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Imagine the possibilities

About the Golisano Foundation

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The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States devoted exclusively to supporting programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

Founded in 1985 with an initial gift of $90,000 from B. Thomas Golisano, the founder and Chairman of Paychex, the Foundation now has more than $33 million in gross assets and has awarded more than $21 million in grants, about $2 million annually, to non-profit organizations in a multi-county region surrounding Rochester, New York that serve people with developmental disabilities.

We are committed to opening doors, changing perceptions, and forging unprecedented partnerships to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with pathways to self-sufficiency, personal dignity, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes.

We Are a Catalyst for Transformation

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Through our targeted initiatives, it is our vision that communities will encourage and commit to inclusion, acceptance and opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and provide services that empower individuals to make their way productively and creatively in their communities.

In addition to providing funding the Foundation also serves as a proactive partner with organizations that serve people with intellectual disabilities, working together to promote acceptance and inclusion in the community and workplace.

Primary Funding Interests

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The B. Thomas Golisano Foundation is interested in funding programs that will help individuals with developmental disabilities achieve their maximum potentials by integrating independence, self-determination, and productivity into all facets of their lives.

Other Funding Interests

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With limited and targeted funds, the Golisano Foundation may consider grant proposals for disability programs other than those for the developmentally disabled. Applicants are welcomed to contact the Foundation office for further clarification.

Geographical Distribution of Grants: The Foundation’s primary focus for its grants is the Rochester/Monroe County area. Grants are considered for programs addressing the Foundation’s funding interest in the contiguous counties.

Eligibility/Limitations: The requesting organization must be a 501(c)(3) organization whose programs meet the Golisano Foundation’s philanthropic priorities. The Golisano Foundation does not contribute to endowments, fund raising events, individuals requesting grants, fellowships, medical research or municipal programs.

Ann Costello, Director