Zilber Charitable Foundation: Grants for Wisconsin

OVERVIEW: The Zilber Charitable Foundation supports affordable housing and community economic development in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

FUNDING AREAS: Quality of life in neighborhoods, basic needs, personal safety, access to social and economic opportunities, affordable housing, youth

IP TAKE: This local funder is all about three specific neighborhoods in Milwaukee and making them affordable and full of opportunities for residents.

PROFILE: Established in 1961, the Zilber Charitable Foundation (ZCF) is a private, independent grantmaking institution based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ZCF is the foundation of Joseph and Vera Zilber, who lived and raised a family in Milwaukee. Joseph Zilber created the Zilber Ltd. Commercial real estate firm. Today, the foundation is “dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of individuals, families, and neighborhoods.” It funds local efforts for quality of life in neighborhoods, basic needs, personal safety, and access to social and economic opportunities.

The Zilber Charitable Foundation pursued a 10-year initiative between 2008 and 2018 that focused on the quality life in Milwaukee neighborhoods. Following that commitment, the funder refined its focus to award many of its grants for housing and community economic development. In the past, the funder provided grants for basic human needs, youth development, and higher education. Still to this day, ZCF supports long-term partners and grantees in these focus areas on a more occasional basis. The bulk of ZCF grants are for program and project support.

Grants range between about $5,000 and $300,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving in the funder’s grants database. Grantmaking largely focuses on Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The funder gives priority to the Lindsay Heights, Clarke Square, and Layton Boulevard West neighborhoods. On a more limited basis, the foundation supports nonprofits in Hawaii where the Zilber Ltd. company operates. Past local grantees include the Fondy Food Center, ACTS Housing, Housing Resources, and Guest House of Milwaukee.

This foundation does not typically accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. Instead, it invites select applications based upon its priorities. ZCF usually has three grant cycles per year. Direct general questions to the staff at info@zilberfamilyfoundation.org or 414-274-2447.

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