Additional Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grant Funding Announced

Posted on Jul 20, 2020 by

$5 million in additional funding has been released to regional nonprofits for emergency relief from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership within the Community Foundation, supported by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J.J. Keller Foundation, Inc., and other community partners.

Leaders from the U.S. Venture Open and the Basic Needs Giving Partnership are responding to growing need among charitable organizations due to the pandemic by making additional funds available immediately. The announcement includes the following to support nonprofits focused on ending poverty in Northeast Wisconsin:

  • Given the extraordinary need in Northeast Wisconsin and the opportunity for regional impact, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership is injecting an additional $5 million into its 2020-2021 grantmaking total through the community foundations in Green Bay, Fox Valley and Oshkosh.
  • $425,000 has been made available immediately to the COVID-19 Response Funds at the community foundations in the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Green Bay. More information about the response funds is available on each community foundation’s website.
  • And, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership is announcing $4,082,091 in new spring 2020 grants and $2,711,097 in spring 2020 multi-year grants to regional nonprofits for programs addressing the root causes of poverty.

Representatives from the fund’s board of directors, leadership from all three community foundations, and lead funders released the additional funds from the endowment in response to the unprecedented need in Northeast Wisconsin. Funds are raised through the U.S. Venture Open with lead funders U.S. Venture, J.J. Keller Foundation, Oshkosh Corporation, ThedaCare and Thrivent Foundation.

“This is the rainy day we have been saving for,” says Greg Vandenberg, director of giving and community engagement for U.S. Venture. “The pandemic impacts every aspect of how nonprofits work, and more people are seeking help. That increased volume affects funding, programs, staffing, and operations for area nonprofits.” Vandenberg also cites the ongoing protests condemning racism and the need to invest in income inequality and racial equity as drivers for increased funding.

In order to more effectively respond to the needs of non-profit partners, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership grantmaking process is being redesigned to maximize flexibility. Changes include:

  • Rolling applications – Funds may be requested on an ongoing basis rather than individual community foundation’s deadlines for annual grant requests.
  • Funding will not be restricted to collaborative grants and may be used for shorter-term needs such as meeting operating expenses.

Requests will be accepted starting in August. Refer to the Basic Needs Giving Partnership pages on the respective community foundation websites for more information.

“The leadership of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership recognizes the level of public health and economic damage done during the pandemic, so we want to make an investment upstream in anticipation of preventing future need,” Vandenberg said.

Funds are raised through the U.S. Venture Open
Basic Needs Giving Partnership funds are raised through the U. S. Venture Open, the nation’s largest one-day charitable event dedicated to eliminating the root causes of poverty. Last year, the Open realized a record level of donations of $5.2 million, thus giving the opportunity to release additional funds to the community.

However, this year’s event is a taking a new direction. To follow CDC recommendations on social distancing, the 2020 U.S. Venture Open will forgo golf at multiple regional golf courses and the evening dinner at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown. Instead, the event will move into a space designed to inform, educate and activate donors about how the funds raised help the most vulnerable in our communities:

  • Donations are being raised through an online fundraiser; donate or text USVO to 762-78.
  • Organizers will hold an online auction to run July 29 – August 12
  • The U.S. Venture Open is holding a regional media-thon fundraiser in partnership with the U.S. Venture Open, WBAY-TV and Woodward Radio Group. The media platforms will educate the public through live reports, stories, and talk shows culminating in a day of celebration and fundraising on Wed., August 12. Woodward Communications will air programming on its stations all day, live reports will be featured on WBAY-TV 2 throughout the day, and WBAY will televise a one-hour program communicating the need for regional nonprofits.

“When we explained the extreme need to our media partners, they immediately said ‘how can we help?” Vandenberg said. “We are blessed to have such concerned and generous partners in Northeast Wisconsin.”

Through the Basic Needs Giving Partnership’s legacy grant program, $4,082,091 was awarded in new spring 2020 regional grants and $2,459,347 was distributed in spring 2020 multi-year grants. Regional grants have been awarded to 127 nonprofit/organizations supporting innovative programs helping those in need throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Collaborating nonprofits/organizations receive funds for programs addressing the root causes of poverty through the community foundations in Green Bay, Fox Valley and Oshkosh.

Funding breakdowns are:

  • Oshkosh Area Community Foundation awarded new grants of $1,224,710 and distributed $773,048 to multiple year grants;
  • Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region awarded new grants of $1,273,725 and distributed $1,456,299 to multiple year grants;
  • Greater Green Bay Community Foundation awarded new grants of $1,583,656 and distributed $481,750 to multiple year grants;
  • This includes a regional grant awarded in the amount of $71,500.

Grants are focused on programs that reduce poverty by creating economic stability, increasing access to education, building family support and social connection, and improving health and wellness.

