Our Roles: Grantmaker. Coalition Builder.

Build Capacity of Community-based Organizations
In 2012, nonprofit World Relief assisted in placing more than 85 refugees in the Oshkosh area. They came from places such as Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kyrgyzstan. As the saying goes, "it takes a village." When it comes to the ways in which the comprehensive needs of these strangers are met, it took a village of organizations, encouraged and supported by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, to help them assimilate to their new home and become self-sufficient.

Understanding that collaboration is the theme that connects funders, the Community Foundation in its competitive grantmaking role promotes coordination, cooperation and sharing among organizations to reduce the duplication of services in our community. A collaboration that included the Workforce Development Center, the state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Winnebago Literacy Council, City of Oshkosh, ADVOCAP and Wisconsin Works, with the lead agencies as World Relief and Habitat for Humanity, developed the Habitat Employment Training Program. With a $6,000 matching grant from the Community Foundation in hand, the program has helped more than two dozen refugees discover a path to self-sufficiency.

Grants to programs like the Habitat Employment Training Program demonstrate how the Community Foundation can build knowledge and capacity of community-based organizations to meet needs in the community. Through its competitive grantmaking, the Community Foundation can educate separate players about one another's work and help communities find a more unified approach to solving problems.

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