Since 1986, the U.S. Venture Open has drawn hundreds of Partners, golfers, and volunteers on the second Wednesday of August. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $33 million for the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs granting $18.3 million to eliminate poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.

Three area community foundations manage the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs and the competitive grant making process.
For specific grant information click your community foundation logo:


In 2007, the J. J. Keller Foundation announced its intention to match grants out of the fund for up to $800,000 annually, and the Basic Needs Giving Partnership was formed. They have since added $7.5 million to our grant making, with an additional $1.6 million committed through 2019.


Inspired by J. J. Keller Foundation's $800,000 grant making investment, Oshkosh Corporation has joined as a $200,000 lead grant partner along with ThedaCare, $100,000 through The Rhoades Foundation and others. This brings the grant matching to 
$1.4 million, which leverages contributions and allows us to impact more people than ever before. U.S. Venture pays all event expenses ensuring 100% of contributions go directly to the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs to fight the root causes of poverty.

Everyone who golfs, donates, volunteers or supports the success of the annual U.S. Venture Open is considered a partner, because we all must be truly connected to effectively fight poverty.


  • Address root causes of poverty and prevent people in episodic crisis from developing a chronic need.
  • Support long-term solutions to move people out of poverty.
  • Assist those with limited capacity, including low-income elderly and significantly disabled, to maintain a stable and dignified quality of life.
  • Broaden impact and increase effectiveness via collaboration.
  • POINT regional poverty initiative which began with teaching more than 100 nonprofits continuous process improvement and coordinating services around individuals at risk or in poverty.

Funding Model

  • 100% of every donation to the U.S. Venture Open goes to the fund.
  • 10% of the endowment balance is made available to grant out annually.
  • The total grant making match is equal to $1.4 million
    • J. J. Keller Foundation matched up to $800,000 annually of grants out the door
    • Oshkosh Corporation and ThedaCare match up to $200,000 each
    • The Rhoades Foundation at $100,000 and others

Desired Impacts

  • Families meet their basic needs, build financial resources and become self-sufficient.
  • Children, youth, and young adults are healthy, safe and ready to succeed in school and life.
  • Individuals affected by aging and dementia have support that allows them to age with dignity.
  • Uninsured and underinsured individuals sustain a higher quality of life by reducing acute and long-term care crises.

To learn more about the work of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership and the U.S. Venture Open that drives this donor collaborative, please read the 2016 Community Report, or reports from previous years:


Archived Basic Needs Giving Partnership Community Reports:             Companies, foundations and individuals who seek a streamlined, focused, outcome-driven approach to root cause solutions are encouraged to consider a contribution of any amount. For more information, email or call 920.243.5806.