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 Wednesday, April 25, 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 info@ccsmallgrants.org.

✪ 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.

✪ Attendance by two group members at the grantee orientation is required in order to receive funds. Failure to attend will result in your group not being eligible to receive funds.

✪ 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 May 11, 2018.

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

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To Apply

No information sessions will be held for this grant cycle. A webinar is being developed for future grant cycles.

Click here to apply for the current grant cycle. Completed grant applications must be received by Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

Questions? Email info@ccsmallgrants.org


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