The Basic Needs Giving Partnership has awarded $3.5 million in grants in the past year to fight the causes of poverty as part of more than $5.56 million distributed to more than 200 nonprofits through the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and community foundations in Oshkosh and Green Bay.
Funding for the Fox Valley grants comes from the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region from the U.S. Venture Open charity golf outing, the J.J. Keller Foundation, Inc., and other community partners.
Speaking at a Report to the Community at the K.I. Convention Center in Green Bay, John Schmidt, President/CEO of U.S. Venture Inc., praised the collaboration.
“We have seen resources in our communities increase as a result of donors working together,” he said. “Collaboration among nonprofits is providing innovative solutions that are positively affecting the lives of thousands of area residents.”
The grant funding has included:
- Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region awarded new grants of $3.50 million and distributed $2.25 million to multiple-year grants;
- Greater Green Bay Community Foundation awarded new grants of $1.02 million and distributed $585,041 to multiple-year grants;
- Oshkosh Area Community Foundation awarded new grants of $1.04 million and distributed $580,492 to multiple-year grants.
In the past five years, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership has awarded 53 grants to 32 organizations in the Fox Valley for a total of $7.5 million. The community report highlights several programs addressing the root causes of poverty and results they have achieved.
In the Fox Valley, a grant for a comprehensive school-based mental health program implemented E3 (Engage, Educate, Empower) in the Hortonville Area School District. Funds provided mental health assessments, education for teachers and families and on-site therapy. The program is in its third year of funding and participants credit the Basic Needs Giving Partnership with their success.
“This would be a pretty hard program to run without the funding,” said Katie Jensen, director of access and outreach for Catalpa Health. “Kids more freely talking about seeing a counselor, their parents are starting to become more open to therapy, and we’ve been able to combine funding and collaborative efforts in a district and see the impact on a culture.”
Chief among regional efforts is the POINT (Poverty Outcomes and Improvement Network Team) poverty initiative, which is equipping nonprofits with continuous improvement tools and initiating the formation of action groups around strategic initiatives focused on solving poverty in northeast Wisconsin. More than 70 organizations have participated in POINT this year.
For LEAVEN, participating in POINT uncovered gaps in service for those in need. The organization analyzed client data and learned that 27% of its clients sought help from LEAVEN three or more times a year. They determined having staff on-site increased the referral rate.
“I honestly thought the POINT process would slow us down, but in the end, the months we invested really strengthened our story,” said Mary Parsons, executive director for LEAVEN.
See a list of all Fox Valley Basic Needs Giving Partnership grants currently being funded.