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Stories of Giving

People making a difference in the lives of others today and for generations to come. What will be your story?

Environmental fund started as a challenge

Anyone, of any giving means, now has a vehicle where they can put their money and know it will be effectively used to further environmental causes.

Nature has a place and a fan base at the Community Foundation since a challenge in 2003 created the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

A group of donors led by Marlene Konsek, Sue Kinde and Milly Rugland worked with staff proposed to the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors that an endowment fund be established to make grants for environmental causes.  They offered to find 50 donors each willing to donate $1,000 to the cause if the board would match that $50,000.

The group signed on 54 founding donors, some of whom gave more than the $1,000, so the fund started with a $125,000 endowment. Dick and Karen Gosse bolstered the effort by establishing the Dick and Karen Gosse Environmental Fund, which directs all of its available grant money to the larger environmental fund. The hope was that others would follow the Gosses’ lead and create named funds to support the environmental grant-making, but that has not yet happened.

Grants from the Environmental Stewardship Fund have paid for such projects as a bluebird trail, a handicapped-accessible trail at Mosquito Hill Nature Center near New London, remodeling work at Appleton’s environmental charter school and many other nature center programs and appearances by environmental experts.

The Community Foundation Board vastly increased its commitment to environmental grant-making in 2013 when it included environmental sustainability as one of the Foundation’s “focus areas” and allocated $50,000 for environmental sustainability partnerships grants, which required nonprofits work in collaboration to accomplish environmental priorities.

Projects funded through the years include:

  • Neighborhood Partners, a neighborhood-scale effort to use environmental project to strengthen an inner city Appleton neighborhood.
  • The Waupaca Eco Park, a program by CAP Services that puts at-risk high school students to work building with alternative energy technology and locally sourced materials building environmental education facilities in a Waupaca city park.
  • Interconnecting trails between the city of Appleton and Riverview Gardens.

Revisions are underway to reorganize and combine the Environmental Stewardship, Arts and Culture and nonprofit Capacity Building grant programs to offer more flexibility for nonprofits, greater impact and more efficient use of staff and volunteer time.

These individuals, companies and orgnizations can forever claim the title of founding donors for the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

  • Jim and Jody Anderson
  • Richard and Jennifer Bergstrom
  • Pat and the late O.C. Boldt
  • Tom and Renee Boldt
  • Richard and Chris Calder
  • Bill and Paula Chandler
  • Gayle Chatfield
  • Jon and Susan Derksen
  • William and Carol Dresser
  • Dale Druckrey
  • Sharon Duerkop
  • Bob and Pat Endries
  • Bill and Gail Engler
  • Bob and Natalie Gehringer
  • Dave and Mary Gerlach
  • Dick and Karen Gosse
  • John and Lois Haugner
  • Frank and Florence Heckrodt
  • David and Jean Horst
  • Don and Betty Jabas
  • Mary B. Jensen
  • Mark and Tobi Johannsen
  • Paul and Anne Karch
  • Bill and Barb Kelly
  • Bob and Sue Kinde
  • John and Marlene Konsek
  • Dr. Larry and Susan Livengood
  • Gerry and Margo Mich
  • Bob and Judy Mickelson
  • John and Sally Mielke
  • Harold and Doris Miller
  • Gilbert and Barbara Mueller
  • Doug and Myrt Ogilvie
  • Jim and Ellie Olson
  • Jim and Joy Perry
  • Bruce and Barbara Purdy
  • Jeff and Jone Riester
  • Walt and Milly Rugland
  • Doug & Carla Salmon Foundation
  • Dale Schaber and
    Penny Bernard Schaber
  • Tom and Pat Schinabeck
  • Chelsea, Luke, Sam, Daniel
    and Zach Schmidt
  • John and Julie Schmidt
  • William and Barbara Schmidt
  • Steve and Kathi Siefert
  • Les and Dar Stumpf
  • Mary and Don Sturtevant
  • Tom and Janet Sutter
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Roger and Lynn Van Vreede
  • Clarence and Dolores Wallace
  • Len and Donna Weis
  • Walter and Beverly Wieckert
  • The Wild Ones-Fox Valley Area