Russell and Betty Jane Shaw were Wisconsin natives who lived their married lives in Whitefish Bay and Glendale. Russell, an area businessman, and Betty, a community volunteer, established the Russell and Betty Jane Shaw Fund fund in 2000 to support medical research for childhood disease.

Grantmaking priorities

Grants will be made to organizations in Wisconsin to support research addressing health issues of children and/or preventing childhood diseases associated with poverty. Proposals focusing on early brain development as well as the impact of quality early childhood care and education will be given priority. Early childhood is defined as prenatal/birth to age five. Research may include basic science or clinical research, health services, public health, healthcare policy, community outreach and involvement, or health care systems. 

Evaluation criteria

  • Relevance of proposed research to priority areas
  • Impact of research on community and public health
  • Long-term impact of grant funds on research, career development of researcher and/or advancement of agency’s mission
  • Significant evidence to support the need for research; and
  • Capacity of agency and staff to accomplish the proposed research.


Grants are made only to 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations and, on occasion, to governmental agencies. Geographically, funding for our discretionary grantmaking program is limited to projects that will significantly improve the lives of people living in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties. Grants for ongoing operational costs or to individuals are ineligible for support from the Foundation's discretionary funds.

The Foundation is committed to promoting equity and inclusion with a focus on racial equity in our community. This commitment applies to our grantmaking. Nonprofit board diversity is the first of many things we will consider. Eligible nonprofits must have board membership that is at least 10 percent people of color. The term “people of color” refers to African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans and all other persons who are not categorized as white by the U.S. Census.

Use of funds

Funds shall cover costs related to the specific research project and may not be used to cover general operating expenses, overhead for an entire agency, endowments, debt reduction, or reimbursement of services unrelated to the research.

Application Process

Please review the steps in the How to Apply for a Grant section under the Grant Seekers menu and then click on the “Apply For Grant” button at the bottom of the page. You will be taken to a page where you can log on to Philanthropy Online to complete your application. If you are a first-time applicant, please fill out the new user registration form first.

Organizations are required to provide evidence of an active, engaged board of directors, sound financial management and capability to carry out proposed projects. Proposals will be reviewed and recommendations will be made to the Foundation’s Board. The Board must approve all grant recommendations. All applicants will receive notification of the Board’s action.

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fenceroy-jeannie.jpgContact Us

For questions about the application process, contact Jeannie Fenceroy

Recent Grants

Foundation grant supports research toward screening tool that would aid premature infants with vision loss. Read more >>