Patrick Cudahy, our first major donor, believed charity should be as broad as the ocean. But his charity — which came in the form of a $25,000 check to start a designated fund — began in Milwaukee. Four Milwaukee institutions — St. Rose’s Catholic Orphan Asylum, St. Vincent’s Catholic Infant Asylum, Associated Charities and the Little Sisters of the Poor – were the first beneficiaries.
For the first several decades of our existence, our grantmaking and leadership efforts were focused largely on Milwaukee County. Over the years, from the city’s parks and playgrounds to its cultural and educational institutions to important initiatives that are helping shape its future, the Foundation has played a part in the area’s vitality. The majority of our more than 1,200 funds – 772 funds – were created by Milwaukee County
We expanded our reach into the four-county area in the mid 1950s and to this day, our network of donors and our grantmaking impact continues to grow throughout the area.