Nearly $2 Million in Grants Awarded from Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds 

at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Over 300 Grants Totaling Nearly $7.5 Million Awarded Since Inception of Funds 

DETROIT – The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced nearly $1.9 million in grants to 71 organizations through the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds. Since the inception of the funds in 2016, over 305 grants totaling nearly $7.5 million have been awarded.

Endowed funds at the Community Foundation are designed to grow over time and provide funding in perpetuity for charitable causes according to a donor’s wishes. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation established endowment funds at the Community Foundation to provide support to issue areas that were important to Mr. Wilson during his lifetime: Caregiving, Design and Access, Youth Sports, and the Grosse Pointe community. 

“The innovative programs in the areas supported by the Wilson Legacy Funds are a testament to the power of philanthropy and endowment,” said Mariam C. Noland, President of the Community Foundation. “Mr. Wilson’s impact continues to grow every year with our ability to support more projects on an increasing list of inspiring organizations that are meeting today’s challenges. For example, this year we saw an increase in the number of Design and Access applications and grants, demonstrating the importance of public spaces during the pandemic.” 

These endowment funds at the Community Foundation are complementary to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s efforts to create immediate impact within the communities of southeast Michigan and Western New York. The legacy funds are a generous, important tool of support, particularly for a range of smaller and midsized nonprofit organizations. Grants from these funds are made annually, and information on the next round of grantmaking will be available this fall. 

The following grants were among those provided from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds administered by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan through an open, competitive application process.

13 Grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Caregivers ($300,000 Total)

  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc. – Greater Michigan Chapter (Southfield) – $25,000 for the expansion of a caregiver support program to Livingston, Monroe and Washtenaw counties
  • Area Agency on Aging 1B (Southfield) – $24,000 for expansion of the Caregiver Coaching Program in Oakland and Macomb counties
  • Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute (Detroit) – $25,000 for counseling and activities through the Cancer Caregiver Support Community Program
  • Hospice of Michigan, Inc. (Ann Arbor) – $25,000 for a program to foster virtual connection for patients and caregivers 
  • Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, Inc. (Ann Arbor) – $25,000 for the Caring for Caregivers program for caregivers of older adults
  • Universal Dementia (Farmington Hills) $19,000 for the expansion of Caring for the Caregiver program for family caregivers of those affected by dementia  

19 Grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Design and Access ($825,150 Total)

  • Charter Township of Harrison (Harrison Township) – $33,000 for plans for a safer option for pedestrians and cyclists to utilize trails and cross the Clinton River Spillway in Harrison Township
  • City of Oak Park (Oak Park) – $50,000 for small-scale recreational amenities for all ages and abilities at the Nine Mile Linear Park
  • Detroit Greenways Coalition (Detroit) – $10,000 for a collaborative discussion and plan to address existing gaps in the Conner Creek Greenway and Iron Belle Trail bicycle route in the city of Detroit
  • Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation (Brighton) – $47,000 for a feasibility study to determine the best way to make trail connections between local state recreation areas and metroparks in Livingston county
  • Midtown Detroit, Inc. (Detroit) – $32,500 for landscape design and mobility planning efforts for the Cultural Center Planning Initiative to increase the district’s walkability and circulation between the institutions
  • Pontiac Community Foundation, Inc. (Pontiac) – $50,000 for the re-development of Mattie McKinney Hatchett Park in the city of Pontiac focused on creating recreational opportunities for all individuals

29 Grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Youth Sports ($604,645 Total)

  • Chaldean Community Foundation (Sterling Heights) – $17,890 for a sports sampling camp for immigrant youth
  • Clark Park Coalition (Detroit) – $20,000 for year-long youth sports sampling program in Clark Park
  • Detroit Public Schools Foundation (Detroit) – $25,000 for support for training coaches and officials to create pipelines to serve the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s students and families
  • Michigan Scholastic Cycling Association (West Bloomfield) – $25,000 for capacity building to meet the growing number of youth participating in mountain bike league
  • Team GUTS, Inc. (Beverly Hills) – $25,000 for Fun & Fitness Camp for youth with special needs

10 grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Grosse Pointe Community Assets ($145,500 Total)

  • The Family Center of Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods (Grosse Pointe Farms) – $25,000 for support for programs and resources aimed at mitigating the mental health crisis facing youth 
  • Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education (Grosse Pointe) – $25,000 to provide resources to support students’ journey to recovery and promote community healing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe (Grosse Pointe Farms) – $7,500 to decrease isolation of our members and pivot programs for women in recovery to continue during COVID-19
  • We GP (Grosse Pointe Farms) – $12,500 for the expansion of the Grosse Pointe LGBTQ+ Pride activities to provide a safe, welcoming place through digital and socially distanced gatherings

For the list of all 71 grants and learn more about the endowment, visit


About the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.2 billion through more than 80,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information, visit

About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation:

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information, visit