For nearly 100 years, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals and families who are committed to philanthropy leave a legacy, and build a stronger and more vibrant community - now and for future generations. 

Thanks to the generous, ongoing investments our donors make, we as a community foundation are able to strongly influence and impact our region. From the arts to the environment health and human services and everything in between, our donors turn to the Foundation to help build a thriving community. Our donors help transform our community every day.

With our competitive grant process, held quarterly and fueled by unrestricted funds left by our donors, we make an impact directly on the Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties through the focus on these areas.  Coupled with our donor advised funds, the Foundation has unique abilities to impact our community for the better every day. 


Impact areas

Through the generosity of our donors who earmarked resources to our Board's discretion, we are focusing the majority of discretionary grantmaking resources on the following issues facing our community:

Strengthening Education

Improving educational outcomes for every child in every school, from cradle to career by

  • Increasing teacher quality
  • Supporting third-grade reading proficiency
  • Expanding experiential learning opportunities through arts education; Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM); and nature-based learning
  • Supporting post-secondary education access through ACT preparation

Strengthening Neighborhoods

Increasing the livability, affordability and safety of neighborhoods

  • Strengthen physical, economic and social vitality of neighborhoods
  • Enhance the quality of life and build social connections
  • Build neighborhood capacity through resident engagement and leadership
  • Build capacity across the community development system for coordinated work and greater impact

Economic Inclusion

Reducing poverty, improving economic vitality of the region and strengthening families

  • Ensuring families have access to basic needs
  • Supporting targeted employment strategies for individuals with barriers to employment
  • Increasing financial literacy and capability particularly for low-wage working families
  • Improving access to benefits

Promoting Racial Equity and Inclusion

Enhancing relationships among diverse populations and creating opportunities for all people to more fully participate in civic life

  • Reduce social and economic disparities based on race
  • Encourage civic participation by all
  • Support efforts to build an inclusive community

Grant dollars alone are not enough. The Foundation also will play a role of convener and work to unite diverse stakeholders and partners around these issues. This includes commissioning research and analysis of issues and disseminating the findings of that work. Our work in these areas also requires us to collaborate with nonprofits, other funders and the government. Through this work the Foundation will seek to inform policy and leverage grantmaking and other resources to promote outcomes important to our community.

Learn More

dunn-web.pngContact Kathryn Dunn to learn more about our grantmaking strategies.