Basic Needs Giving Partnership announces $3 million in grants - June 24 2015

Funds target root causes of poverty in Fox Valley, Green Bay and Oshkosh

Appleton, WI -- The Basic Needs Giving Partnership, a unique collaboration between several of the region's largest charitable giving organizations, has approved more than $3 million in new grants to fight poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.

Related news:
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Fighting Poverty a Dollar at a Time

Organizations in the Green Bay, Fox Valley and Oshkosh areas will receive 28 new grants and continued funding for 27 multi-year grants. Grants are awarded to projects equipping individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership is a collaboration between the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J. J. Keller Foundation, Inc., the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, the Community
Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Donations to the
annual U.S. Venture Open support the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs established at each Community Foundation. The J. J. Keller Foundation in turn matches up to $800,000 of the annual grantmaking budget from the fund. The three Community Foundations complete this partnership, bringing their expertise in community needs and strategic grantmaking.

"The power of this partnership is that we are fostering and supporting collaborative projects
that reach thousands of needy individuals throughout Northeast Wisconsin," said Greg Vandenberg, U.S. Venture director of giving and community engagement. "Together we are able to make an impact far greater than any of us would be able to do individually."

In 30 years the partnership has given $16.9 million in grants to regional organizations. Last year, $2.8 million in new grants were awarded to help residents move from poverty to self-sufficiency. Over 68% of these grants were collaborations which facilitated new nonprofit interactions.

"We are encouraged by the impact of our joint efforts," said Mary Harp Jirschele, J. J. Keller Foundation executive director. "Nonprofits are thinking more strategically and creating long-term solutions to affect the residents of Northeast Wisconsin."

Since 2007, the J. J. Keller Foundation has contributed $5.9 million to this root-cause effort.

FY 2015 Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grants
$3,005,886 in new grant commitments
$2,548,334 in grants distributed

$474,200 in new grant commitments
$498,122 in grants distributed


Catalpa Trees from Seeds at the Club $130,372 (Year 1 of 3, $300,000 total)

Provide children and their families with access to mental health services and case management, integrated mental health programming and interaction with adults trained in trauma informed care.
Collaborators: Catalpa Health, Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, Inc.

Children's Vision Screening Project: $3,000

To support vision screening for preschool children at two Oshkosh Head Start sites and launch the program at a Head Start location in Markesan. Collaborators: Prevent Blindness Wisconsin

Mental Health Collaboration: $15,000

Determine how to create a meaningful extension of the N.E.W. Mental Health Connection in Oshkosh that fosters and encourages collaboration among stakeholders in mental health in the Fox Valley region.
Collaborators: N.E.W. Mental Health Connection, Catalpa Health, Friendship Place, Samaritan Counseling Center

Riverside Program Addressing Emerging Barriers: $24,900 (Year 1 of 3, $69,500 total)

To better address the changing social dynamics of incoming Riverside students by hiring a dedicated Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) expert as well as updating/enhancing the Financial Literacy and College and Career Readiness courses.
Collaborators: Fox Valley Technical College Foundation, Oshkosh Area School District

Rental Housing in Oshkosh Mediation Effort (R HOME): $36,700

Creates the Rental Housing in Oshkosh Mediation Effort (R HOME) aimed at helping tenants avoid eviction and the challenges that often come with having a public eviction record.
Collaborators: Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center, Winnebago Apartment Association, Winnebago County UW-Extension

Supportive Housing Program: $50,000

Supports eight units of transitional housing for families fleeing domestic violence to replace units lost more than a year ago when the Siena Transitional Living property was sold.
Collaborators: Winnebago County Housing Authority, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services


Connected Community Wellness Screen: $26,516 (Year 2 of 3, $50,000 total)

To help prevent teen suicide by providing free emotional wellness screening to students at public and
private schools in Oshkosh, Omro and Winneconne school districts.
Collaborators: The Samaritan
Counseling Center of the Fox Valley, Oshkosh, Omro and Winneconne School Districts; UW Oshkosh Dept. of Professional Counseling; Winnebago County Health Dept./re:TH!NK; Living Healthy Community Clinic

Great Futures Mentoring Program: $32,300 (Year 3 of 3, $86,700 total)

To help reverse the growing numbers of people living in poverty by equipping middle and high school students in poverty with a mentor who can help navigate the path to self-sufficiency.
Collaborators: ADVOCAP, Oshkosh Area School District, Oshkosh Community YMCA, UW Oshkosh Center for Career Development and Employer Training

The Hub: $75,000 (Year 2 of 2, $150,000 total)

