As part of our competitive grantmaking process, the Foundation places its highest funding priorities on projects and initiatives that align with our Thriving Communities and Connected People strategies.

What the Foundation does NOT fund

  • Individuals or individual schools
  • Ongoing operating expenses
  • Debt reduction or agency endowments
  • Sectarian organizations for religious purposes
  • For-profit organizations
  • Partisan political activities

Who may apply

Grants are made only to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and, on occasion, to governmental agencies. An eligible fiscal sponsor may apply on behalf of an organization that is not a 501(c)(3). View the Fiscal Sponsor Agreement for more information.

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 to individuals are ineligible for support from the Foundation's discretionary funds.

Generally, the Foundation awards grants to an organization for up to one year although they may be longer, given program priorities. An organization may only have one open grant per grant period.

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.

How to apply

Review the steps in the Grant Application Process section and then log on to Foundant to complete your application. 

Evaluation criteria

  • Demonstrated need for the project or program
  • Fiscal health and stability of the agency 
  • Capacity of the organization to undertake the project
  • Quality and effectiveness of the project 
  • Level of coordination and cooperation with other organizations 
  • Potential for leveraged funding, especially from national sources 
  • Project sustainability and opportunity for replication
  • Racial/ethnic diversity of the organization’s governing board of at least 10 percent
  • Furthers Foundation's community leadership priorities


Grants Portal Access


Subscribe to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's
funding opportunities update. >>

Contact Us

hines-janel.jpgFor questions on our grantmaking priorities and guidelines, contact Janel Hines.