We have been eagerly awaiting the release of the latest “Wisconsin Gives Report” from the Donors Forum of Wisconsin, a Milwaukee-based industry group for grant makers on whose board I serve. It arrived this week and gives the Fox Cities plenty to feel good about.
- Outagamie is fourth among Wisconsin’s 72 counties in grants awarded, with 31 foundations awarding $36 million in 2012.
- Appleton’s average giving per individual was $1,721 per individual in 2013, fifth in the state.
- Thrivent Financial was second among corporate foundations, awarding $15 million in 2012, and the Bemis Company Foundation’s $2.7 million was 10th. Both have a major presence here.
- Your Community Foundation was second only to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation with $12 million in grants awarded in 2012.
We were a sponsor of the study and a number of our area’s projects were featured, including Riverview Gardens and a collaboration on an automotive repair program involving domestic abuse shelters Harbor House in Appleton and the Christine Ann Center in Oshkosh, with Fox Valley Technical College’s automotive repair students.
The overall story told in the report is one of recovery, but a slight shifting in resources. Giving in the U.S. increased by 4.4% in 2013. Foundations were a growing source of charity, with grantmaking up 5.7%. Giving by Wisconsin’s 118 corporate foundations advanced 1.9%.
I like numbers and can spend a long time digesting a report like this, but the quick takeaway is that the Fox Valley region and its Community Foundation are leaders in the state for the way we address community needs. That’s not only a reflection of the generosity of our people, but the reality that we have a lot to be grateful for.
But don’t rest on these numbers. Support the charitable causes important to you before the tax year ends and make the picture of the Fox Valley region even better when the 2015 Wisconsin Gives Report arrives. We can help you sort out how to give and zero in on programs and projects addressing your priorities. We’re just a call away.
Curt Detjen is President/CEO of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. Email him at [email protected].