Resources for Grantees – COVID-19


Committed to partnership with our grantees throughout COVID-19 pandemic

We have always shared common goals. Together, we have improved the quality of life for countless people living, working and learning in greater Milwaukee, and our joint commitment to the communities we serve has helped our region thrive.

We face challenges together as well, and as we see you working on the local front of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are filled with gratitude for your dedication and respect for your resourcefulness in confronting this crisis. We know this unprecedented situation is requiring you to change the way you deliver programs to community, to bear unexpected costs and to lose revenue on which you were counting.

All the while, the populations you serve need you more than ever, and we understand that they need to be your focus. Please be assured that we are willing to work with you during this challenging time and will strive to be as flexible and responsive as possible as you navigate these immense operational and financial challenges.

We recognize that the kinds of flexibility you need may include:

  • Postponing or canceling convenings or other grant-supported activities
  • Delaying grant deliverables for activities that cannot continue as planned
  • Delaying submission of reports
  • Repurposing grant funds

We are further open to:

  • Converting current project grants to general support, so you have maximum flexibility to sustain operations in response to COVID-19
  • Changing the payment schedule for grants if that would be helpful

Please contact your program officer to discuss these options and explore what might help you best achieve your mission. If you have questions about who to contact, please email please email the Grants Management team at Foundation staff are working remotely, but we are committed to continuing the Foundation’s grantmaking without disruption while remaining responsive to our partners.

As always, we stand with you in service to greater Milwaukee. Thank you for all you have done, and all you will do, to help our community respond, recover and thrive.

Ellen M. Gilligan
President and CEO
Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Kathryn Dunn
Senior Vice President,
Community Impact
Greater Milwaukee Foundation


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.


Grantees interested in receiving grant payments from the Foundation via automatic deposit are invited to submit an ACH credit authorization agreement if they do not already have this documentation on file.

Download ACH form


The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed into law March 27, 2020, provides a range of relief resources, including for nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees. 

This overview, developed by Spectrum Nonprofit Services, specifically describes the Emergency & Normal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) guidelines, both of which may be forgiven, in this.

Return to COVID-19 home

Learn More

Please contact your program officer to discuss these options and explore what might help you best achieve your mission.