Several years into recovery after a decades-long economic slide in both Southeast Michigan and Western New York, the Foundation’s investments in Entrepreneurship and Economic Development look to leverage this momentum by spurring small business growth, place-based community and economic development, and talent attraction and retention.
Nonprofit Support and Innovation
Without strong, healthy nonprofits that have the resources and support to meet their mission, none of the work the Foundation invests in across its focus areas can happen. While the Foundation works with individual grantees to help them build their own capacity through project-specific grants, it also is taking a sector view of nonprofit support as a special initiative of the Foundation in order to help strengthen communities.