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Basic Needs Giving Partnership announces $1.2 million in grants


Basic Needs Giving Partnership announces $1.2 million in grants
POINT teaches nonprofits continuous improvement to focus on poverty

Appleton, WI – June 23, 2016 – The Basic Needs Giving Partnership, a unique collaboration between several of the region’s largest charitable giving organizations, has approved $1,241,720 in new grants to fight poverty in Northeast Wisconsin. Seventy organizations in the Greater Green Bay, Fox Valley and Oshkosh areas will receive 37 new and multi-year grants. Grants are awarded to projects equipping individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty.

The focus of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership this year was the launch of the Poverty Outcomes Improvement Network Team (POINT) project. POINT is a first-time, regional driven, 18-month initiative focusing on continuous process improvement and coordinating services around individuals at risk or in poverty. More than 100 nonprofits throughout Northeast Wisconsin have joined together in 84 improvement teams to learn and apply these new tools and methodologies to address the complex issues surrounding poverty.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership is a collaboration between the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J. J. Keller Foundation, Inc., the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Funds generated through donations to the annual U.S. Venture Open are established at each Community Foundation.

The Basic Needs Giving Partnership was launched in 2007 when the J. J. Keller Foundation offered to match the grant making budget of the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs. The J. J. Keller Foundation will again match up to $800,000 for grants distributed and will be joined for the 2016 granting cycle by lead partners ThedaCare, Oshkosh Corporation and The Rhoades Foundation, who are all contributing to the new POINT initiative. The three Community Foundations complete this partnership, bringing their expertise in community needs and strategic grant making.

“The POINT initiative will help all of those in need by using continuous improvement methods and coordinating services around high-risk complex people in poverty,” said Greg Vandenberg, U.S. Venture director of giving and community engagement. “By working together – local companies, foundations and the community foundations – we are able to make an impact far greater than any one of us could do alone.”

In 31 years, the partnership has given $18.3 million in grants to regional organizations.

“Our joint efforts have made a tremendous difference in our communities and encouraged nonprofit organizations to think more strategically and develop long-term solutions to benefit the people throughout Northeast Wisconsin,” said Mary Harp Jirschele, J. J. Keller Foundation executive director.

Since 2007, the J. J. Keller Foundation has contributed $6.7 million to this “root-cause” effort.

Recipients of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grants for Fiscal Year 2016: See List