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Bright Idea Fund Grants 2019-2020

Fiscal Year 2019 - 2020

Bright Idea Fund Grants Making a Difference 

Our Bright Idea Fund combines dollars from generous donors who believe in giving in ways that address ever-changing community needs together. The fund generates grants to preserve the quality of life in Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano and Waupaca counties and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago County.

The Bright Idea Fund:

      • Offers ways that you can give to help address community needs. Learn how
      • Is informed by community-based data found in research like the Fox Cities LIFE Study.
      • Engages staff, board members and volunteers representing diverse professional, personal and community backgrounds when making grant decisions.

 All grants awarded from the Bright Idea Fund from the July 1 start of our fiscal year to present are listed below. To see grants addressing a particular focus area, select one of the images below. (See our Bright Idea results from our last fiscal year 2018-2019.)

Arts & Culture

PURPOSE: To enhance appreciation of and participation in visual, musical, performing and literary arts, history and other cultural experiences.

Priority 1: Increasing access and inclusion — Create thoughtful ways to include people who ordinarily do not or cannot participate.

Priority 2: Educating children and youth — Develop opportunities for school-aged children and youth to understand the value of artistic or cultural experiences, especially those who ordinarily do not or cannot participate.

 2019 Annual Diversity Cookout– Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities
$2,000 to sponsor the 2019 Annual Diversity Cookout celebrating our uniqueness, what we have in common, and promote inclusion and goodwill in our community.
Priority: Increasing Access & Inclusion

Latino Fest 2019 – Casa Hispana
$2,500 to sponsor Latino Fest, a free celebration of the diversity and richness of Latino cultural heritage, held on Sept. 7, 2019, which provides an opportunity for many Latinos to come together, and for the greater Fox Cities community to interact with their Latino neighbors.
Priority: Increasing Access & Inclusion

 Rhythms of the World – IndUS of Fox Valley
$2,000 to sponsor Rhythms of the World, a collaborative event held during the Downtown Appleton Farmer’s Market on Sept. 14, 2019 that invites the community to celebrate and learn about cultural heritage through a wide variety of performances.
Priority: Increasing Access & Inclusion

Basic Needs & Self-Sufficiency

PURPOSE: Reduce the number of people in our community who are living in poverty by using innovative or collaborative approaches to address root causes.

Priority 1: Self-sufficiency — Support affordable educational and training opportunities or programs that remove barriers to earning a family-sustaining income.

Priority 2:  Children and youth — Address barriers to future success, including risk-related behaviors, mental health challenges, bullying, abuse and neglect, and opportunity gaps for children and youth.

Priority 3: Community Education and Awareness — Educate the community about critical issues or potential solutions related to root causes of poverty.

Shoulders to Stand On – Life Tools Foundation
$2,000 to implement the Shoulders-to-Stand-On Program and to provide low income girls equalized opportunities to successfully pursue post-secondary education and to remove barriers that could prevent them from reaching their goals.  Read More
Priority: Children & Youth

Community Early Learning Center of the Fox Valley – Advancing Early Childhood Initiative
$50,690 to support the collaborative effort to encourage early childhood growth, development, and education in the Fox Valley.  Read More
Priority: Children & Youth

 U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs  
$15,000  This grant represents the Community Foundation’s support of the Aug. 14, 2019 US Venture Open, which provides grant dollars that will be distributed through the Basic Needs Giving Partnership’s grantmaking process during the 2019-20 fiscal year. Read More
Priority: Community Leadership

Community Development

PURPOSE: Build strong communities by supporting government, business, philanthropic and/or nonprofit sectors, along with residents, to improve the places in which they live, work and play.

Priority 1: Neighborhood Development — Enrich local neighborhoods by building connections and bringing people together to address local issues, with particular attention to neighborhoods with significant opportunities for improvement.

Priority 2: Community Partnerships — Support community-wide projects or planning efforts involving partnerships between people and organizations in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

Priority 3: Community Education and Awareness — Educate the community about issues key to improving quality of life.

Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. 
$5,000 to support educational programming that raises awareness of and addresses the needs of women and girls in the Fox Valley region. Read More
Priority: Community Education and Awareness

2019 Fox Valley Ethics in Business Summit – The Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley, Inc. 
$1,500 to support the October 1, 2019, Fox Valley Ethics in Business Summit, which fosters a culture of integrity at work and in the community.
Priority: Community Education and Awareness

Environmental Sustainability

PURPOSE: Support creative, economically feasible solutions that benefit broad segments of the population to improve the well-being of current and future generations.

Priority 1: Access and Inclusion — Provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to experience nature and learn the importance of a healthy environment, particularly those who otherwise could not participate.

Priority 2: Community Education & Awareness — Raise the level of public awareness about environmental topics affecting our communities, homes and places of business.

Priority 3: Well-Being — Preserve and enhance the region’s natural resources in ways that will improve the well-being of current residents and attract people to visit, work and live here.

Nonprofit Effectiveness

PURPOSE: Strengthen the internal functioning of nonprofit organizations so that they can effectively serve our community.

Priority 1: Organizational Planning — Encourage and support organizations to plan for change, expansion or partnerships to fulfill their missions more effectively.

Priority 2: Capacity Building — Help organizations implement changes in leadership, management or outreach capacity arising from systematic planning.

Priority 3: Education and Training — Provide opportunities for nonprofit leaders to become effective in fulfilling organizational missions.

Oshkosh Area Community Foundation 
$2,000 to support a regional nonprofit compensation and benefits survey project led by InterSector. The survey will equip nonprofit leaders with current information to help them build better compensation structures and set competitive salaries to support staff retention.
Priority: Education and Training

Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (NPLI) 
$50,000 to support the initiative’s efforts to provide Fox Valley nonprofit organizations with resources to develop strong executive leaders and board members to help the organizations achieve their missions. ​ Read More
Priority: Education & Training