Impact Areas | Activities Funded | Review Criteria
Single Agency Grants | Collaborative Grants | Collaborative Planning Grants

To support long-term solutions that help people move out of poverty and to encourage creative collaboration between agencies in providing these solutions.
Geographic scope: Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County, or the city of Ripon
Range of grantmaking: Up to $45,000 in a 3-year period for a single organization; up to $300,000 in a 3-year period for collaborative projects involving more than one agency. Multiple years of support will be considered only if there is a compelling reason.
Initial grant application deadline: February 15, 2015
Grant decisions: June
Contact: Amy Putzer, or 920-426-3993


The Basic Needs Giving Partnership was established in 2007 to address the root causes of poverty in Northeast Wisconsin. The partnership brings together charitable resources from the U.S. Venture Open Fund for Basic Needs within the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, the J. J. Keller Foundation and other partner donors.

Proceeds from the U.S. Venture Open help fund the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs. Every year, the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation distributes a portion of this fund as grants and the J. J. Keller Foundation matches the grantmaking budget for additional grantmaking. The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, one of three Fox Valley community foundations to receive the funds, is responsible for determining how the funds will be distributed.


The Basic Needs Giving Partnership provides assistance to established nonprofit organizations with a proven record of success in maintaining solid, critical programs or innovative new organizations and programs supported by established nonprofits or successful leadership. Funds are not meant to support emergency assistance programs.

Consideration will be given to proposals that address one or more of the following impact areas:
  1. Help children, youth and young adults become healthy and ready to succeed in school and become self-sufficient.
  2. Strengthen individuals and families to help them learn to meet basic needs and build their financial self-sufficiency.
  3. Empower and support individuals affected by aging and dementia with low or fixed incomes through services that meet their basic needs and allow them to age with dignity.
  4. Help uninsured and underinsured residents sustain a higher quality of life by preventing and reducing acute and long-term care crises through innovative and culturally appropriate models promoting the control and prevention of disease and chronic illness, such as diabetes and mental health.

In order to achieve the fund's desired outcomes, grantmaking will focus on supporting:
  • Organizations that demonstrate the potential to expand or deepen their impact or those that are already achieving measurable impact.
  • Efforts that involve goal-oriented, flexible partnerships among the nonprofit, public and private sectors.
  • Initiatives that take a long-term view of what is required for people to move out of poverty.


Planning - To support teams of nonprofits exploring the launch of a collaborative project.

Project Support - To help initiate, enhance or expand specific innovative projects or programs with clear goals and measurable outcomes consistent with the Giving Partnership's impact areas.

Capacity Building - To either enhance an agency's ability to meet its mission and goals, or position an organization to increase its scale and ability to meet community needs.

Policy Analysis and Advocacy - To support nonpartisan studies, public awareness campaigns and community collaborations among nonprofit, public and civic groups around critical community issues.


All grant proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a team of community volunteers. Selected applicants may be asked to interview with grants team members and provide additional information. The strongest proposals will be those that meet all or most of the following criteria. Preference will be given to collaborative proposals.

Direct relevance to at least one of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership impact areas

Strength of proposal design
  • Proposal focuses on moving people out of poverty or assists those with limited means to maintain a stable dignified quality of life
  • Proposal is focused and well-defined, and workplan is realistic
  • Proposal identifies clear outcomes and measures of success
  • Budget is clear, realistic, and includes other sources of revenue
  • Appropriate stakeholders are involved
  • Collaborative efforts include sharing of resources and risk to enhance the capacity of all partners
  • Responsibilities of collaborative partners are clearly defined (if applicable)

Potential impact on the community
  • Proposal includes documented evidence of community need being addressed
  • Evidence is provided that proposed activities are based on demonstrated "best practices"
  • Intended outcomes for the target population are likely to be achieved
  • Activities are likely to be sustained after grant (if appropriate)
  • Applicant(s) is knowledgeable of other local services that address the identified community need and can articulate how they will work with these services

Capacity of applicant organization(s)
  • Proposal fits within the strategic plan/directions of the organization(s)
  • Organization(s) and staff have the capacity to implement the proposal
  • Organization(s) has the skills to establish and implement a system for evaluating proposed activities
  • Applicant(s) is in stable financial condition

SINGLE AGENCY GRANTS - Up to $45,000 in a 3-year period

An Initial Grant Application is the first step for a single nonprofit organization to be considered by the Community Foundation for funding from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership. The Initial Application helps determine whether a request qualifies for consideration before applicants complete full applications.

COLLABORATIVE GRANTS - Up to $300,000 in a 3-year period

Collaborative grants support thoughtful projects and programs that are undertaken by a collaborative partnership of multiple nonprofit organizations because the scope or complexity of the project will benefit from each organization's particular expertise or provided services, and/or will enable more effective and efficient delivery of the program or services than individual organizations working alone or separately. It includes:
  • Jointly developing and agreeing upon a set of common goals and direction.
  • Sharing the risks and responsibility for obtaining those goals.
  • Working together to achieve those goals, using the expertise and resources of each collaborator.
  • A jointly developed structure.
Collaborative efforts are not defined by referrals between agencies, networking, information exchanges, subcontracting, and minor altering of activities.

  • shorter-term, informal relationships
  • shared information only
  • separate goals, resources, and structures
  • longer-term effort around a project or task
  • some planning and division of roles
  • some shared resources, rewards
  • more durable and pervasive relationships
  • new structure with common goals
  • shared resources, rewards, and risk

An Initial Grant Application is the first step for collaborative projects or planning activities to be considered by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation for funding from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership. The Initial Application helps determine whether a request qualifies for consideration before applicants complete full applications.

If your collaboration includes work in the service areas of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation or the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, use the Regional Grant Application Form.


Groups of local non-profits who are exploring and planning for the launch of a collaborative project may be eligible for a planning grant. Grants will not fund planning that is part of an organization's ongoing activities. Appropriate planning items include but are not limited to: hiring staff; planning time; site visits to review models and best practices; and consultants, facilitators or other outside professional assistance. Planning grant recipients are not guaranteed to receive additional funding for project or program implementation.

The Community Foundation estimates that proposals for planning grants will request between $10,000 and $25,000, but any reasonable level of request will be considered. We expect that planning will last approximately 6 to 18 months. To apply for a planning grant, you will need to have the following information available:
  • Identification of the lead organization and collaborators and their roles;
  • A description of the gap or community/regional need;
  • A sense of the vision and description of any previous planning;
  • Why a planning grant is needed to move the project forward;
  • An estimated timeline of activities;
  • A budget for how planning grant funds would be utilized;

Not currently accepting applications

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