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Community Vision Fund

(Formerly Bright Idea Fund)

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Our new grant portal is now open! 
See more details
here and carefully read the instructions in the “To Apply” section near the bottom of this page. 

In July of 2022 our Bright Idea Fund was renamed the Community Vision Fund with an updated grantmaking approach.Learn more about this evolution by watching a recording of an Information Session
or reviewing the session slides:


This fund seeks to fulfill community needs and advance well-being for all in Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano and Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties. The fund combines dollars from generous donors, which enable us to accomplish much more together than we could alone. 

Using an inquiry, application and decision-making process involving staff and community volunteers from our Board of Directors, the Community Vision Fund provides grants based on five focus areas within its grantmaking approach. Guided by our Foundation values, we aim to act as a trusted and supportive partner to our local charitable organizations using a process that’s designed to be accessible and responsive to changing community needs. 

What We Fund 

Focus Areas
The Community Vision Fund’s focus areas are influenced by the Vital Conditions for Health and Well-Being and the  Imagine Fox Cities’ community vision. Grantmaking will typically focus on the following areas:   

  • Arts and Culture 
  • Financial Stability and Well-being 
  • Community and Neighborhood Development 
  • Environment 
  • Nonprofit Effectiveness 

Grantmaking Approach
As we consider inquiries matching these focus areas, we place importance on the following:  

  • Investing in under-resourced and/or historically excluded communities and organizations 
  • Investing in rural communities 
  • Investing in systems change efforts and systems thinking 
  • Investing in organizations or programs led by people with lived experience (or those in closest proximity) to the issues we’re trying to address 
  • Applying a diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism lens to all requests  

Range of Grantmaking
Grant awards typically range between $2,500-$25,000 depending on the type of grant and scope of the request. In most cases grants will be for one year or less, however, multi-year grants may be considered for projects or initiatives that will take more than one year to implement and are in strong alignment with our focus areas and strategies.

Types of Grants
Requests for programs, projects, events, planning, training, capacity building, and operations (including technology) are all eligible.  

Grant inquiries are accepted on a year-round basis with rolling deadlines. Inquiries must be submitted through our grant portal at least 60 days prior to the start of an event, program or when funds are needed. Our staff will typically respond to inquiries within 2-4 weeks regarding next steps, which may include submitting a full grant application.   

To Apply 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Our new grant portal is now open!  
See more details here.  

If you submitted an application for a Community Vision Fund grant prior to Jan. 31 in our old Grant Portal, we will continue to reference your application there. If you were awarded a grant, and have progress or final reports due associated with that grant, you will complete these reports in the new Grant Portal.  


Application Instructions 

  1. Please read the Community Foundation’s general grant policiesto ensure you are eligible to apply.

  2. Go to our new Grant Portal landing page where you will find information on registration, new features, FAQ’s, and helpful tutorials. (Plan ahead to ensure your inquiry is received at least 60 days prior to the start of your event, program, etc. or when funds are needed.) 

  3. Once you’re in the new Grant Portal, you can complete and submit the Community Vision Fund LOI (Letter of Inquiry) inquiry form. Inquiries will typically be reviewed within 2 weeks.

  4. Eligible inquiries will advance to submit a full grant application. After the application is complete you will typically hear from staff with a decision within 2-4 weeks.

Our Values

The Foundation’s values are at the core of our work and decision-making:

We treat each person and organization with dignity and esteem, and as a partner in our shared goal to improve individual and community well-being. 

We steward resources responsibly, make thoughtful and transparent decisions, and keep our promises and commitments. 

We engage in fulfilling our mission together in a culture of abundance where our skills, talents, and other resources foster the outcomes none of us could produce alone. 

We show our gratitude for the gifts and trust we are given, fulfilling our commitments with humble care and service. 

We foster a culture where all are valued, feel they belong and contribute to our mission. We invite diverse participation in our work, remove barriers to opportunity and strive toward fair and inclusive access to resources and the opportunity for all of the Fox Valley Region’s people and communities to achieve their full potential.


We’re happy to help! Please reach out and connect with us. 

Links and More

Visit our “Helpful Resources  for Nonprofits” web page. 

Click below to see how the Fund is impacting the Fox Valley and strengthening our communities!  Here is an archive of our past grant results:

FY2020-2021 | FY2019-2020 

News For Grantseekers!
If you’re seeking a grant, stay informed by subscribing our new monthly e-newsletter for grantseekers, and be sure to share with a friend!