Basic Needs/Self-Sufficiency

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Impact Areas | Types of Grants Available | Collaboration Defined
Planning Grants | Implementation Grants


To invest in solutions so all people in Northeast Wisconsin are self-sufficient and able to fully participate in the life of the community.
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, 2019
Grant decisions: May
Contact: Amy Putzer, [email protected] or 920-426-3993


A strong proposal will answer yes to the following questions:

  • Are you changing the way our community is dealing with poverty?
  • Are you changing outcomes for the people who are at risk or in need?
  • Are you doing the work collaboratively with other organizations serving the community?

Consideration will be given to proposals that address one or more of the following impact areas:

Economic Stability: One component of achieving self-sufficiency is access to specialized education and/or training in an environment that provides pathways to employment opportunities, the ability to earn a living wage, and the capacity to create and build assets.

Education: Providing every child with a high-quality education is among our most important responsibilities as a community. Educational attainment is an incredibly consequential factor in determining whether children will reach their full potential as healthy, self-sufficient adults.

Health and Wellness: Healthy communities are strong communities. When residents are at their best health they are active community members free from physical and mental illness, chronic disease and injury. They are surrounded by opportunities to exercise, eat healthy and live and play in safe neighborhoods.

Family Support and Social Connectedness: Social connectedness refers to an individual’s engagement in an interactive web of key relationships within a community. We envision a community in which all people are connected to the people, networks, processes and systems they need to live healthy, productive and meaningful lives. Strong formal relationships between organizations and support services can help better ensure that services are delivered and promote a client’s sense of well-being


Planning Grants: Initiatives working to explore or create a program or system change. Grants typically are $10,000-$15,000 for one year.

Implementation Grants: Initiative support with single or multi-year grant funding is typically up to $300,000 over three years.

  • Initiative: Support to help initiate, enhance or expand a specific innovative project or program with clear goals and measured outcomes.
  • Research and Advocacy: Grants to nonprofits that conduct nonpartisan studies, engage in public awareness campaigns, and promote collaboration among nonprofit, public, and civic groups around critical community issues.
  • Capacity building: Grants that enhance agencies’ abilities to meet shared missions and goals or position an organization to increase an initiative’s scale and ability to meet community needs.

Regional Collaborative Grants: Collaborative planning or implementation projects that also include work in the service areas of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation or the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.


Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grant Stories – OACF Blog
2019 Community Report – U.S. Venture Open
2018 Oshkosh Northwestern
2018 Community Report – U.S. Venture Open
Grant Awards – Summer 2018
2017 Oshkosh Northwestern – Rise Up
2017 Oshkosh Northwestern – Readers Cafe
2017 Impact Report – Vocational Learning Center + Rise Up
2017 Community Report – U.S. Venture Open
Grant Awards – Summer 2017
2016 Community Report – U.S. Venture Open
Grant Awards – Summer 2016
2015 Planning Grant – A Community in Search of Affordable Housing
2015 Annual Report – Riverside Alternative Education 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.
  • Developing written (perhaps, even legal) agreements.

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


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 no longer than 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.


Implementation 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 contact Amy Putzer at 920-426-3993.
    4. Invitations to submit a full application will be issued by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation no later than March 6, 2019.
    5. Full applications and budgets, per invitation by the Community Foundation, will be due March 27, 2019. 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 April.
    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 May.