We envision thriving, equitable communities across Northeast Wisconsin. We invest in local and regional solutions that address the root causes of poverty in alignment with our shared values of trust and collaboration, curiosity and learning, and equity with a systems-based approach.
Through grantmaking, we fund organizations across a 10-county footprint in ways that not only meet current needs in our communities, but also actively work to disrupt the policies, practices, and systems that hold poverty in place.
Addressing complex social problems requires reimagining how we work together. In addition to grantmaking, we also co-create networks that can collectively problem solve, take action, and learn from each other. By working together and centering community voices, we can build solutions that work for everyone.
Enhance the collective assets of our region through a spirit of collaboration and sharing.
Prioritize listening, draw information from a wide range of sources, learn from others’ experiences, seek out frequent feedback, and strive to make ongoing improvements.
Address complexity directly, adapt to a dynamic environment, and commit to the long term.
Surface and challenge institutional and systemic inequities; acknowledge power imbalances and work to level them.
We support organizations working across the region through grants.
Our communities have deep wisdom to share.
We have a responsibility to speak up, whether by leading or by amplifying others’ efforts.
Leadership has many forms; it’s not only positional. Those with lived experience often have the best insight.
Shift how we talk about and understand the root issues.
No one sector can transform systems; we have to work together.
Since the first U.S. Venture Open in 1986, the annual philanthropic event has raised more than $65 million and granted $55 million to end poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.
The Basic Needs Giving Partnership was formed in 2007, sparked by a unique collaboration between the families behind U.S. Venture and the J. J. Keller Foundation. The funds from the U.S. Venture Open began focusing on addressing the root causes of poverty through local, regional, and collaborative investments across Northeast Wisconsin.
From 2008 to 2022, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership granted funds through three community foundations in the region: Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. In January 2023, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership transitioned to a single regional organization.
Through its new structure, the Partnership will continue to collaborate and distribute resources in ways that address current needs in our communities and also work to create thriving, equitable communities across Northeast Wisconsin.
In addition to grantmaking, we co-create networks of organizations that partner across sectors to learn from each other, align, take action, and advocate in order to create systems-level change. This work has been part of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership since 2016, originally known as the POINT regional poverty initiative.
Through POINT, nonprofits were able to access resources and learning opportunities in continuous improvement methods. This effort focused on long-term change and transforming the systems that create barriers for individuals and families experiencing poverty. The original action groups have evolved into the Greater Fox Valley Child Care Alliance, the Jobs Action Group, and the Community Alliance for Trauma Informed Care. You can read more about the POINT Initiative here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Basic Needs Giving Partnership region?
The Partnership funds organizations working in Brown County, Calumet County, Green Lake County, Kewaunee County, Oconto County, the Oneida Nation, Outagamie County, Shawano County, Waupaca County, Waushara County, and Winnebago County.
How can my organization apply for a grant? Who is eligible?
Information about how to apply for grants can be found here. Grant guidelines with specific details and priorities for each grant cycle will be shared on our grants page.
The Basic Needs Giving Partnership will accept applications from organizations that meet all of the following basic eligibility requirements:
What is the connection between the Basic Needs Giving Partnership and the region’s three community foundations?
The Partnership began in 2007 as a fund at the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Through 2022, Basic Needs Giving Partnership funds were granted through the community foundations.
In January 2023, we became a separate 501(c)(3) and are continuing to work in close partnership with U.S. Venture and the U.S. Venture Open.
In this new structure, grant applications, decisions, and awards are managed by Basic Needs Giving Partnership staff, grant committees, and board. We’re also continuing to collaborate with the community foundations to support organizations in our community addressing the root causes of poverty.
If your organization has a multi-year Basic Needs Giving Partnership grant awarded in 2022 or prior through one of the community foundations, that commitment will be honored in accordance with the terms laid out in your grant award letter. This transition does not impact your award in any way. If you have any questions about a multi-year award you received through one of the community foundations, you can reach out directly to the community foundation administering your grant.
My organization applied for a grant through the U.S. Venture/Schmidt Family Foundation. Can we also apply for a Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grant?
Absolutely! The Basic Needs Giving Partnership and the U.S. Venture/Schmidt Family Foundation are separate entities that make granting decisions independent of one another.