A group of prominent Milwaukee foundations and organizations, including Herb Kohl Charities, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Brewers Community Foundation, have formed a coalition and already raised $1.2 million to help coordinate much-needed resources for the Milwaukee-area during the coronavirus pandemic.
Others involved in the group include Bader Philanthropies, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Zilber Family Foundation, Milwaukee Public Schools, Northwestern Mutual Foundation and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. The organizations are prioritizing food, housing and shelter and medical needs.
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The group stated in a news release that the people and nonprofits who serve local communities are facing mounting obstacles and disruptions to their missions, just as the people who rely on those services need them most. Sustaining their essential work amid economic strain, physical distancing and increasing demand requires innovative solutions that mobilize resources and support the most effective strategies for today’s unprecedented challenges.
“Though our community faces both uncertainty and adversity caused by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the philanthropic community is leaning on its long history of compassionate generosity and commitment to the health and well-being of greater Milwaukee to guide our cooperation today,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Our certainty that we are greater together is a powerful catalyst for today’s solutions, and we will continue to work collectively to protect our community’s health, economy and quality of life.”
Building on the investment each of the partners already is making in addressing urgent issues, the group's statement said the collaboration will help ensure resources are provided in a coordinated and strategic manner in response to immediate needs while also planning for the long-term recovery of the community. The intent is to leverage resources jointly and more effectively provide needed service to individuals, families and organizations.
“This public health crisis is an unprecedented event already impacting our community,” said JoAnne Anton, director of giving for Herb Kohl Philanthropies. “As the situation rapidly evolves, this group of dedicated community partners is rapidly responding with much-needed support.”
Added Northwestern Mutual Foundation president Eric Christophersen, “In these challenging times, business and community collaboration is more important than ever. By working together, a ripple of extraordinary events will be set in motion. As needs continue to grow and evolve, we are committed to providing critical resources to the members of our community who need it most.”