Our Legacy



As a result of business and family success, Kemmons and Dorothy felt their abundant blessings should be shared. In 1960, they created the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation to signify their faithful commitment to the city of Memphis, a city loved and adored by them both.

In the early 1990s, the foundation leadership transitioned to the 5 children of Kemmons and Dorothy who remain active Board of Directors. KWFF has operated under family leadership of the 5 children of Kemmons and Dorothy and in 2015 additional family leaders from both the 2nd and 3rd generation joined the Board of Directors. In its history, KWFF has served well over 400 organizations, ensuring families are cared for and connected to the city in service. Our philosophy of work centers around:

We believe our grantees are our success. We have to work together closely to affect positive change. We rely on consistent interaction and communication to best understand the needs of the community and the people being served by our grant partners. We also believe in the power of collective efforts and maintain strong relationships with other funders through the Memphis Grantmakers Forum to ensure we can work together to address and prioritize the needs of our great city.

It is not how much you have but how much you enjoy that makes happiness.

Kemmons Wilson