Foundation / Corporation
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Grants to Wisconsin nonprofit organizations for programs and projects that aim to improve the lives of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington county residents. Funding is currently available for proposals that focus on strengthening education, strengthening neighborhoods, increasing economic opportunities, and promoting racial equity and inclusion in the greater Milwaukee area.
The Foundation also strongly supports projects and programs related to arts and culture, economic development, the environment, and health and human services.
Proposed projects or initiatives should meet the following criteria:
- The Foundation is an integral partner, with other stakeholders, in providing program support, improving implementation, and communicating results
- There are opportunities for co-investment by Foundation donors and other funders
- Applicants have the capacity to deliver an effective program with results
- Program outcomes are results oriented, defined, and measurable
- Collaboration, as warranted, is meaningful with responsibilities clearly defined
- The program has the potential to become sustainable or replicated
- Strengthening Education - Improve educational outcomes for every child in every school, cradle to career (i.e., early childhood care, educational programs in and out of the classroom, summer employment and recreational opportunities, community-based programming, college access). All of these areas play important roles in children’s academic, social and emotional success.
The Foundation supports strategies that achieve a shared vision of success for every child in every school by:
Quarter 1 - Increasing teacher quality
Quarter 2 - Supporting post-secondary education access through ACT preparation
Quarter 3 - Supporting third-grade reading proficiency
Quarter 4 - Expanding experiential learning opportunities through arts education; Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM); and nature-based learning
- Strengthening Neighborhoods - Increase the livability, affordability, and safety of neighborhoods. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has invested in and worked with community development corporations, neighborhood improvement programs and initiatives and local and national groups that are working to strengthening the City’s neighborhoods — no matter what end of the spectrum.
- Increasing Economic Opportunities - Reduce poverty, improve economic vitality of the region and strengthen families. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation supports many strategies that work toward increasing economic security, ensuring greater access to employment opportunities, and meeting the basic food and shelter needs of area individuals and families.
- Promoting Racial Equity and Inclusion - Enhance relationships among diverse populations and create opportunities for all people to more fully participate in civic life. The Foundation defines racial equity as equal access, opportunity and fairness for all people, so that each can reach their full potential and are no more likely to encounter barriers or be denied benefits based on race or ethnicity.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation will judge proposals based on the following factors:
- Demonstrated need for the project or program
- Fiscal health and stability of the agency
- Capacity of the organization to undertake the project
- Quality and effectiveness of the project
- Level of coordination and cooperation with other organizations
- Potential for leveraged funding, especially from national sources
- Project sustainability and opportunity for replication
- Racial/ethnic diversity of the organization’s governing board of at least 10 percent
- Furthers Foundation's goals in the impact area or addresses regional vitality
GrantWatch ID#: 173424
Generally, the Foundation awards grants to an organization for up to one year although they may be longer, given program priorities.
Grants are made only to 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations.
Geographically, funding is limited to projects that will significantly improve the lives of people living in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties.
Grants for ongoing operational costs or to individuals are ineligible for support from the Foundation's discretionary funds.
An organization may only have one open grant per grant period.
Eligible nonprofits must have board membership that is at least 10 percent people of color. The term “people of color” refers to African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans and all other persons who are not categorized as white by the USA Census.
What the Foundation does not fund:
- Individuals or individual schools
- Ongoing operating expenses
- Debt reduction or agency endowments
- Sectarian organizations for religious purposes
- For-profit organizations
- Partisan political activities
The Foundation will host a webinar on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 1 p.m. (CST) with information about the third cycle 2018 grantmaking process.
The Foundation is unable to accept any more registrations to the webinar as it is at capacity. The webinar will be recorded and will be made available to those who are unable to attend at a later date.
The application cycle, consisting of a one-step process without the traditional letter of inquiry, will take place in an abbreviated timeframe. Details about subsequent cycles will be released after the New Year as the Foundation nears refinement of its framework to increase focus and financial investment in cradle-to-career education, neighborhoods and economic opportunity, to advance racial equity and inclusion.
The Foundation will host information sessions for grantees to communicate information about this framework before the opening of the next grant cycles. The calendar below lists the information session dates and upcoming deadlines.
Letter of inquiry opens: Feb. 5, 2018
Letter of inquiry deadline: Feb. 19, 2018
Grant application deadline: March 26, 2018
Board meeting: June 27, 2018
Letter of inquiry opens: Aug. 13, 2018
Targeted grant applications open: Aug. 27, 2018
Letter of inquiry deadline: Aug. 27, 2018
Grant applications deadline: Oct. 1, 2018
Board meeting: Dec. 5, 2018
- How to Apply:
- Application System:
- Application System Instructions:
- Frequently Used Forms:
- Eligibility and Grant Guidelines:
- Grants Focus:
- Grant Criteria and LOI Instructions: http://www.greatermilwaukeefoundation.org/grants/grant-seekers/letter-of-inquiry/
- Economic Opportunities:
Click on the link in the Supporting Documents section below to preview the Letter of Inquiry and Full Proposal Questions. Use this list of questions to prepare your answers prior to working through the Letter of Inquiry.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Click here to apply online:
Kathryn Dunn, Vice President, Community Investment
USA: Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties