In 2021, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will open three grant cycles using a one-step application process. Operating, project, and capital requests will be accepted in each cycle. Please note: An organization may only submit one application per cycle. Please refer to the Grantmaking FAQs page for answers to commonly asked questions about the Foundation’s grantmaking process.

The calendar below lists the grantmaking priorities and deadlines for each cycle. Click on the links to learn more about the priorities and who to contact for questions or to discuss potential projects.

*An organization may only submit one application per cycle

MKE Responds Fund

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.

Cycle 1 Funding Priorities

Aging and Older Adults – Services and programs for low-income seniors
Housing – Quality affordable housing, pathways to homeownership and eviction prevention
Basic Needs – Food access and distribution and temporary shelter support
Arts and Culture – Visual, performing and multidisciplinary arts, and arts education

Application open


Nov. 9

Application close


Nov. 30

Board meeting


March 17

Cycle 2 Funding Priorities

Mental Health – Access to care and services to address trauma and mental health needs
Medical Research – Address health disparities in disease and chronic illness
Arts and Culture – Visual, performing, and multidisciplinary arts, and arts education
Environment – Protection and conservation of environmental assets and strengthening of local and community-based food systems
Basic Needs – Food access and distribution and temporary shelter support
Equitable Economic Opportunity – Entrepreneurship and small business

Application open


Feb. 22

Application close


March 15

Board meeting


June 16

Cycle 3 Funding Priorities

Basic Needs – Food access and distribution and temporary shelter support
Healthy Birth Outcomes  –  Access to care and support
Early Childhood Education Facility Upgrades - Quality and access improvements
Community Capacity – Resident-led neighborhood priorities and solutions
Arts and Culture – Visual, performing, and multidisciplinary arts, and arts education
Workforce Development  – Job creation, job training, job placement, and other workforce strategies

Application open


Aug. 23

Application close


Sept. 13

Board meeting


Dec. 15

Other grant opportunities

A number of our funds each have their own separate grant cycles and application deadlines. For more information, visit the other grant opportunities page.

Grants Portal Access

Contact Us

Brad-1322-web-1.jpgFor questions with the application process, contact Brad Ambelang.