Gifts to the Community begin this month with free weekend at Milwaukee Public Museum

Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 5, 2015 – In honor of its centennial in 2015, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation invites the entire community to join in a year-long celebration of the generosity and dedication to the common good that inspired the Foundation’s creation 100 years ago.

Throughout the year, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will provide the public with unique experiences that showcase the people, places and opportunities that make greater Milwaukee special. Centennial Gifts to the Community will emphasize access and appreciation while highlighting the remarkable resources of the region. The Foundation is teaming up with local nonprofits and FOX 6 Milwaukee to announce a new Gift to the Community each month.

The first of these Gifts to the Community will feature an all-access, free weekend at Milwaukee Public Museum, Jan. 24-25.

“Generations of charitable and generous individuals, families and organizations have partnered with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation throughout our first century to strengthen our community and enhance the quality of life for all who live here,” said Ellen M. Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “How better to honor our donors’ enduring generosity than by offering everyone an opportunity to come together to celebrate our region’s treasures and truly advance the values of community and philanthropy as we enter our next 100 years.”

The Milwaukee Public Museum will be open free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, Jan. 24, and Sunday, Jan. 25. No reservations are required, and all are welcome, regardless of county of residence.

In addition to free general admission, the January Gift to the Community will include free admission to the Daniel M. Soref National Geographic Dome Theater & Planetarium, featuring the show Cosmic Colors. All guests will be treated as “members for a day,” entitling them to discounts on food, beverages and gifts. Throughout the weekend, museum educators will add insight to exhibits while storytellers dressed in character will interact with guests on the Streets of Old Milwaukee.

“We’re honored to partner with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to kick off the Gifts to the Community celebration,” said Dennis Kois, president and CEO of Milwaukee Public Museum. “What better way to ring in this 100th anniversary year than throwing open the museum doors and welcoming in the very community that makes Milwaukee so special. Whether you live in Milwaukee, our suburbs, or further out, you are a part of what makes Milwaukee one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the country. We hope everyone will take advantage of this special gift and enjoy a wonderful day at the museum.”

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Milwaukee Public Museum have been strong community partners for many decades. In the last 30 years alone, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and its donors have given more than $3.1 million in support to the Milwaukee Public Museum.

Find more details about the January Gift to the Community at and at

In its second century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will continue to demonstrate the power of philanthropy to strengthen the four-county region through partnerships; grantmaking; supporting community gathering places and by providing opportunities for important conversations about building healthy communities now and for the future.

The Foundation offered a centennial prelude last year with a $500,000 investment in need-based scholarships for students in Milwaukee Area Technical College’s integrated career pathways program. By helping eliminate barriers to success, the Foundation has sought to increase opportunities for low-income students to complete their education and enter a higher-wage profession. Look for the Foundation to continue investing in solutions to the community’s most critical needs in 2015 and beyond.

About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

For a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,200 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region.

Started in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world. With a total asset base of more than $847 million, it is also among the largest.