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Here to Help

Community Engagement Manager
Lynn Peters


[email protected]

Basic Needs Giving Partnership

Working to reduce the root causes of poverty.

Families of Funds


The Basic Needs Giving Partnership, which is funded by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation from the annual U.S. Venture Open golf outing, with additional money from the J. J. Keller Foundation and other community partners, was created to:

  • Address the root causes of poverty,
  • Support long-term visions and solutions to move out of poverty,
  • Assist those with limited capacity, including the low-income elderly and significantly disabled, to maintain a stable and dignified quality of life.  

Basic needs is one of the focus areas for the Community Foundation’s discretionary grantmaking, supported by unrestricted funds donors established to allow our board to meet ever-changing community needs.

Grants are available both for Fox Valley projects (see examples) and regional northeast Wisconsin projects.

What We Fund

Applicants must be established nonprofit organizations and/or have leadership with a proven record of success in maintaining solid, critical programs supported by established nonprofits or successful leadership. Grants will not support emergency assistance programs.

Basic Needs Giving Partnership Focus Areas 

  • Help at-risk children, youth and young adults become healthy, ready to succeed in school and self-sufficient.
  • Strengthen individuals and families to help them learn how to meet basic needs and build financial self-sufficiency.
  • Empower and support individuals affected by aging and dementia, with low or fixed incomes, through services that meet their basic needs and allow them to age with dignity.
  • Help uninsured and underinsured residents sustain a higher quality of life by preventing and reducing acute and long-term care crisis through innovative and culturally appropriate models promoting the control and prevention of disease and chronic illness, such as diabetes and mental health challenges.

Grants are offered for:

  • Planning by teams of nonprofits exploring how to find a solution to a problem or how to achieve a collaborative project in pursuit of a known solution.
  • Project Support to initiate, enhance or expand specific innovative projects or programs consistent with the Giving Partnership’s impact areas.
  • Capacity Building to increase a collaboration’s ability to meet community needs or take their project to the scale needed to address the problem.
  • Policy Analysis and Advocacy for nonpartisan studies, public awareness campaigns and collaboration among nonprofit, public and civic groups.

Range of grantmaking: Up to $300,000 for a three-year project, contingent on passing an annual review. All proposals must be collaborative.
Deadline: Spring Cycle – Mar. 1, 4 p.m.; Fall Cycle – Sept. 1., 4 p.m. When the 1st falls on a weekend date, the deadline is the following business day at 4 p.m.
Results: See what past grants have accomplished.

Regional Grants

Requests for collaborative grants cooperatively funded with the community foundations in the Oshkosh and Green Bay areas up to a maximum of $300,000 for three-year projects, subject to annual review.

Deadline: Application must be submitted by 4 p.m. Feb. 15.  Download regional application.

What We Don't Fund

  • Emergency assistance programs
  • Ongoing operating support

To Apply

  1. Read the Basic Needs Giving Partnership’s grant criteria and the Community Foundation’s general grant guidelines.
  2. Call Lynn to discuss your proposal well in advance of the application deadline.
  3. Preview the application: Basic Needs Giving Partnership Application

After you’ve taken these steps, click here to register or log-in to our grant portal. Once on the grant portal, under the heading “Grant Applicant” select “Available Grants” and look for the Basic Needs grant application.

Lynn Peters
Community Engagement Manager
[email protected] 


Additional Information


Collaboration can be a means of reaching goals that cannot be achieved by a single agency or to combine redundant services and resources across agencies. It includes:

  • Jointly developing and agreeing on a set of common goals and directions.
  • Sharing responsibility for obtaining those goals.
  • Working together to achieve those goals, using the expertise and resources of each collaborator.
  • Developing written (perhaps, even legal) agreements.

The strongest proposals will be those that meet all or most of the following criteria. The Basic Needs Giving Partnership will only consider collaborative proposals.

1. Direct relevance to at least one of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership priorities

2. Strength of proposal design

  • Proposal addresses root causes of poverty.
  • Proposal addresses one of the Basic Needs impact areas.
  • Proposal is innovative, focused and well-defined, and workplan is realistic.
  • Proposal identifies clear outcomes and measures of success.
  • Budget is clear, realistic and includes other sources of revenue.
  • Appropriate stakeholders are involved.
  • Collaborative efforts include sharing of resources and risk to enhance the capacity of all partners.
  • Responsibilities of collaborative partners are clearly defined.

3. Potential impact on the community

  • Proposal includes documented evidence of community need being addressed.
  • Intended outcomes for the target population are likely to be achieved.
  • Activities are likely to be sustained after grant (if appropriate).
  • Collaborators are knowledgeable of other local organizations that address the identified community need and can articulate how they will work with them.

4. Capacity of applicant organization(s)

  • Proposal fits within the strategic plan/directions of the collaborating organizations.
  • Organizations and staff have the capacity to implement the proposal.
  • Organizations have the skills to establish and implement a system for evaluating proposed activities.
  • Applicant organization is in stable financial condition (three or more years with no deficits greater than 10% of the operating budget for no more than one year of the three).