A grantmaking match of $800,000 from U.S. Venture & the J. J. Keller Foundation, $250,000 from Oshkosh Corporation and $200,000 from both ThedaCare and the Thrivent Foundation lead this effort. Three community foundations review and award grants to regional nonprofits that address poverty.

Recipients of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grants for Spring 2020 are:

$4,082,091 in new Spring 2020 grant commitments
$2,711,097 in Spring 2020 grants distributed

Oshkosh Area Community Foundation

  • $1,224,710 in new Spring 2020 grant commitments
  • $773,048 in Spring 2020 grants distributed


Teens 2 Work: $80,025 (Year 1 of 3, $237,073)
Expand Teens 2 Work into a year-round program that will provide teens with safe, supportive work experiences at partnering employers. Employment barriers, like transportation, that teens might normally face in a rural community will be addressed and eliminated through this program. Collaborators: Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area, Green Lake Conference Center, Drexel Building Supply Center, and Crossroads Market

Early Childhood Developmental Screening Expansion: $89,900 (Year 1 of 3, $256,200)
Improve outcomes for young children living in Winnebago County by increasing the number of children that receive developmental screenings and increasing the number of families that are connected to resources and care through a Centralized Access Point. Collaborators: First Five Fox Valley, Child Care Resource & Referral, Early Intervention Program, Winnebago County Health Department, Oshkosh Area School District, ThedaCare, Davis Child Care Center, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, and UW Oshkosh Head Start

Transition to Success for Ex-Offenders: $51,009 (Year 1 of 3, $158,130)
Link ex-offenders with a case manager to help them successfully move from a correctional facility back into the community and navigate their career and educational journeys to sustainable wage jobs. Collaborators: Forward Service Corporation and Wisconsin Department of Corrections Probation and Parole

School District of Omro’s Mental Wellness Program: $90,517 (Year 1 of 3, $247,307)
Launch Omro NOW (Nurturing Omro’s Wellness), a system that provides screening, education and the necessary tools to help all students and staff feel mentally, emotionally and socially prepared for life’s ups and downs. This multi-pronged approach will increase mental health programming and access to services and create a culture of mental health awareness while reducing stigma. Collaborators: School District of Omro, Samaritan Counseling, N.E.W. Mental Health Connection, NAMI Oshkosh, and Collaborative Wellness

Head Start Early Childhood Mental Health: $67,078 (Year 1 of 3, $301,000)
Improve Head Start students’ social-emotional and self-regulation skills by deepening teachers’ use of Conscious Discipline techniques and embedding coaching and mental health supports in the classroom and via home visits with families. Conscious Discipline is a research-based classroom management system that addresses teachers’ social-emotional skill sets and internal states first and then empowers them to teach and model these skills with students. Collaborators: UW Oshkosh Head Start and Catalpa Health

Eviction Prevention Planning Project: $25,000
To explore options and opportunities to develop and sustain a program of education and services to reduce evictions in Winnebago County. This collaboration may include direct intervention through pre-eviction mediation services, education for landlords and tenants, and/or other services recognized through the planning grant process. Collaborators: Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center, Inc., Oshkosh Landlords Association, City of Oshkosh, Rent Smart


Rock the Block Oshkosh: $100,000 (Year 3 of 3, $300,000 total)
Empower residents to revive their low income neighborhoods and enhance their quality of life by working together on home repair, preservation and beautification projects. Collaborators: Habitat for Humanity of Oshkosh, Greater Oshkosh Healthy Neighborhoods, and City of Oshkosh

Mentor 2.0: $105,000 (Year 2 of 3, $300,000 total)
Implement a nationally successful, technology-enhanced, vocational mentoring program within Oshkosh North High School that provides individualized support and guidance to empower students to succeed in and after high school. Collaborators: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region and Oshkosh Area School District

Mentoring Program Expansion: $115,700 (Year 2 of 3, $286,500 total)
Grow the mentoring program that was piloted in the Berlin Area School District in 2018-19 for youth ages 9-17 and launch a similar program partnership with the Green Lake Area School District. Collaborators: Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area, Berlin Area School District, and Green Lake Area School District

Healthy Families Waushara County: $30,944 (Year 2 of 3, $94,938 total)
Offer voluntary nurse home visiting services to parents facing challenges such as single parenthood, low income, and current or previous issues related to substance abuse, mental health issues, and/or domestic violence. Collaborators: Waushara County Health and Human Services Departments, CAP Services, Aurora Health Care, ThedaCare

Community Foundation for the fox valley region

  • $2,273,725 in new Spring 2020 grant commitments
  • $1,456,299 in Spring 2020 grants distributed

Visit Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region for grant details.

greater green bay Community Foundation

  • $1,583,656 in new Spring 2020 grant commitments
  • $481,750 in Spring 2020 grants distributed

Visit Greater Green Bay Community Foundation for grant details.

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