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 $50.00 to $600.00) 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: 53204, 53205, 53206, 53208, 53209, 53210, 53212, 53215, 53216, 53218, 53224 as well as Dunbar Oaks and Tower Hill neighborhoods in Waukesha.

Residents can apply as an individual (with a community partner) or a group for grants ranging from $50.00-$600.00.

Examples of funded projects:


Alley Transformation Project - Residents from the Burnham Park neighborhood improved the safety of their alley for the children who live and play there. The group accomplished this by installing speed limit signs, lighting on garages, and murals with a scenic theme on several of the garage doors. This project ensured that the alleys where children play are not only safe, but serve as an aesthetically beautiful place where residents are able to consistently gather together.

Bumblebee Haven Community Garden - Residents from the Historic Mitchell Street neighborhood established Bumblebee Haven Community Garden's presence within their community through the creation of a beautiful sign that captures their vision for the space. To create neighborhood awareness, this former vacant city lot now has beautiful signage to help make the space a neighborhood destination.

Click here to watch a video about the Community Connections Small Grants Program.

  Click here to like our Facebook page and to sign up for an application assistance session.

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Who Should Apply

• Adult residents - Click here

• Youth residents up to age 21

Youth Residents

Community Connections Small Grants Youth Edition. Youth is identified as up to the age 21.

Youth resident or three or more, or individual youth residents who secure a partner (company, non-profit, government agency, etc.), 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 your neighborhood and be planned and led by a group of at least three unrelated youth from the neighborhood, or an individual youth resident with a non-profit or business partner, all of whom reside in or around the neighborhood where the project will take place.

The purpose of Community Connections Small Grants Youth Edition is for CCSG to support expressions of how youth show support, pride, comradery, and safety in their neighborhood.

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Grant Requirements: Youth Residents

Requested materials for grant submission must be received by the deadline. All applications received after the deadline will be considered during the next grant cycle. See below for grant application deadlines.

1. If applying as an individual, you must live in or around the neighborhood where the project will take place and find a partner (company or non-profit) to support your project. If applying as a group, three unrelated youth who live in or around the neighborhood can apply for projects to benefit and take place in their neighborhood.

2. All grant requested events and activities must benefit and take place in or around the neighborhood where youth residents reside.

3. Applicants must secure MATCHING SUPPORT equal to or greater than the amount requested from the small grants program. For example, if you request $350.00, you should demonstrate $350.00 in matching funds and/or in-kind services. Matching support can be money, other grants, volunteer work, or donated goods or services such as food, event space, tools, or equipment.

4. If funds are requested to cover the cost of contractors, the cost of the contractors cannot exceed 50% of the grant requested from Community Connections.

5. 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.

6. Payment will be disbursed in two ways to youth resident's groups:
a. A group checking account in the group's name.
b. The check can be made directly to a designated individual within the group who is 18 or older.

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

8. All in-person events must follow the COVID-19 safety precautions as mandated by the state and/or municipalities. This includes the number of individuals gathering in-person and wearing masks.

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To Apply: Youth Residents

Prior to grant submission

1. Attend virtual application assistance session where you can:
a. Receive feedback on your project idea.
b. Ask any questions you'd like to apply for the project.


For youth residents, you will be required to answer a short survey and send a video presenting your project for consideration. Please send your video to info@ccsmallgrants.org after answering these questions, CLICK HERE to answer.
a. Contact information of team lead to include first and last name, address, email and phone number.
b. First and last name of all team members to include first and last name, address, email and phone number.
c. Neighborhood
d. Project budget
e. Matching support
f. Who or what entity will the check be disbursed to if funded?

Please keep in mind that all grants submitted by young people should be youth led. The video should also be good quality and answer the following questions. Questions do not have to be answered in order. Creativity is encouraged as long as all of the questions are answered.
  1. Please describe your project.
  2. Who will benefit from your project?
  3. Where will your project take place?
  4. What inspired you to want to do this project?
  5. How will you know your project is successful?
  6. List one tangible S.M.A.R.T. goal you wish to accomplish with your project? Please list one skill for each person.
      • Specific
      • Measurable
      • Achievable
      • Relevant
      • Time bound

After grant submission

1. After submission, all qualified applicants will receive an email regarding the status of the grant application. This includes requesting an interview if required by the review committee. Please check your email frequently throughout the grant process as this is how grant related information is communicated.

2. 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.

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

4. Turn in your final report 30 days after project completion or by the final report deadline, whichever comes first. All group members or the individual and community partner must complete and sign off on the final report. Failure to submit your final report on time will disqualify all group members from applying for a grant for one year. The final report will ask the following questions:

• Number of volunteers

• Number of volunteer hours

• Number of project participants

• How many dollars were leveraged or matched

• A list of partners who participated in the project

• Project photos

• The flyer used for the project

• At least 5 high quality photographs emailed to info@ccsmallgrants.org

5. All grantees will be required to attend a final grantee celebration (virtual) to share your project success. Each project will be required to make a 5-7 minute presentation. Presentation criteria is as follows:

    a. Discussion of how the project idea came about

    b. Explanation of the project

    c. Completed final report questionnaire

    d. Please share numbers in the project information portion of the final report form:

• Number of volunteers

• Number of volunteer hours

• Number of project participants

• How many dollars were leveraged or matched

    e. Describe how the community is better as a result of your project

    f. Share how you have personally developed as a result of conducting a community project

    g. Share a skill learned through the grant or project process

    h. Share noteworthy successes that you are specifically excited about

    i. Share any challenges you faced and what you would do differently if funded for the same project

    j. A visual component is required for each final presentation (PowerPoint, poster board, etc.)

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2024 CCSG Important Dates: Youth Residents

2024 Cycle 1

Application Assistance
January 10, 2024

February 14, 2024

March 13, 2024
St. Paul Church, 2661 N. 53rd Street, Milwaukee

Temple of the Holy Spirit, 4444 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee

Albright United Methodist Church, 55th and Capitol Drive
Application Deadline April 8, 2024 at 11:59pm  
Grantee Orientation May 30, 2024 Grantees will be notified of location

2024 Cycle 2

Application Assistance
July 10, 2024

August 14, 2024

September 11, 2024
Locations to be determined
Application Deadline October 16, 2024 at 11:59pm  
Grantee Orientation December 12, 2024 Grantees will be notified of location

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Important Forms: Youth Residents

1. Application Questions: Click here

2. Video presenting project for consideration. Send video to: info@ccsmallgrants.org

3. Final Report Questions: Click here

4. Complete the Final Report Electronically: Click here

5. Complete the Final Report Budget/Expense Sheet Electronically (to be completed with the final report): Click here

6. Final Report Expense Sheet Example: Click here


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Email: info@ccsmallgrants.org

Call: 262-404-7048


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Funded by