RFH adj color.jpg

The Reasons for Hope MKE grant offers a prompt response grant opportunity to support community-based actions and activities that encourage social connections, promote peace, and build community cohesion. 

Amid the Sherman Park Uprising that followed the murder of Sylville Smith in 2016, the Foundation created the Reasons for Hope MKE Fund. In 2022, the Foundation made a significant investment in community-led violence prevention efforts out of the MKE Respond Fund, which began to meet emergent needs evolving due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  These two funds were created to support the many people and organizations who are seeking to act in their neighborhoods now, on the ground serving alongside their community. For 2023, the integration of Reasons for Hope and violence prevention efforts under MKE Responds allows the Foundation to offer an available grant pool of approximately $340,000.

This grant program intends to provide highly-targeted, immediate support to smaller, under-resourced community efforts, over a short term. Our intention is to avoid advancing a “quick-fix” to the broad and complex problems afflicting our neighborhoods, instead prioritizing community power and representation, while leveraging a community advisory council to advance proposals that build equity into our way of being. 

Who is eligible?

Reasons for Hope MKE will award grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to projects or programs within City of Milwaukee neighborhoods. Nonprofit organizations invested in partnering with residents, community leaders, and stakeholders in activities that promote community cohesion and foster peace, including youth equity and empowerment, are encouraged to apply.

The Fund will consider proposals from groups, agencies, and organizations with charitable status as determined by the IRS internal revenue code 501(c) 3. Please note: Entities that do not have this designation may use a fiscal sponsor (organization recognized as a 501 (c) 3 charitable entity) to serve as the recipient and manager of the grant. Eligible nonprofits must have a board membership of at least 10 percent people of color. "people of color" refers to all persons not categorized as white by the U.S. Census.

How it will work? Funding

Grants from the Fund will range from $1,000 to $10,000.

Grant recommendations of submitted proposals are evaluated with framework built upon the 414Life Milwaukee Blueprint for Peace. Successful proposals will demonstrate an effective community-based strategy to advance progress toward one of these goals: 

  • Promote healing and restorative justice
  • Support children, youth, and families
  • Advance economic opportunity
  • Foster safe and strong neighborhoods
  • Strengthen capacity and coordination of violence prevention efforts


In addition to providing updated accounting of the approved grant budget, each grantee will submit a report not to exceed 1000 words reflecting on the following:

  • Notable Achievements/Impacts
  • Population served
  • Lessons
  • Barriers/Challenges
  • Comments on budget/accounting (as necessary)
  • Feedback for the Foundation

2024 Timeline

Informational session
Safe and Sound Inc
4422 W. Leon Terrace, Milwaukee, WI 53216


March 14, 2024
6 p.m.

Application opens


March 18, 2024

Application closes


April 5, 2024 


How to Apply

First time applicants must complete Grants Portal Setup.  Not to be confused with the application itself, the profile provides necessary general information about your agency that is not contained in the grant application.

Grant materials

Expense sheet (PDF)

Required attachments

  • Audited financial statement
  • Most recent income and expense statement

Contact the program officers with questions about your proposal or application. 



Benjamin Porter
Program officer




Theresa Scott
Program officer