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The Reasons for Hope MKE Fund offers a prompt response grant opportunity designed to support community-based actions and activities that encourages social connections, promotes peace, and builds community cohesion. 

Amid the unrest in 2016, the Foundation created the Reasons for Hope MKE Fund, which has provided 77 grants totaling more than $320,000 to support community-led solutions toward peace and relationship building. Many of our donors contributed to growing this fund for greater impact.  This Fund has been created in direct response to many people and organizations who are seeking to take action in their neighborhoods right now, on the ground.

While the Foundation is currently engaged in larger, long-term efforts to support neighborhoods, this particular Fund is purposely intended to provide highly targeted, immediate support to smaller local groups over the short term.  This Fund is not meant to be a quick fix to the broad and complex problems of neighborhoods nor is it a substitute for the intensive and wide-ranging efforts already underway or planned to develop response to the many root causes of the challenge.

Who is eligible?

The Fund will award grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to projects or programs within the city of Milwaukee neighborhoods. Nonprofit  organizations interested in partnering with residents, community leaders and stakeholders in activities that promote virtual community cohesion, foster online support and mentoring for youth and young adults are invited to apply.

The fund will consider proposals from groups, agencies and organizations with a 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 are required to have board membership that is at least 10 percent people of color. The term “people of color” refers to all persons who are not categorized as white by the U.S. Census.

How it will work? Funding

Grants from the Fund will range from $1,000 to $5,000.
Funding may be used for activities that promote community building, unity and outreach, social-emotional learning, health and wellness, and mentoring to youth and young adults that keep them engaged during the summer.  
The applicant also agrees to share their experiences with the funders and others so that lessons learned can benefit other participants and be used to inform the decision about the use of the Fund in the future.


Each grantee will be asked to submit a report not to exceed two pages on the following:

  • What was achieved?
  • Who was impacted?
  • Lessons learned
  • What, if anything, did not work and why?
  • How the money was spent against the budget
  • What others can might the Foundation support your agency?

Funding decisions

Application opens


Application due

Funding decisions

May 2, 2022


June 17, 2022

July 15, 2022


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

Learn More

russell1-web.jpgContact Senior Program Officer Darlene C. Russell to learn more about our community development work.