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Waupaca Area Community Foundation Grants

Grants to Greater Waupaca Area, Wisconsin Nonprofits,
Agencies, and Schools to Enhance Quality of Life

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region - Waupaca Area Community Foundation (WACF)

Deadline Date:

06/11/18 4:00 PM


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Grants to Greater Waupaca Area, Wisconsin nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and schools to preserve and protect the quality of life. Applicants may be required to contact program staff prior to applying. All applicants are advised that registration in the online grants portal may take one to two business days to complete.

Waupaca Area Community Foundation Fund grant money comes from fundraising activities — including an annual gala — and unrestricted funds that donors established intending that volunteer board members determine the best ways to use the grant money to address community needs.

In 2018, two grant opportunities are available. The new Community Enhancement Grant has a focus on education. Annual Competitive Grants continue to be available for projects and programs in the areas of arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health and human services.

Annual Competitive Grant:

This grant will support:
-Creative new activities or services: New programs, one-time projects, events, exhibits, studies or surveys.
-Enhancement or strengthening of existing activities: Projects to enhance, expand or strengthen the range, quantity and/or quality of an organization’s programs and services.
-Small capital investments: Items that are directly related to program delivery or service to clients, such as a refrigerator for a food pantry or equipment to comply with ADA requirements.
-Recurring events: Exhibits, presentations, performances or non-fundraising events that occur on a periodic basis.  Grants will only support the same program or project for a maximum of three years.

Community Enhancement Grant:

New in 2018, the Waupaca Area Community Foundation is offering a $25,000 Community Enhancement Grant. We are calling on nonprofit organizations serving community members in the Waupaca area to propose visionary projects or programs that will have an impact on the focus area of education. Successful grant applications will demonstrate bold ideas and forward thinking that will have a big impact on a broad segment of the community.

This grant will support:
-Long-term, high community impact
-Innovative thinking
-Clear, detailed planning to assure the project’s success and sustainability
-Leadership with a proven record of success
-Collaborative partnerships

Educational interests of the Waupaca Area Community Foundation include: the arts, culture, health & wellness, general education and education for all ages.  New programs, program expansions and capital projects will all be considered.  Eligible applicants include charitable organizations involved in community-wide projects that affect many residents.

Applicants may apply for either or both grant opportunities, however they should review the guidelines for both carefully prior to applying.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180681

Number of Grants:

A single Community Enhancement Grant will be awarded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Annual Competitive Grants: Up to $7,500 per application, with a max of $15,000 per organization. 

Community Enhancement Grant: A single grant of $25,000 will be awarded. WACF is seeking programs for which a one-time grant of that amount will make a significant difference.

Term of Contract:

Annual Competitive Grants will only support the same program or project for a maximum of three years.

Please note that Community Enhancement Grants will not support multiyear requests.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations Eligible To Receive Grants:

Organizations eligible to receive grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region are those determined by the IRS to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational and religious organizations described in § 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of the tax code, and private operating foundations. The Foundation will not normally make grants to private non-operating foundations. Grants may also be made to units of government (this includes Native American tribal governments) for public purposes. Organizations that are not public charities may apply through a fiscal sponsor. Additional eligibility requirements may apply to units of government and schools; see below.

Eligibility for Units of Government (city, county, township, etc.):

The Foundation will consider funding for units of government when the request for support is judged to be an effective means to address a priority issue. A grant from the Foundation may help draw attention to a new issue, leverage additional funding, offer more flexible funds than are typically available in a governmental budget, or provide seed money until program funding can be included in the governmental budget. The Foundation will not typically issue grants for the general operating support of a government program.

Eligibility for Schools:

The Foundation will consider funding for public, charter and private/parochial preK-12 schools and post-secondary educational institutions, when the request for support is judged to be an effective means to address a priority issue, particularly when the issue addresses the needs of a substantial or underserved portion of the community. Requests will only be considered if they are unique and community-oriented, or for pilot programs with potential to be sustainable and replicable. The Foundation typically will not issue grants for the general operating support of a school system, school or school program.


The Foundation seeks to promote respect for all people. The Foundation will not knowingly support organizations whose programs or services are not open to all without discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, pregnancy, veteran status, military obligation, marital status, and any other personal characteristics protected by law. We recognize that organizations may identify special needs in the community and target programs or services to a specific population based on those needs, however the programs must be open to all people in those targeted populations to be eligible for grant consideration.

Faith-Based Funding:

The Foundation will consider funding for programs, services or initiatives that address unmet human needs through non-sectarian organizations or collective efforts of faith-based organizations that draw support from the community at large to meet a demonstrated community need, and that refrain from promoting a specific journey of faith. Requests will be considered from individual faith-based organizations or organizations with a specific journey of faith as an aspect of its mission only if the program, services or initiatives do not promote that specific journey of faith or include activities such as religious worship, instruction or proselytization. In making its determination for eligibility, the Foundation will consider not only the mission of the applicant but the participant experience and the intended outcome(s) for the program, service or activity, for the target participants and/or audience.

Controversial Grants:

The Foundation will consider whether any potential grant might be controversial, divisive in the community or have potential to alienate donors. When requests of this nature are received, the Foundation will determine if the controversial stance is important enough, if its impact will be profound enough, and/or if it will do enough community good to justify the Foundation staking its credibility and reputation on it. Each request will be considered with great care on a case-by-case basis.

