Basic Needs/Self-Sufficiency


Impact Areas | Activities Funded | Collaboration Defined
Collaborative Planning Grants | Collaborative Implementation 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 $300,000 in a 3-year period. All proposals must be collaborative.
Initial grant application deadline: February 15, 2018
Grant decisions: June
Contact: Amy Putzer, [email protected] 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.


2017 Impact Report – Vocational Learning Center + Rise Up
2017 Community Report – U.S. Venture
Grant Awards – Summer 2017
2016 Community Report – U.S. Venture Open
Media Release – Grant Awards – Summer 2016
2015 Planning Grant – A Community in Search of Affordable Housing
2015 Community Report – U.S. Venture Open
2015 Annual Report – Riverside Alternative Education Program
2015 Annual Report – Ohana Sober Living House
Media Release – Grant Awards – Summer 2015
Media Release – Grant Awards – Summer 2013
Media Release – Grant Awards – Summer 2012
2011 Annual Report – Help at Home Program


Collaboration can be a means of reaching goals that cannot be achieved by a single agency or to combine redundant services and resources across agencies. 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.

Collaboration may involve written (perhaps, even legal) agreements.

Collaborative efforts are not defined by referrals between agencies, networking, information exchanges, subcontracting, and minor altering of activities.

Cooperation Coordination Collaboration
  • 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


Planning grants provide funding to teams of local non-profits as they explore and plan for the launch of a collaborative project. 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 expects 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
  • Information on 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.

Proposals for planning grants will be evaluated on both the strength of the request and the potential of the proposed project. Strong planning projects will:

  • Define a community/regional need or identified gap in service or programming within one or more of the impact areas of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership.
  • Clearly articulate a vision that demonstrates depth in thinking and initial research into feasibility.
  • Identify and describe suitable, successful models (already in place in another community) or a newly created framework for a clearly defined action to meet the need.
  • Provide a realistic, initial budget.
  • Have board and organizational management support and participation.
  • Be collaborative in nature and bring together partners, public and/or private as active planning partners to address the impact area(s) and to leverage impact through resources and/or expertise.
  • Lead to a project that is concrete, practical, and has the potential for well-defined meaningful measurable impact.

COLLABORATIVE IMPLEMENTATION 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.

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.

– 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

– 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)
  • Applicants are knowledgeable of other local services that address the identified community need and can articulate how they will work with these services

– Capacity of applicant organizations

  • Proposal fits within the strategic plan/directions of the organizations
  • Organizations and staff have the capacity to implement the proposal
  • Organizations have the skills to establish and implement a system for evaluating proposed activities
  • Applicants are in stable financial condition

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, please request the Regional Grant Application Form.

grant evaluation

Progress Report Form for Multi-Year Grant
Final Report Form for Grant of $10K or more
Final Report Form for Planning Grant

A brief follow-up report will also be required two years after the completion of grant funding. The purpose of this report is to see how your program is progressing in terms of evolution and sustainability, as well as to help gauge the success of your program in moving people out of poverty. We will contact you when it is time for the two-year report to be completed.


An initial grant application is the first step for planning activities or collaborative projects to be considered. The initial application helps determine whether a request qualifies for consideration before applicants complete full applications. Projects impacting more than one community foundation service area should use the Regional Grant Application Form.

    1. Identify the Basic Needs Giving Partnership Impact Area that your proposal addresses.
    2. Call Amy Putzer, Director of Programs, at 920-426-3993 to discuss your proposal well in advance of the application deadline and prior to starting your initial grant application.
    3. Submit an Initial Grant Application describing your proposed project before the February 15 deadline. If your request is for a regional collaborative project, please use the Regional Grant Application Form.
    4. Invitations to submit a full application will be issued by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation no later than March 16, 2018.
    5. Full applications and budgets, per invitation by the Community Foundation, will be due April 13, 2018. Additional supporting documentation may be requested depending on the nature of your grant request.
    6. If invited, participate in an interview with grant committee members in May.
    7. The Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grant Committee will make final recommendations to the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation Board of Directors.
    8. Final decisions will be announced in June.