The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation is a family-run foundation that honors the legacy of giving established by its founders, Kemmons and Dorothy Wilson. The foundation intends to impact and transform the Memphis community positively through its grant-making and has established the following categories for giving:
We have five grant categories we use as guidelines for making funding decisions. Please review the categories below to ensure that your organization aligns with the mission and priorities of the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation. We do not respond to general or generic solicitations for funds.
KWFF Eligibility Requirements
In order to become a grant partner, there are several required steps.
- The organization must have an established and current operating 501c3 status.
- The organization must be impacting the Greater Memphis area, unless otherwise specified or invited by a Wilson family member to apply.
- The organization must show leadership with its staff as seen in the results of programs or the success of the overall organization’s mission.
- All potential applicants must read about our foundation and our foundation’s interests and giving categories listed below.
- The organization must apply through our online grants management system.
- The organization must provide sound financials (either audited or balance sheets).
- The organization must provide a list of its established board members.
Once all of the information is reviewed, an applicant may create an account and apply for a grant.
If the applicant does not have 501c3 status, operates outside of the Memphis area or is requesting funds for a special event, the applicant will not be allowed to complete an application.
Grant Request Deadlines
All applicants must apply online by the following dates:
January 15 – funding decision made in March
June 15 – funding decision made in August
August 15 – funding decision made in November
"It is not how much you have, but how much you enjoy that makes happiness."
Giving categories include:
Community Service and Outreach
This category includes any activities, programs or community service organizations that enhance or strengthen Memphis neighborhoods by placing emphasis on at least one of the following:
- Identifying and meeting the important needs of a neighborhood or community
- Assisting individuals or families in creating lives of opportunity and independence
Empowerment of Youth
This category supports programs that provide youth who have limited opportunities to develop their potential as leaders in their community through a variety of structured experiences. These programs may promote learning and growth through venues such as cultural awareness activities, leadership training and community involvement, all of which enable youth to become positive role models and more productive citizens in the Memphis area.
Enrichment of Education
This category supports programs that further the advancement of public or private education in the Memphis area. This support focuses on individuals or individual projects and may include supporting youth in their elementary, secondary or college educational endeavors.
This category funds ministries in the Memphis area that are dedicated to enriching the spiritual growth of individuals and families by faithfully ministering the message of God's love. Such programs may vary in services, from providing hope and encouragement for families to improving society's structures and institutions.
Health and Research-related Organizations
This category funds organizations and programs that are committed to improving the overall health and well-being of Memphians through research and active practice. This may include such interests as educational programming, current research endeavors or treatment facilities. All programs must be diligent in their approach to creating healthy lifestyles for individuals and families of the Memphis community.