Capital Investments:

In general, the Foundation will not consider grant requests solely related to real estate, bricks and mortar, or other capital expenditures that are not directly related to program delivery, service to clients, or organizational capacity building, given the substantial funding normally associated with such initiatives and the Foundation’s relatively limited resources for unrestricted grantmaking. The Foundation will, however, consider grant requests for capital projects or capital programs, if such initiatives are expected to significantly enhance the quality of life in our service region, and are clearly aligned with the Foundation’s mission, focus areas and priorities. The Foundation will apply established guidelines in assessing capital grant requests on a case-by-case basis, but reserves the right to consider any criteria that it believes is prudent. Grant requests for capital projects or programs may also be considered for funding from Field of Interest funds, unless specifically disallowed by the Foundation, in its sole discretion, or not authorized pursuant to the terms of a specific fund agreement.

Grant applications for small capital items that are directly related to program delivery or service to clients, such as a refrigerator for a food pantry, signage for a nature trail, or new technology will also be considered. Examples of requests that do not fall within consideration as small capital items include: office furniture; health and safety equipment including automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), smoke detectors, or security systems; and playground equipment.

Fundraising Activities:

The Foundation’s grant programs will not support annual fund drives, fund-raising events or endowment-building campaigns.

Medical Research:

The Foundation will not consider requests to support community-based research for the advancement of medicine. However, requests will be considered for programs that provide for the medical, dental and mental health needs of residents of the Fox Valley region.

Previously Incurred Expenses:

The Foundation will consider funding requests only for programs or services that have not yet occurred. Organizations must submit requests with sufficient lead time being mindful of the timing of grant decisions.

Repeat Funding:

The Foundation encourages organizations to develop realistic plans for long-term sustainability that do not depend upon recurring support from Foundation competitive grant programs. The Foundation’s competitive grant programs should not be considered a source of ongoing funding for any project or program.

Multi-year requests:

The Foundation recognizes that there are certain circumstances, such as efforts to build organizational capacity, the length of time required to stabilize operations and implement plans for financial sustainability requires support beyond a one-time grant. Therefore, the Foundation will consider multi-year requests within specific grant programs; and will identify any exception within each program’s guidelines.

Repeat funding requests:

The Foundation acknowledges that certain recurring events, presentations, performances or educational activities require organizers to build a base of community support before becoming self-sustaining. On occasion, the Foundation may even partner with the community to provide these kinds of activities in fulfillment of its mission and strategic plan. As a result, the Foundation will consider recurring requests for community or charitable educational activities within specific grant programs; refer to each program’s guidelines for these exceptions.

Multiple requests from a single organization:

The Foundation recognizes that an organization may request funding several times, each with a request for a different program. If the program is truly new and different each time, the Foundation will consider these requests unique and not a form of repeat funding, so long as the guidelines of the specific program are followed.


The Foundation will not consider requests solely to defray travel or lodging expenses for either individuals or groups. This includes travel to attend conferences, training or competitions, as well as trips for bands, sports teams, classes or similar groups.

Fiscal Sponsorship:

Grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and its affiliated foundations are awarded to support a wide range of projects, including grassroots community efforts.

Generally, organizations eligible to receive grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and its affiliated foundations are those determined by the IRS to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational, and religious organizations described in § 501(c)(3) of the tax code, as well as government agencies. However, we are aware that some worthwhile organizations may not have this status.

Therefore, organizations that are not public charities may apply if they have an established relationship with a fiscal sponsor that is a qualifying charitable organization under the following circumstances:
-The non-exempt group operates as a not-for-profit and has an oversight committee or advisory board comprised of more than one individual.
-The program or project for which the non-exempt group is seeking funding falls within the charitable purposes of the sponsoring organization/fiscal sponsor, and the two groups have established a relationship prior to applying to the Foundation for funding.
-A signed copy of the Fiscal Sponsorship Acknowledgement Form outlining the responsibilities of the fiscal sponsor must be submitted to the Foundation with the grant application. A resolution of the board of directors of the sponsoring organization/fiscal sponsor will be required to be submitted with this Fiscal Sponsorship Acknowledgement Form. A Board Resolution Template is provided here as a sample though other forms of resolution will be accepted.

Educational Events:

The Foundation’s grant programs will consider supporting speaker costs for community education events when determined to be closely aligned with, or have an immediate impact on, a Foundation priority. Educational events that also serve to raise funds for the organizing agency may be considered but will be given greater scrutiny.

Annual Competitive Grants - Not Funded:
-General operating expenses not related to the proposed project.
-Organizations that don’t serve residents in the greater Waupaca Area.
-Organizations or needs not eligible per the grant policies listed above.
-Large capital investments.

Community Enhancement Grants - Not Funded:
-Travel expenses
-Conference fees and/or expenses
-Capital Campaigns
-Multiyear requests
-General operating expenses not related to the proposed project
-Endowment funds
-Previously incurred expenses
-Initiatives that do not serve Waupaca County

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is June 11, 4:00 PM. Applications are accepted beginning April 1. Grant decisions are made in mid-August. 

Applicants must be registered on the grant portal to apply. Please keep in mind registration processing may take one to two business days.

If applying for a Community Enhancement Grant, call or email Carolyn Desrosiers to describe your proposal to determine whether you should begin filling out the application.

Community Enhancement Grant:

Annual Competitive Grants:

General Grant Policies:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Application Portal:

Carolyn Desrosiers

4455 W. Lawrence St
Appleton, WI 54914


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin: Greater Waupaca Area