The Impact of Philanthropy

News10 NBC Golisano Foundation Anniversary

In addition to Tom Golisano's work in business and politics, he has had a continued interest in philanthropy. In each specific case, the funds being given may come directly from Golisano himself, or they may be a grant from the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation. Whether the focus is on health, education, or one of his many other dedicated causes, Golisano not only supplies financial support in the form of capital, he offers innovative visions and solutions for the future. 

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

As the father of a son with disabilities, Tom Golisano found himself motivated to inspire change, and to act as a catalyst, in providing further opportunities to those with intellectual disabilities. In 1985, the burgeoning entrepreneur founded the Golisano Foundation, which continues to function as the epicenter of its namesake's philanthropic pursuits. As one of the largest private foundations in the United States with a focus on IDD-related causes, the Golisano Foundation stands as a beacon of transformation. 

Yet another example of Tom Golisano's dedication to increasing opportunity and access for those with intellectual disabilities, is his continued partnership with Special Olympics International. Having given more than $67 million dollars to the organization, Golisano has aligned himself not only with national endeavors- but also with those on the international stage. Seeking equality and inclusivity in healthcare, health policy, and health programming for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Tom Golisano has poised himself to continue as a changemaker-both nationally and internationally. 

While this exhibit is tailored to the dates of the materials held within the RIT Archives' B. Thomas Golisano Collection, which concludes in 2015, information on recent IDD-related efforts can be found here.


In terms of healthcare-related initiatives, Tom Golisano, and his associated philanthropic foundation, have provided generous contributions to improve care for both children and adults.

Generous contributions include:

  • $34 million to University of Rochester Medical Center for the Golisano Children's Hospital 
    • Contains the largest pediatric ICU in Western New York
  • $20 million to Lee Health for the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, Florida
  • $6 million to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, New York
  • $9 million to Rochester Regional Hospital for the B. Thomas Golisano Pavilion and Emergency Center
    • Includes a state of the art Cardiothoracic unit
  • $10 million to Rochester Regional Health for the Golisano Restorative Neurology and Rehabilitation at Unity Health System
    • Offers nationally recognized rehabilitative services
  • $4 million to American Cancer Society and Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School for the Golisano Hope Lodge and Hospitality House
    • Offers services to patients experiencing cancer, organ transplants, and/or traumas
  • $3.5 million to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for the Golisano Center for Community Health
  • $67 million+ to Special Olympics International


Over the duration of his philanthropic pursuits, Tom Golisano has provided gifts to many schools for a menagerie of uses. Having provided Niagara University with $10 million, Hartwick College with $5 million, and $12.5 million to Nazareth College, Golisano has enabled students to further their education through increased technological advances, interdisciplinary studies, and community engagement.

Additionally, Tom Golisano has provided philanthropic support to the Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher College, Ave Maria University in Southwest, Florida, Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, and Bishop Kearney High School among others.

The Impact of Philanthropy