skip mobile navigation
Aa Aa Aa
Here to Help

VP Donor Services & Gift Planning
Ann Engelhard


[email protected]

NxG Fund

Our Story


Elisha D. Smith

Seven generations after Elisha D. Smith bought a wooden bucket factory on the Fox River that would become the international packaging manufacturer Menasha Corp., a handful of his descendants have embarked on a new venture in philanthropy. They intend to have a major impact on charities in the communities from coast to coast where family members have relocated and influence on the giving spirit of distant cousins not yet born.

The NxG Fund at the Community Foundation was established with a $50,000 gift raised at an auction held at a family meeting in Elkart Lake, WI, in the summer of 2015. The fund encourages the descendants of Elisha to practice philanthropy together.  The NxG Fund makes grants in small towns and big cities across the United States where Smith family members are passionate about supporting charitable organizations and serving their communities.

Complete a family recommendation form (Smith family members only).

Our Board

Steve Waite (President)
Sam Shepard (Treasurer)
Nick Shepard (Secretary)
Carla Fair
Maggie Ryan
Patrick Ryan
Peter Shepard
Nick Shepard

Our Mission

The NxG Fund, in an effort to continue Elisha D. Smith’s legacy of philanthropic giving and to establish a connection among the younger Smith family members, is committed to enhancing the lives of under-served youth in the communities where Smith family members reside. In doing so, it will provide funding to charitable organizations that empower this population through:

  • Health initiatives,
  • Higher education opportunities and
  • Exposure to the arts.

To Apply

Applicants must be invited to apply.  Preference is given to nonprofit organizations that serve individuals under the age of 18 and are geographically located near a Smith family member.

The applicant must register as a user at Once approved as a user (allow at least  two business days), return to the site and, under “Grant Applicants,” select “Available Grants” and find “NxG Fund Grant application.” Complete and click “Submit.”

Support the NxG Fund

You may donate directly to the NxG Fund using cash, check, credit card or securities. You can make a gift online with a credit card. Make checks payable to CFFVR/NxG Fund and mail or deliver to:

The Community Foundation
4455 W. Lawrence St.
Appleton, WI 54914

Our Charities

The NxG Fund is proud to support the following charities…

The ACE Project – Chicago, IL

The Ace Project provides in-school, after-school and summer tennis programs for school-aged children in the impoverished neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago.  Ace Project programs are completely free to all participants and provide a safe environment for children with little to no other opportunities.

The Boys & Girls Clubs Fox Valley – Menasha, WI

With 60% of Menasha students living in low-income households, Menasha students score at the lowest levels of proficiency in math and reading — and have the highest levels of truancy, expulsion and suspension — in the Fox Valley.  To help fill that void, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley provides exemplary club experience for youth from throughout the Fox Cities area that ensures members are on track to graduate from high school, have a plan for their future, demonstrate good character and citizenship, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Experience Camps, Manitou Camps Foundation – Portland, ME (serving the East Coast)

Experience Camps are one-week summer camps for children whose parent, sibling or loved one has died. They help build confidence, encourage laughter and navigate grief through friendship, teamwork, activities and the common bond of loss. They provide support to grieving children through summer camps, year-round programs and online support.

Boys’ & Girls’ Brigade Association – Neenah, WI

The Boys’ & Girls’ Brigade is a 501(c)(3) youth organization for boys and girls in grades 5 through 12 located in Neenah, Wisconsin. The Brigade is a nondenominational Christian youth organization and currently serves more than 600 youth in the Fox Valley area, with the help of more than 350 adult volunteers. Through a seven-year Character Development and Leadership Training program, we’re providing a community center for youth to acquire skills such as teamwork, collaboration, creativity, responsibility, self-direction and an ethical sense — all necessary to be a successful, healthy adult.

YouthGo – Neenah, WI

Youth Go strives to provide underserved and at-risk youth in grades 5 through 12 with opportunities to do well in school, develop as individuals and prepare for their next step in life. We hope that through participation in programming, youth can learn about themselves, develop positive relationships with peers and adults, grow through their experiences, express their creativity, and cultivate their skills and potential in a safe and supportive environment.

Here to Help

Ann Engelhard
VP Donor Services & Gift Planning
[email protected]