The Community Connections Small Grants Program supports resident-led efforts to improve the quality of life throughout local neighborhoods. In partnership with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Zilber Family Foundation and Northwestern Mutual, these grants ranging from $50 to $2,000 to fund projects, events and activities led by residents. All grant applications are reviewed and scored by a group of residents who reside in the targeted zip-codes.

There are two types of grant opportunities available:

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Projects – Range from $50-$750

Neighbor-to-Neighbor projects are resident-led projects addressing a neighborhood issue or concern. Only two grants will be funded per neighborhood per year.

Examples of funded projects:

Community Talk Backs for Autism Awareness, Sherman Park Neighborhood - To raise awareness of children with Autism, applicants hosted a series of interactive workshops to educate and encourage families about how to support children living with Autism.

Tree of Life Earthworks, Clarke Square - Residents turned the first floor of a carriage house into a community gallery space and class studio where they taught free ceramic classes and hosted gallery receptions and art discussions open to everyone interested in the arts.

Milwaukee Innovation Projects – Up to $2,000

Milwaukee Innovation projects support community problem-solving efforts that are inclusive, collaborative and resourceful. Innovation grants contain a "WOW" factor by stimulating something new in the local community. Only one innovative grant will be funded per neighborhood per year.


Mobile Garden Hotspot – Residents turned a vacant lot into a community garden to educate their neighbors on healthy eating while providing free wifi to its residents.

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Who Should Apply

Resident led groups living and working in the following zip codes 53204, 53205, 53206, 53208, 53209, 53210, 53212, 53215, 53216, 53218, 53224 and the Dunbar Oaks and Tower Hill neighborhoods in Waukesha are encouraged to apply. Projects should benefit a specific neighborhood and be planned and led by a group of at least three unrelated individuals, all of whom live in the neighborhood where the project will take place.

The purpose of Community Connections Small Grants is for groups to become a part of the fabric of their respective neighborhood, not provide a service to a neighborhood; they must be connected and engaged in the community. Projects should make use of the strengths and assets that already exist in the community. These strengths and assets are shown through the dollar-for-dollar match in the budget. Strengths may include the commitment of the residents, active networks and strategies already in place. Assets are institutions, organizations and people whose resources, gifts and talents are used to make the project happen. Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about neighborhood assets and how they can be used to accomplish projects.

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✪ Completed grant applications must be received by Monday, October 29, 2018. All applications received after the deadline will be considered during the next grant cycle.

✪ Projects should benefit a specific neighborhood and must be organized by a group of at least three unrelated individuals. All three must live in the neighborhood where the project will take place.

✪ Secure a dollar-for-dollar match equal to or greater than the amount requested from the small grants program. For example, if you request $750.00 you should demonstrate $750.00 in matching funds and/or in-kind services. Matching support can be money, volunteer work or donated goods or services such as land, event space, tools or equipment, etc.

✪ If funds are requested to cover the cost of contractors, the cost of the contractors cannot account for more than 50% of the total grant funds requested from the program.

✪ Track and document all project expenses. This includes keeping track of original receipts and invoices. Submitted receipts can only reflect items purchased for the funded project. Personal items found on submitted receipt will be discredited.

✪ Applicants are prohibited from buying tools or equipment using the Community Connections Small Grant funds. For questions regarding acceptable purchases please email [email protected].

✪ At least one group member must have a checking account in good standing. Therefore, check cashing fees are not an allowable expense.

✪ Where appropriate, take before and after pictures of the project.

✪ Applicants can only take the lead and/or be the point of contact for one project.

✪ Applicants will receive an email regarding the status of the grant application. Failure to check email correspondence will disqualify you from receiving funding.

✪ Turn in your final report 30 days after project completion. All three group members must complete and sign off on the final report. Failure to submit final report on time will disqualify all group members from applying for a grant for one year.
Click here for the final report form. Reports for the current grant cycle are due December 10, 2018.

✪ Come to a final grantee celebration and talk about the project.

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To Apply

Click here to see the application questions for your review prior to completing your application. Please note the applications will only be accepted online .

Click here to apply for the current grant cycle. Completed grant applications must be received by Monday, October 29, 2018.

Questions? Email [email protected] or call 262-404-7048.


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Application and Report Workshops

We are now offering technical assistance workshops to help with completing your grant application and/or final report. To make the most use of your time with us please consider the following:

✪ Review the Community Connections Small Grants website, guidelines, and frequently asked questions PRIOR to your session with us.

✪ Please come to the session prepared to discuss a project idea that you have or with specific questions related to your final report.

✪ We are happy to review drafts of application questions that you have answered.

✪ Once you receive feedback you will able to complete the online application right on site.

✪ Although not required, funding preference will be giving to resident groups who attend and participate at the technical assistance sessions.

The next Technical Assistance Sessions will take place:

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Monday, October 22, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Greater Galilee Community Center located at 2432 N. Teutonia Avenue
(The new building connected to Greater Galilee Church)

Registration is required for your session. Register at [email protected] or call 262-404-7048. If you participate in a session, at least two of your group members should attend. The Community Connections Small Grants team reserves the right to cancel all sessions for which no registrations were received. If your project is funded, a grantee orientation will be held Thursday, November 29, 2018.


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