The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is fully committed to enhancing the quality of life for those who live and work in the greater Milwaukee region. We promote regional vitality by supporting a wide range of organizations and programs that contribute to a thriving community through the following five general areas:

Arts and culture

  • Cultivate and support an appreciation of diverse cultures and art forms
  • Deepen community-based arts education for children and adults
  • Provide access to cultural experiences and programs that support academic achievement

Community economic development

  • Support efforts to provide safe, affordable housing throughout the region
  • Promote entrepreneurship and small business development to build a thriving regional economy
  • Encourage sustainable development in communities which enhance the quality of life


  • Protect significant environmental assets and ensure they are available for public use and enjoyment
  • Strengthen local food systems, particularly those which create opportunities for communities to work and grow together


  • Support residents’ access to quality health care
  • Address pressing health needs and pervasive chronic illness
  • Promote dignity and cultural relevance in health services to vulnerable populations

Human services

  • Support programs that strengthen families throughout the region
  • Provide culturally appropriate services for children and families in crisis
  • Support collaborative approaches in the delivery of services to reduce stress on families

Recent Grants

Milwaukee Ballet Company: $100,000 (over two years) in support of the agency’s capital campaign for a new headquarters at 132 N. Jackson St.

ERAs Senior Network: $50,000 for a project manager to oversee development of the Find a Ride Network, which provides coordinated transportation for older adults who are unable to drive to medical or other essential appointments.

Schools that Can Milwaukee: $50,000 for its intensive onsite coaching offered to eight to 10 leadership teams that are leading “focus schools,” or ones that have been identified as having significant potential for improvement.

Teach for America: $50,000 to support professional development of 50 new teachers during a six-week summer institute program in Milwaukee.

TRUE Skool: $50,000 for its creative arts programming, which provides skill-based arts learning through art, music, video and dance that promotes leadership, social-emotional intelligence and increased critical thinking skills for youth.

Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic: $50,000 toward the build-out of a satellite dental clinic in Menomonee Falls that will provide preventive, restorative and emergency care to low-income families who live in Waukesha, Washington and Milwaukee counties.

Urban Economic Development Association: $30,000 to provide education, training and technical resources for professionals in the economic development sector to increase responsiveness and bring awareness of strategies that bring economic opportunity to under served communities.

Meta House: $30,000 to support comprehensive residential treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders and their families.

MetroGo!: $25,000 in support of the organization’s efforts to convene and manage regional transit options, with an emphasis on creating greater equity and opportunity for residents in higher poverty areas to connect to employment opportunities.

9 to 5, National Association of Working Women: $25,000 to support the agency’s workplace rights and sexual harassment training for unemployed and underemployed women impacted by abuse, incarceration and human trafficking through partnerships with workforce development and job placement direct service organizations.

Benedict Center: $25,000 to help the agency expand its Sisters Program, a street outreach program that addresses street prostitution, including sex trafficking, through a harm-reduction model of support and treatment instead of criminalization.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metropolitan Milwaukee: $25,000 for its Metro Milwaukee Mentoring Program, which helps African American children facing adversity by providing strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships with African American mentors.

Center for Urban Teaching: $25,000 to support its summer school training for high-performing urban teachers and school leaders.

Milwaukee Film: $25,000 to enable about 8,000 kindergarten through 12th graders from 78 different schools from greater Milwaukee the opportunity to attend educational screenings during the annual Milwaukee Film Festival.

Puerto Rico Community Foundation: $25,000 to support nonprofits assisting in hurricane relief efforts.

Housing Action Coalition of Waukesha County: $25,000 to support an overflow shelter for homeless men during the winter.

Black Arts MKE: $25,000 to support a project manager position that will guide the development and launch of a reimagined and reinvigorated African cultural festival.

Family Promise of Washington County: $25,000 to support operation of an emergency shelter and transitional housing facility in West Bend for single males and females.

Ozaukee Washington Land Trust: $25,000 to preserve farmlands, currently under market pressure to be converted to residential use, so that they can be owned and farmed by Hmong farmers and supply food to scarce neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

Urban Ecology Center: $25,000 for a summer camp opportunity for low-income children and youth, combining a traditional camp experience with science-based learning.

Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee: $20,000 for a training program for Hispanics interested in serving on nonprofit boards.

Cathedral Center: $20,000 for its emergency shelter program.

We Grow Greens: $20,000 for Teens Grow Greens, a nine-month internship for young adults that fosters leadership, entrepreneurial skills and employment experiences to prepare them for workforce and life.

HEAR Wisconsin: $15,000 for the agency’s early intervention program, which supports preschool children and their families and helps eliminate communication and language barriers through personalized services, technology and education.

Optimist Theatre: $15,000 to support the professional production of a Shakespeare play, free of charge for the community, in 2018.

Wisconsin Policy Forum: $15,000 to support start-up activities related to a merger between the Public Policy Forum and Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater: $12,500 to enable students to attend the Christmas Carol performance who otherwise would not have the opportunity.

For a complete listing of this quarter’s grants made from our competitive grantmaking process, visit Recent Grants.

Learn More

dunn-web.pngContact Kathryn Dunn to learn more about our grantmaking strategies.



What are the most common scams committed against area older adults? Read more via a special report commissioned by the Foundation’s Wisconsin Consumer Antifraud Fund.