A community-wide initiative combining emergency/crisis intervention services with long-term coaching services, with the ultimate goal of financial stability for participating households.
Collaborators: ADVOCAP, Verve Credit Union, Goodwill Industries, Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, Oshkosh Area United Way, St. Vincent de Paul Society Oshkosh, UW-Extension, Winnebago County Department of Health and Human Services

Oral Health Care for Children: $15,000 (Year 2 of 3, $45,000 total)

To provide orthodontics for children with severe oral health problems from low-income households in southern Winnebago County. Recipient: Tri-County Community Dental Clinic

Memory Café Launch: $8,334 (Year 2 of 3, $25,000 total)

To introduce Memory Cafés in Oshkosh that serve those with early stage dementia, mild memory loss or cognitive impairment, and the family and friends of those affected. Recipient: Alzheimer's Association of Greater Wisconsin

Road to Work Project: $50,000 (Year 3 of 3, $150,000 total)

To provide refugees with intensive employment-related training services including workplace literacy,
interpreters as needed and support of transportation, child care, work clothing and other needs.
Collaborators: ADVOCAP, Winnebago County Literacy Council

Skills Enhancement Program: $5,000 (Year 3 of 3, $22,500 total)

To help low-income wage earners access the education and training needed to secure higher-paying jobs with benefits so they can transition from dependence on public assistance to economic self-sufficiency. Recipient: ADVOCAP

$220,000 in new grant commitments
$346,000 in grants distributed

Driven to Empower: $100,000

To identify ways to overcome transportation barriers facing victims of abuse through affordable car
repair services, education on car repair and maintenance, and empowerment through potential new career opportunities.
Collaborators: Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs, Fox Valley Technical College

NeighborCARE: $100,000 (Year 2 of 3, $300,000 total)

Use the principals of "asset based community development" to mobilize community volunteers and
match them to the needs of aging adults facing limitations and isolation.
Collaborators: Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin; Aging & Disability Resource Centers of Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties

Sober Living Grant (SILE): $26,000 (Year 2 of 3, $90,000 total)

To investigate the requirements of establishing sober living houses in Appleton and Oshkosh to provide supportive housing after treatment and increase a person's ability to achieve long-term sobriety.
Collaborators: STEP Industries, The Mooring Programs, Inc., NOVA Counseling Services

Social Innovation Leadership Experience (SILE): $80,000

A unique, executive education program to create a mind shift in nonprofit executive directors from basic needs-related organizations in Northeast Wisconsin.
Collaborators: Marquette University, UW-Oshkosh, Innovative Learning Strategies

Sustainable Protein Project Planning: $25,000

Creates a socially innovative enterprise that produces a stable source of fresh fish protein for
low-income children and pregnant women to access through area food programs and pantries.
Collaborators: Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Blue Planet.

Young Adults with Mental Health (SILE): $15,000

This planning grant provides a unique opportunity to serve young adults with chronic and persistent
mental illness by building their self-sufficiency through independent living. By providing affordable
housing, supportive services and employment opportunities, these individuals will be better equipped to effectively cope with their illnesses and avoid crisis situations.
Collaborators: NAMI and the Housing Partnership

View grants administered by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation

About the U.S. Venture Open
The U.S. Venture Open is Northeast Wisconsin's single largest one-day charitable event dedicated entirely to fighting poverty. Over 1,100 participants representing more than 500 partners golf at regional golf courses to raise money for programs that help to fight the root causes of poverty. Over $3 million was raised in 2014. Follow the event on Facebook, Twitter, or visit the U.S. Venture Open website. The U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs is 100% funded by the proceeds of the annual U.S. Venture Open.

U.S. Venture, Inc.

For over 60 years, U.S. Venture, Inc. has been recognized as an innovative leader in the distribution of
petroleum and renewable energy products, lubricants, and tires and parts for the automotive
aftermarket. Guided by its company vision, "To be the very best value-adding distributor of products
that vehicles consume in North America," they deliver unconventional, creative solutions that give their
customers a competitive edge. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, the company's business divisions are U.S. Oil, U.S. AutoForce®, U.S. Lubricants and U.S. Gain.

About the J. J. Keller Foundation

The Foundation is widely recognized for its focus on the causes and consequences of poverty and other special areas of interest, most notably mental illness. Funding is provided for such programs as physical and mental health and healing, human services, life-skills education, preventative programming and critical community needs. The Foundation was established by the late John J. "Jack" Keller, founder of J. J. Keller & Associates, in honor of his wife Ethel's 70th birthday as a way to give back to the community in which they lived, worked and played. For more information, go to the
J. J. Keller Foundation website


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