Our Mission

The William A. Harrison Jr. Foundation is a privately-managed non-profit philanthropic organization created by Bill Harrison to continue his service to the Greater Richmond region.

By investing in mission-related grants to non-profit partners, as well as its own support programming goals, the Foundation supports both innovative and practical solutions that contribute to the happiness and vibrancy of the community.


Bill Harrison, Chair

Although he grew up in Southampton County on a peanut farm, Bill has called Richmond, Va. his home since 1975. Most of his career has been invested in the local nonprofit community, starting with the Fan Free Clinic (now Health Brigade) as Development Director. For 17 years, Bill served as the Government and Public Affairs Director with the American Red Cross, Greater Richmond Chapter, where he led a campaign to raise the community’s awareness of the Red Cross as they prepared for a massive capital campaign to purchase their downtown headquarters. Recognized on a national level, he also had the privilege of serving at Ground Zero, World Trade Center, the entire month of October following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Following his tenure with the Red Cross, Bill led Diversity Richmond as Executive Director for ten years. When he initially assumed that position as Interim Director, the Foundation was flat, the property was on the market and the organization’s thrift store was not nearly meeting its potential. Upon his retirement in November 2021, the organization was recognized on a national level, the building had been refurbished, and the store consistently had record sales. During his tenure there, The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Central Virginia Chapter, recognized the organization with their Philanthropist Award. 

Bill’s tireless community service commitment has been lauded by organizations such as the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities with their Humanitarian Award; Virginia Pride’s inaugural Firework Award; Nationz Foundation Humanitarian Award; EqualityVirginia’s OUTstanding Virginian Award, and he was honored as a Richmond Times Dispatch Person of the Year nominee. Bill is a prolific writer, and has been recognized by the Public Relations Society in America, Richmond Chapter with Best In Show for editorial journalism.

Never one to “hang up his hat,” and with an eye on more work that needs to be done, Bill has created a charitable foundation to help seed projects, and sustain and amplify good works in the Richmond community. His love of animals inspired the first “pet project” of the Foundation.