Become a Donor

Join the Foundation as a donor and experience philanthropy that is both personally rewarding and capable of accelerating long-term change for a stronger, thriving region. By leveraging the Foundation’s expertise, experience, investment strategy and relationships, you will be maximizing the impact of your giving, wherever your passions lie. 

When you choose to work with the Foundation for your philanthropy, you are gaining a trusted partner that has served the community with integrity for generations. The Foundation’s commitment to donor intent and extensive local knowledge, plus its role as a convener and connector, all contribute to an intentional approach that informs, simplifies and enhances your giving.  

In becoming a donor, you may consider starting a fund, creating a legacy, coinvesting in the Foundation’s strategic priorities and more. To get started, explore the process below or reach out to our Development and Philanthropic Services Department.  

Start a fund 

Starting a fund is easy. With an initial gift, a small amount of paperwork and expert guidance from a member of our staff, you can begin serving the communities and causes that are important to you. 

When you create a fund, you decide its purpose and name. We invest your principal gift in one of four investment pools that you select. Every year, a portion of each fund can be used to make grants that support your intent. Because these funds are pooled together with the Foundation, they benefit from the superior cost effectiveness, strong investment returns and tax benefits of a large public charity. 

Your signed gift agreement defines and safeguards your philanthropic goals, informing staff how to honor your wishes now and in perpetuity. 


Establish a fund in five easy steps: 


1. Identify your giving passion and fund’s purpose. 

Focus on your passions or causes that matter to you. From education and the arts to housing and food access, the choice is yours. Your philanthropic adviser can help you specify your area(s) of focus.  

2. Choose a fund type. 

Choose a fund that matches your philanthropic goals. Options include unrestricted, donor advised, field of interest and designated. 

3. Determine a timeline for giving. 

You can give now or later. Both are viable options to explore with your philanthropic adviser.  

4. Select an investment pool. 

You may select the GMF Investment Pool or one of our three trustee bank investment pools: U.S. Bank, BMO Global Asset Management or JP Morgan Chase Pool Trust. 

5. Name your fund. 

Your fund will be listed in grant award letters and other materials unless you prefer anonymity.  


Growing benefits

Your fund’s value will increase over time, as will the corresponding impact of your grantmaking on the community, due to our professional investment oversight. Funds require an establishing gift of at least $25,000, but you may add to your fund at any time. 

Make grants from your fund to nonprofits locally, throughout the United States and beyond. Your philanthropic adviser will support you in achieving your philanthropic goals.


Create a legacy

Creating a legacy allows your generosity to impact generations to come by supporting the greatest needs and opportunities of our region as well the areas and nonprofits you care about. To leave a legacy, you may: 

  • Establish a fund through a bequest, where you list the Foundation as a beneficiary through your estate plan or other assets such as a will, revocable trust or other retirement plans.
  • Create a planned gift through a will or trust, life insurance, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and/or complex assets. 

Your planning professional can help you explore the best gift type for you. 


Coinvest in strategic priorities

Coinvesting is an opportunity for donors to strengthen the region and address strategic priorities in alignment with the Foundation and other philanthropists. These collaborative investments advance critical community outcomes in greater Milwaukee, including health equity, educational opportunity, housing security and economic opportunity.

Become a Donor

Get connected to the greater Milwaukee community and help strengthen a permanent resource that is built to address the issues of tomorrow as well as today.

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