Our History

From our very first grant to SUNY Oswego almost 10 years ago -- through today's wide array of funding initiatives -- the Shineman Foundation has become a true catalyst for change in Oswego County. Through meetings, partnerships, and collaborations with almost 200 nonprofit organizations, we are fulfilling the mission and vision of our founder, Richard S. Shineman. Here are a few of the milestones, events, and recognition our Foundation is enormously proud of -- and we very much look forward to adding more in the years ahead!

Timeline of Notable Events


September 2011

Formation of Richard S. Shineman Foundation

September 2012

A $5 million gift is endowed with the Oswego College Foundation -- comprised of $1 million from Barbara Shineman and $4 million from the Foundation



January 10, 2013

The Foundation's inaugural Board meeting

April 11, 2013

First round of grants awarded


October 4, 2013

Dedication of Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering & Innovation at SUNY Oswego

May 12, 2014

The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce awarded us with the "Not for Profit of the Year Award"



November 15, 2016

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognizes Barbara Shineman as the "2016 Outstanding Philanthropist" and the Richard S. Shineman Foundation as the "2016 Outstanding Foundation"

April 11, 2017

ARISE (Syracuse) recognizes us with its "Champion of Independence Award"



July 2018

A $1 million endowed gift is provided to SUNY Oswego's Sheldon Institute for Barbara Shineman Scholars

September 2019

The Foundation holds its first professional development training workshop for Oswego County non-profit organizations


October 2019

Oswego Health system awards us its "Community Partner Award"

November 15, 2019

Association of Fundraising Professionals names us its "2019 Outstanding Foundation"



March 2020

$200,000 in emergency, COVID-19 grant awards to Oswego County organizations

October 2020

Our Foundation launches its Non-Profit Education & Training (NET) Series


July 14, 2021

Operation Oswego County Foundation recognizes us with its "2021 Ally Award"

The Richard S. Shineman Foundation has grown, evolved, and matured over the years since Dick’s widow, Barbara P. Shineman, fulfilled her husband’s wish to form a charitable foundation. Yet the foundation has remained true to its original, core mission: To help transform lives in Oswego County and Central New York -- and to make public use of a private fortune to benefit the county’s and the region’s economic development and environment, educational institutions, our parks, the arts, our important human services organizations, and so much more.

In Barbara’s own words, set down in the book “The Shineman Legacy” -- the foundation’s success “still amazes me and will continue to. It still seems as though the board is looking for ways (forward). They haven’t reached this point and said, ‘We’re there. This is enough. We’ve gotten to where we wanted.’ It has just continued to flower.”