Greater Together Campaign an opportunity for generational impact

To rally community support at a pivotal moment in our region’s forward trajectory, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has entered the public phase of a $700 million philanthropic campaign to build a Milwaukee for all, including $50 million focused on key priorities.

The Foundation’s Greater Together Campaign, a comprehensive campaign spanning 2017-2023, offers an invitation for everyone in greater Milwaukee to play a catalytic role in realizing a generational vision for this community. Ever aligned with the Foundation’s North Star of racial equity and inclusion, this especially includes addressing systemic racial disparities that have inhibited lives and livelihoods throughout Milwaukee’s vibrant Black and Brown communities. 

LEARN MORE AND DONATE: Greater Together Campaign website

Through transformational partnership and investment, the Foundation aims to advance the building blocks of a better life – educational opportunity, health equity, economic opportunity and housing security – on a communitywide scale so all of Milwaukee can thrive. The campaign welcomes all donors to contribute to building a better Milwaukee through the prism of their personal passions while the public phase also places special emphasis on five priorities for community impact:

  • ThriveOn Collaboration – a new model to address interrelated health, economic, social and racial inequities together through a historic, place-based investment
  • Early childhood care and education – a generational investment in creating an accessible, affordable, high-quality early childhood care and education system for all
  • Housing – bringing dignified, affordable housing within everyone’s reach
  • Impact investing – an innovative use of capital for social and economic impact
  • Flexible funding – the means to address emerging issues, pressing needs and important opportunities as they arise

“There is no better organization than the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to lead this charge: its resources, skill sets, knowledge and partnership are essential tools,” said Foundation Board Chair Jackie Herd-Barber. “The Foundation has done research, we have partnered across the community and, most importantly, we have listened. Now, it’s time to do this important and necessary work, and we need everyone to act together and join us in this journey.”

To date, the campaign has raised just over $500 million toward its goal, and people throughout greater Milwaukee now have an opportunity to continue the region’s legacy of generosity and build on over a century of partnership with the Foundation to ensure a brighter tomorrow. This includes essential contributions of talent and time as much as treasure.

“We are a community foundation, and it’s important that our donor family reflects our community, including donors of color who have an important history of philanthropy,” said Kristen Mekemson, vice president of development and philanthropic services. “People of every background are welcome to join the Foundation – we belong here together at this broad, community table, helping shape the future of the region we all share.”

Honoring our community vision

As the Foundation continues to animate its strategic vision of a Milwaukee for all, the campaign will provide the rocket fuel needed to reimagine philanthropy, recenter communities and remake systems, on the way to a new era of opportunity, prosperity and well-being for the region.

Serving as co-chairs of the campaign are current Board member Cecelia Gore and past Board members Peter Bruce, Dave Kundert and Linda Mellowes.

“For too long, our region’s great potential has been overshadowed by disparities that divide people from opportunity and whole communities from well-being. To transform the Milwaukee we know into a Milwaukee for all, we need to invest in smart solutions that bring people together, center community voice and advance racial equity so that everyone can thrive,” said Ellen Gilligan, Foundation president and CEO. “Now is our moment to build on generations of past generosity to realize the vibrant, inclusive region that is within our reach.”

Greater Together Campaign in the news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Greater Milwaukee Foundation launches public phase of $700 million Greater Together Campaign

Milwaukee Business Journal: Greater Milwaukee Foundation goes public with $700 million philanthropic campaign

BizTimes: Greater Milwaukee Foundation goes public with $700 million philanthropic campaign

Milwaukee Courier: Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s $700 Million Campaign Presents Opportunity to Invest in Your Community

Milwaukee Community Journal: Foundation’s $700 million Greater Together Campaign gives community new opportunity for generational impact

Urban Milwaukee: Greater Milwaukee Foundation Unveils $700 Million Philanthropic Campaign

TMJ4: Greater Milwaukee Foundation launches $700M campaign to address racial disparities