Member Since January 2024
In 2016, Jim Boyle became one of the first executives hired by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, a time-limited, geographically focused grantmaking entity working across the Western New York and Southeast Michigan regions. The Foundation was established by the late Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., a lifelong Detroiter, and the founder and longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills NFL franchise. Utilizing a large portion of his estate and the funds from the sale of the team, the Foundation is projected to distribute more than $2 billion to nonprofit entities in the 16 counties of its two regions in a 20-year period, ending on January 8, 2035. To-date, Jim has managed over $750 million in grant commitments, helping build public-private partnerships that have leveraged hundreds of millions in additional funding towards transformational regional efforts. He oversees investment portfolios across Entrepreneurship and Economic Development; Parks, Trails & Green Design; Youth Sports & Recreation; Nonprofit Support & Innovation; and Communications for the Foundation. By partnering with corporations, philanthropy and the public sector, Jim has helped the Foundation make a greater impact in key areas. Examples include the Western New York Regional Revitalization Partnership, a $300 million effort that supports small business development, workforce and placemaking in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York; developing two signature parks in Buffalo and Detroit (designed by world renowned landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh) and over 250 miles of regional trails to address quality of life and talent attraction/retention issues; and partnering with ESPN and the Aspen Institute to develop the award-winning "Don't Retire Kid" campaign to help stem alarming attrition rates in youth sports. The urgency of the Foundation's spend-down nature is fostering innovation across the public and private sector, allowing communities in Southeast Michigan and Western New York re-imagine what's possible, and contributing to the conversation of how philanthropy operates.