News Release
April 4, 2011

Community Foundation awards $280,000 in grants

White Heron Chorale position created with help of two-year grant  

APPLETON, Wis. – The White Heron Chorale will have an executive director singing its praises for the first time in its 33-year history with the help of a $50,000 grant, part of more than $280,000 awarded recently from two grant programs of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

The group hopes to have its new executive director on board by July 1, according to White Heron Board President Mary Schmidt. She said the chorale has seen growth in both the size of its audiences and the number of singers.

“Right now we are maxed out on the amount of work volunteer directors can do. We have to move up to another level,” Schmidt said, adding that the grant is making it possible. “It’s everything. Without the grant we wouldn’t be doing it.”

The executive director will lead the chorale’s artistic development and manage its operations, marketing, budget and donor relations. The group currently employs a part-time business manager, a conductor, assistant conductor and a pianist.

“Our principal goal is to create art that is relevant to the community,” Schmidt said.

The two-year grant comes from the Community Foundation’s Capacity Building Grant program, which supports planning and implementation of initiatives that help nonprofits achieve their core mission. The recent grant approvals included $250,156 in Capacity Building Grants and $31,424 in Project Grants, which support specific projects or new programs.

Both use a competitive application process and are supported by unrestricted endowment funds that donors have established to provide for grantmaking at the discretion of the Community Foundation’s board and grants committees. More information is available at

The Capacity Building grants approved were:

  • BEAMING Inc.: A program assistant position to increase programming and fundraising at the Neenah equine-assisted therapy program for people with handicaps, $9,200.
  • CHAPS Academy: Computer equipment and software to track client results better at the Shiocton-based equine-assisted therapy program for children with suicidal tendencies, learning disabilities and other behavioral needs, $6,500. 
  • Clarity Care: Computer equipment to make better use of a database for a collaborative program called “Living with Assistance,” which also involves American Red Cross Outagamie County, Bethany Home and Fox Valley Lutheran Homes, $7,100.
  • Fox Valley Sibling Support Network: Website software upgrade to reach a larger audience with programs for the siblings of disabled children, $6,075.
  • Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra Association: Computer software to aid in fundraising, $4,500.
  • Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities: Computer upgrade to improve client support, fundraising and facility maintenance at the Appleton-based low-income housing program. $14,681.
  • Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust: A two-year grant for a three-fourths time administrative assistant to meet demands of a growing amount of land protected from development by the Appleton-based land trust, $39,100.
  • Shawano County Economic Progress Inc. and Shawano County Chamber of Commerce: Hiring of a fundraising consultant for joint training, up to $38,000.
  • STEP Industries: A full-time sales position to add customers for products produced by the Neenah-based jobs and training program for men and women recovering from alcohol dependence, $25,000.
  • Trout Museum of Art: Two-year grant for a full-time membership and annual giving director to support growth in educational programming at the downtown Appleton art museum formerly known as the Appleton Art Center, $50,000.
  • White Heron Chorale: Two-year grant for a full-time executive director, $50,000.

Project Grants approved include:

  • Community Care Bread Basket: Food for families in need, $1,000.
  • Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra Association: Contracted services for two Cirque de la Symphonie concerts, $10,000.
  • Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes Inc.: Support for girls in kindergarten through fifth grade to overcome barriers to their participation in Girl Scouting, $5,000.
  • Humane Society of Waupaca County: Building improvements to provide a safer working environment for the employees and animals, $1,924.
  • Outagamie County Human Services: To create a home-like setting for visits between parents and children under the care of Child Protective Services, $3,500.
  • The Building for Kids: Support for “Jump to Japan,” a Japanese cultural exhibit that also involves the Trout Museum of Art and the Appleton Public Library, $10,000. 

Celebrating 25 years of Helping Donors Share in 2011, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region’s mission is to strengthen our community for current and future generations by helping people make a difference in the lives of others. Since its founding in 1986, donors to the Community Foundation have enabled it to award more than $145 million in grants to nonprofit organizations from hundreds of charitable funds under its administration. The Foundation is the second-largest certified community foundation in Wisconsin. Affiliated community foundations are located in Chilton, Clintonville, Shawano and Waupaca. To learn more, go to or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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