The Basic Needs Giving Partnership is injecting another $5 million into its 2020-21 grantmaking total through the community foundations in Green Bay, the Fox Valley and Oshkosh to help nonprofits focused on ending poverty.
The Basic Needs Giving Partnership made $425,000 available immediately to the COVID-19 response funds at the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.
Representatives from the fund’s board of directors, leadership from all three community foundations and lead funders decided to release the additional funds from the endowment in response to the unprecedented need in Northeast Wisconsin. The Basic Needs Giving Partnership funds are raised through the U.S. Venture Open with lead funders U.S. Venture, the J. J. Keller Foundation, Oshkosh Corp., ThedaCare and the Thrivent Foundation.
“This is the rainy day we have been saving for,” says Greg Vandenberg, director of giving and community engagement for U.S. Venture. “There’s unprecedented need now and that’s going to continue. We wanted the response to be extraordinary.”
Nonprofits are bringing in less money — many had to cancel fundraising events — at a time when demand for their services has never been higher, Vandenberg says. He also cited the ongoing protests condemning racism and the need to invest in income inequality and racial equity as drivers for increased funding.
In order to more effectively respond to the needs of nonprofit partners, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership grantmaking process is being redesigned to maximize flexibility. Changes include:
- Rolling applications — funds may be requested on an ongoing basis rather than based on individual foundations’ deadlines for annual grant requests.
- Funding will not be restricted to collaborative grants and may be used for shorter-term needs such as meeting operating expenses.
Requests will be accepted starting in August. Refer to the Basic Needs Giving Partnership pages on the respective community foundation websites for more information.
“We want the application process to be relatively simple because we want our nonprofits leaders focused on serving the people who need help instead of filling out long grant applications,” Vandenberg says.
The funds in the Basic Needs Giving Partnership are raised through the U.S. Venture Open, the nation’s largest one-day charitable event dedicated to eliminating the root causes of poverty. Due to the pandemic, U.S. Venture Open leaders needed to switch gears to raise funds.
- Donations are being raised through an online fundraiser, donate here or text USVO to 762-78.
- Organizers will hold an online auction to run July 29 – Aug. 12
- The U.S. Venture Open is holding a regional Media-thon fundraiser in partnership with the U.S. Venture Open, WBAY-TV and Woodward Radio Group. The media platforms will educate the public through live reports, stories and talk shows culminating in a day-of celebration and fundraising on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
“We hope these new methods will educate more people about the needs here in our community and they will donate to help make a difference,” Vandenberg says. “We expect to reach a lot of new donors.”