Mayor Tom Barrett

Ellen Gilligan,
President, and CEO, Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld
Director, Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment; senior associate dean, Medical College of Wisconsin

Cecelia Gore
Executive director, Brewers Community Foundation

Amy Lindner
President & CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County


Media highlights

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'We need everybody to get involved.' Philanthropists give Milwaukee nonprofits a boost during the coronavirus pandemic

Milwaukee MagazineHow Philanthropic Groups Are Banding Together in Milwaukee

Milwaukee Business JournalMilwaukee nonprofits join forces to raise over $1M for community needs during outbreak

BizTimes MilwaukeeLocal philanthropic coalition raises $1.2 million to help community during coronavirus outbreak

Committed partners

Our community’s effective, coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic is possible through the generosity and commitment of many partners. We are proud to recognize the community partners with whom we are working side-by-side in this time of need as well as our funding partners who have contributed to the Foundation’s MKE Responds Fund. 

Our partners 

MKE Civic Response Team updates

The MKE Civic Response Team is leading a strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Milwaukee and beyond. Follow the latest news and information about our community’s coordinated action network.

Vol 9 - 5/2021

Vol 8 - 3/2021

Vol 7 - 12/2020

Vol 6 - 10/2020

Vol 5 - 8/20/20

Vol 4 - 7/28/20

Vol 3 - 6/24/20

Vol 2 - 6/2/20

Vol 1 - 5/15/20


Other coalition news

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Stories of Giving and Impact page features updated news and stories about the Foundation, its donors, grantees and partners, and the community impact of our responses to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

The Zilber Family Foundation has committed $3 millionin emergency funding to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first round of grants will support general operating expenses for the foundation’s current grantees as well as immediate response efforts to meet the urgent needs of those adversely affected by COVID-19. Learn more >>

The Milwaukee Bucks have established the Bucks Emergency Relief Fund, administered by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and with support of the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation, for part-time employees of Fiserv Forum, Levy, ABM, Reef Parking, SP+, and Menominee Nation Arena. Learn more >>

The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment has committed nearly $4.8 million in funding to 17 projects across the state that support health care and community agencies working to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including two projects in Milwaukee that are addressing the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on communities of color. Learn more >>

United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County is delivering ongoing, immediate relief to community agencies through its COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund. Learn more >>

Want to donate?

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Seeking Funding

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, in partnership with local philanthropists and funders, has created a fund to respond to community needs caused or deepened by COVID-19. The MKE Responds Fund will provide resources to organizations working in the greater Milwaukee area with communities disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this pandemic. 

We are accepting applications for projects focused on helping to meet the food, housing, physical health, mental health, early childhood education, K-12 education, and economic needs of the community - especially Black and Hispanic community members - as it recovers from COVID-19. Current Funding Priority:

Current MKE Responds Funding Priorities

  • FOOD: Ensuring nonprofits can secure and purchase food, distribute to individuals, families and organizations serving those in greatest need

  • HOUSING & SHELTER: Supporting shelter operations including increased hours, and expansion of temporary and permanent housing stock to prevent and reduce new homelessness 

  • MEDICAL SERVICES/CLINICS: Increasing medical access through coordination of testing and care systems, and support expanding clinics serving low-income families

  • MENTAL HEALTH: Responding to the trauma and mental health needs of the community during this time of heightened stress and isolation

  • EARLY CHILDHOOD: Supporting family- and center-based childcare providers to re-open and operate, including through financial assistance, supplies and technical assistance to ensure health and safety, and mental health support for staff, children, and families.

  • K-12 EDUCATION: Providing financial support for staff, support for education consultants, family communication, remote enrichment/learning activities, and digital connectivity/access.

  • ECONOMIC RECOVERY: Provide support for small businesses, employment and workforce and efforts to promote financial stability & wealth building and homeowner stability.

The fund will consider proposals from 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. An eligible fiscal sponsor may apply on behalf of an organization that is not a 501(c)(3). Requests will be reviewed weekly. Grant decisions will be made by a Fund Advisory Committee.

Need help

Call 2-1-1 or access online resources

Coalition announced March 20, 2020


Return to COVID-19 home

For media inquiries

Please contact: Jeremy PodolskiMarketing and Communications Manager