Community Foundation Now Accepting Applications for 2021 Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds Through Dec. 4

Buffalo, N.Y.– The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalois now accepting applications for the 2021 Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds competitive grant process.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation established endowment funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to provide annual support for programs and initiatives that reflect the personal passions of Mr. Wilson. Grants will support the following areas of interest:

  • Caregivers
    • Support caregivers –whether paid, voluntary or family – of persons who are unable to fully care for themselves and are part of an underserved community. Preference will be given to organizations or projects that provide support to caregivers of older adults.
    • Requests must address at least one of the following objectives:
      • Increase opportunities for caregivers to take advantage of resources.
      • Support operating expenses of the applicant organization.
    • Community Assets
      • Support significant cultural and historic assets and/or increase access to long-term arts instruction for youth.
      • Requests must address one of the following objectives:
        • Increase access to long term arts instruction for children and youth living in under-resourced communities.
        • Restore and leverage significant historic buildings and architectural landmarks, with a preference for sites that promote cultural tourism.
        • Support operating expenses of the applicant organization.
      • Design and Access
        • Support enhancement of community access to spaces and programs that support healthy living.
        • Requests must address one of the following objectives:
          • Support for pre-planning, development and/or construction. This may include projects related to increasing the walkability and bikeability of local communities, and improving waterways, greenways and recreation corridors.
          • Support operating expenses of the applicant organization.
        • It is a preference but not a requirement that these projects:
          • Incorporate green design to be environmentally sustainable.
          • Incorporate universal access design to serve people of all abilities.
        • Please note: Large sports facilities are not of interest.
      • Youth Sports
        • Provide opportunities for all children to be active through sport.
        • Requests to build collaborations among organizations are encouraged.
        • Requests for projects should include the following objectives from the State of Play WNY Report:
  1. Ask kids what they want.
  2. Reintroduce free play.
  3. Encourage sport sampling.
  4. Revitalize in-town leagues.
  5. Think small.
  6. Design for development.
  7. Train all coaches.
  8. Emphasize prevention.

Grant requests should range between $10,000 and $25,000 for Caregivers, Community Assets and Youth Sports. Design and Access requests should range between $10,000 and $50,000. Funds will be released after grant requirements and obligations have been signed and returned.

For Caregivers, Design and Access, and Youth Sports, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that meet the guidelines described above and reside in Western New York may apply for a grant. Western New York is defined as Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. For Caregivers, Design and Access and Youth Sports, government agencies also may apply. For Community Assets, only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that reside in Erie County may apply.

Applications are due Dec. 4, 2020, at 4 p.m. Decisions will be made in May 2021.

A virtual information session for all areas of interest will be held on Tuesday, November 17, 12 – 1 p.m. Additionally, there will be an evening virtual session for Youth Sports first-time applicants on Monday, November 9, 7 – 8 p.m.

To register for information sessions, learn more about deadlines and eligibility, and to apply, please visit



About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at

About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds were established at the Community Foundation to provide support to four areas that were important to Mr. Wilson: caregivers, community assets, design and access, and youth sports. Endowment funds, like these created to honor Mr. Wilson, are designed to grow over time and provide funding for charitable causes according to a client’s wishes.