OVERVIEW: The Greater Milwaukee Foundation supports community capacity, arts and culture, equitable economic opportunity, physical environment, early childhood education, K-12 success, and opportunities for youth in the four-county Milwaukee region of Wisconsin.
FUNDING AREAS: Community capacity, arts and culture, equitable economic opportunity, physical environment, early childhood education, K-12 success, opportunities for youth
IP TAKE: As part of its commitment to equity, GMF gives preference to organizations in which people of color make up at least 10 percent of board membership. Therefore, nonprofits should highlight their diversity and commitment to inclusion in the community.
PROFILE: Established in 1954, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (GMF) is a community foundation based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Oliver C. Fuller, a bank president, first introduced the idea of a community foundation in Milwaukee to fellow community leaders, including Fred S. Hunt, Paul D. Carpenter, Adolph Finkler, Isaac D. Adler, and Clement C. Smith. Today, GMF administers over 1,300 funds. It aims to “inspire philanthropy, serve donors, strengthen communities now and for future generations.” The community funder supports local efforts for community capacity, arts and culture, equitable economic opportunity, physical environment, early childhood education, K-12 success, and opportunities for youth.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has a “thriving communities” grantmaking category with a goal to “catalyze community-driven change in neighborhoods that historically have faced barriers to revitalization.” This extends to grantmaking for inclusion, racial equity, neighborhoods, accessible arts and cultural experiences, job readiness, and beautification projects. The other foundation grantmaking category is “connected people,” which involves the goal to “support and connect young people ages prenatal to 24 to education and employment opportunities.” Grantmaking from this category extends to early care programs, literacy and math skills programs, and engaging youth between ages 16 and 24 who are not in school or employed.
Grants range between about $10,000 and $100,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving on the recent grants page of the funder’s website. Grantmaking focuses on the Wisconsin counties of Washington, Ozaukee, Waukesha, and Milwaukee. Past local grantees include Roots for the Home Team, YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Center for Urban Teaching, and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits via online form throughout the year. The board meets quarterly to review applications received. Direct general questions to the staff at 414-272-5805
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