The Basic Needs Giving Partnership is at a transition point. We are excited to share that in January we successfully launched a single regional organization to centralize and coordinate all of our activities. While the transition process continues, we are eager to share with you more information about what to expect from our grantmaking this coming year.

As you may recall, in the face of profound hardships brought on by the pandemic over the last few years, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership released an additional $5 million of grant funds with flexible guidelines during a critical time for NE Wisconsin nonprofits. As we launch the Basic Needs Giving Partnership as its own 501(c)(3) in 2023, the largest portion of available grant funding (over $3 million) is being distributed via previous multi-year commitments in the areas of Economic Stability, Education, Health and Wellness, and Family Support and Social Connectedness.

With the additional remaining funds for 2023 (close to $1 million), we plan to focus on our new strategic framework, with a grantmaking cycle supporting the people and places advancing equity and economic well-being for everyone in Northeast Wisconsin.

We envision expanding funding within our strategic framework in 2024. During the current year, we will implement a grantmaking cycle that aligns with the available resources and enhances our learning. The shift for 2023 is not permanent, but one that will allow us to follow through on our commitments while taking a step toward our evolved framework.

The funding areas for this grant cycle address particular challenges that have been made worse by the pandemic and will align funding with other available resources. We know that COVID-19 has resulted in profound learning setbacks for young children, exacerbated existing challenges related to housing access, and had a deep effect on mental health, with dramatic increases in the rates of anxiety, depression, and substance use across the nation and regionally. Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is being invested in our communities and in many cases, will be available to nonprofits in our region, with many cities and counties focusing on early care and education and housing. Basic Needs Giving Partnership funding will be available to accompany these dollars with general operating support, allowing nonprofits to direct resources where they are most needed.

Our goal is to streamline the application process so you can dedicate as much time as possible to the important work you do. We recognize that the guidelines may be more limiting than in the past. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible about what we are funding this year. To learn more about eligibility, guidelines, and priorities please visit our website.

As we move into our new strategic framework, we are committed to living our values. We’ll work to disrupt existing power structures and build trust and collaboration, curiosity and learning, and equity with a systems-based approach. We’ll strive to operate with humility and transparency, building in rapid cycles of feedback.

We are deeply grateful for the important work that all of you and your organizations do to address complex social issues across northeast Wisconsin. I look forward to getting to know you better and working alongside you this coming year.

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