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Community Foundation Celebrates Another Momentous Year in Giving 

Posted on Jun 27, 2023, by

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region awarded $40.2 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofit organizations and students last year, taking the total grants awarded in its 36-year history to $453 million. 

The Community Foundation, together with its five geographic affiliates in Brillion, Chilton, Clintonville, Shawano, and Waupaca, helps people, businesses and organizations make a difference by supporting nonprofits working on the causes they care about most, during and after their lifetimes. They create charitable funds with the Community Foundation that award grants to nonprofit organizations across its service region of Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca counties, the Neenah/Menasha area of Winnebago county and beyond.  

“We’re on a journey together, building a stronger and deeper sense of belonging and genuine partnerships that will help us all to flourish,” said Curt Detjen, president and CEO. “Our relationships are with caring donors, passionate nonprofit organizations, and a region with so many who genuinely care. Together, we work to make this a community we want to live in today, and our ‘forever’ mission calls upon us to make investments to build for a better tomorrow.” 

For fiscal year 2022, which ended December 31, a record 1,765 nonprofits received grants in all aspects of service, including human services, community improvement, education, health care, environment, and arts and culture. 

 The grant total includes $1.4 million in scholarships awarded from 232 scholarship funds to 512 students from 60 high schools throughout the Fox Valley region.  Click on our Annual Report to the Community to flip through the results and see how we are making an impact together.

The Himebaugh Legacy Circle has grown to more than 300 members. The program recognizes people who have made after-lifetime plans for their favorite charitable causes through a bequest or similar deferred gift to the Community Foundation. 

The 1,829 charitable funds under management total $481.6 million in assets and received $44.5 million in contributions in 2022. The median contribution was $240, and the median grant was $1,000. 

“It was a year of learning, transition, and hope,” said Peter Mariahazy, Board Chair in 2022. “We remain a steadfast community of service and support through many transitions, and that shines hope on the future as we continue to work alongside our donors, nonprofits, and staff.”  

Examples of $40.2 million in Grants 

  • A $20,000 grant from the Community Vision Fund to support the work of Northeast Wisconsin Mental Health Connection and its mission of leading a collaboration of community stakeholders, including 80 member organizations, to create and continuously improve an exceptional mental health system of care. The Connection’s results include the release of a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Recommendations report, offering a roadmap of organizational, community and public policy recommendations across three overarching themes to improve the mental health of adults in the region.
  • A grant to the Seymour School District from the Corey and Kristy Stumpf Tech for Kids Fund helps a 9-year-old boy with autism find his voice, by providing a new iPad equipped with a program that puts his thoughts into words. The Black Creek Elementary School student communicates in complete sentences for the first time.
  • A grant from the Gunderson Family Fund enabled SOAR Fox Cities to buy an industrial washer and dryer for its downtown Appleton office. Being the third-largest Special Olympics program in Wisconsin, SOAR Fox Cities not only supports its athletes, but it also tends to an exceptionally large amount of laundry. 
  • The Community Foundation continues to fund Inclusion in the Outdoors through a $15,000 grant from the Community Vision Fund. The project, hosted by Multicultural Coalition, Inc, focuses on making Fox Valley outdoor spaces and activities welcoming and inclusive for all.
  • The Waupaca Area Community Foundation, one of five geographic affiliates, awarded two special $25,000 Community Enhancement grants to attract newcomers to the Waupaca area. The Waupaca Community Arts Board is expanding the Waupaca Community Arts Hub by building staff capacity, increasing outreach programs, and adding equipment.  The Waupaca Area Chamber Foundation is developing a marketing campaign highlighting Waupaca’s economic, cultural, and recreational assets. 

The Community Foundation continues to advance its five-year Strategic Direction, focusing on four priorities: 

  1. Understanding Community Needs 
  2. Knowledge Exchange 
  3. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism 
  4. Convene and Collaborate  

“Our strategic direction calls us to deepen our understanding of community needs, connect the dots, and share what we are learning,” said Detjen. “This is at the heart of being a ‘community’ foundation for all.” 

View the Strategic Direction summary

More details on the fiscal year, including lists of grant recipients, charitable funds and investment performance, are available at 

 The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, an Appleton, WI based nonprofit founded in 1986, helps people provide long-term support for favorite charities through endowments and other charitable funds. The second-largest certified community foundation in Wisconsin, its donors have enabled it to award $453 million in grants to nonprofit organizations from 1,829 charitable funds. It partners with affiliated community foundations in Brillion, Chilton, Clintonville, Shawano and Waupaca. To learn more, go to, subscribe to The Loop at, listen to our podcast, Voices from the Valley at, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

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