The Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Wells Fargo are partnering to establish a $1 million pool of funds to strengthen Milwaukee neighborhoods. The funding will support such areas as employment and housing – critical elements to sustaining strong neighborhoods. Grants will be released through a competitive RFP process that will be available early this summer.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is committing $500,000 to this effort in honor of its 100th year of service and to demonstrate the importance of neighborhoods to the city’s vitality. This centennial grant matches a $500,000 grant that Wells Fargo is awarding GMF through Wells Fargo’s Milwaukee NeighborhoodLIFT program. Additional funding partners will be sought to grow the pool.

Since 2012, with a combined $242 million investment (including $5.15 million for Milwaukee) by Wells Fargo, LIFT programs have been introduced to 33 communities deeply affected by the housing crisis. The programs have created more than 9,100 homeowners (including 220 in Milwaukee), with the help of down payment assistance and homebuyer education. Wells Fargo collaborated with the City of Milwaukee, national nonprofit NeighborWorks America and its local network member, Select Milwaukee, to implement the program. Wells Fargo’s Milwaukee NeighborhoodLIFT program also includes the $500,000 local initiative grant that Wells Fargo is donating to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to further stabilization efforts in Milwaukee neighborhoods.

“Wells Fargo is proud to do our part to help ensure thriving and healthy communities,” said Sang Kim, Wells Fargo region president for Wisconsin. “We believe positive change starts by making a big difference for one person, one family, and one business at a time. Through the Wells Fargo Milwaukee NeighborhoodLIFT program, we are delighted to make this investment with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation on these important local initiatives that will help make Milwaukee a stronger community.”

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is committed to strengthening Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and the broader community. Through its Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative – a public/private partnership with the City of Milwaukee – the Foundation invests in neighborhoods that have shown commitment and potential for success if given the right support. The Foundation has invested more than $3.5 million in the Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative in the last 10 years. This has supported more than 1,000 block projects and community events. Lead agencies have impacted more than 1,000 properties representing more than $10 million in reinvestment. Overall, these efforts have improved the lives of more than 120,000 people living in these Healthy Neighborhoods.

“Milwaukee is a city built on neighborhoods, and when we help our neighborhoods succeed, our entire community succeeds,” said Ellen Gilligan, President and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “This exciting partnership with Wells Fargo will provide tremendous opportunity for neighborhood residents and agencies to strengthen the places where they live, work, shop and play.”

About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

For a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,200 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world. With a total asset base of more than $847 million, it is also among the largest. 

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 266,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

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