From its modest beginnings in 1948, when $300 was given away, the Foundation now grants an average of $2.2 million annually. In the past 70 years, the Foundation has awarded over $57.5 million to local organizations.
The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation funds programs and provides grants for projects in southern Chautauqua County, NY, by non-profit organizations in support of the arts, education, youth, health care and the environment.
Our mission is to continue the legacy of the Sheldon family through perpetuation of philanthropy. The Sheldon Foundation devotes financial assistance to advance the physical, educational and cultural well-being of the people in the southerly portion of Chautauqua County, New York; and honors the memory of its founder, Isabella M. Sheldon and her husband, Ralph C. Sheldon.
The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, Inc. upholds through its actions and grant making the following values:
The Sheldon Foundation made a $1.5 million multi-year commitment towards the renovation of its five building complex on Main Street in Downtown, Jamestown, NY. This three phased project will be completed in the fall of 2018. At its May 2018 meeting, the Sheldon Foundation continued its support of the Center through a generous operating grant.
The Sheldon Foundation has generously supported the James Prendergast Library since 1989 for both operating and capital needs. We recently awarded another $80,000 for operating expenses in 2018.
Since 1988, The Sheldon Foundation has supported the Institution's Annual Fund and most recently granted $600,000 towards the construction of a new amphitheater, which was completed in 2017.
For the past four years, the Sheldon Foundation has supported this organization's Peer Recovery Program. The MHA provides services to help men, women and families overcome the effects of mental illness and drug addiction.
The Sheldon Foundation has supported Infinity since 2005. It has grown from a small musical youth outreach program to a robust school, which offers a wide variety of lessons in the visual and performing arts. It serves over 325 students and promotes creativity in a positive and supportive environment. Infinity hires dozens of local arts and music professionals, who are dedicated educators and mentors for its students.
"GREAT FUTURES START HERE!" The Sheldon Foundation has supported this youth organization in various ways since 1989; most recently directing funds towards its after school programs. The Boys & Girls Club provides a safe and fun environment for youth, while encouraging academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.
The Sheldon Foundation has supported the YMCAof Jamestown on an annual basis since 1988 with both operating and capital support for its Downtown Jamestown, Lakewood, and Eastside branches and Camp Onyasha, located on the shores of Chautauqua Lake.
One of the YWCA's signature programs is the TEAM (Teenage Education and Motherhood) Program. This program, in partnership with Jamestown Public Schools, provides academic and socio-emotional support services for area teen mothers and their babies. It strives to develop strong positive parenting skills, and encourages the completion of a high school education. The Sheldon Foundation has supported this program annually since 1988.
The mission of JCLC is to "strengthen the capacity of families to nurture, support and provide for their child's academic development , emotional growth, and physical well-being by establishing effective relationships between home and school". This organization has received annual operating support from the Sheldon Foundation since 1992.