top of page

What's New


Forward Community Investments receives $100,000 grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation for COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grant Fund 

Madison, WI, August 25, 2020 – Forward Community Investments (FCI) is excited to announce they have been awarded a grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation of $100,000 to replicate their COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grants in Milwaukee County. These grants were created to address the glaring needs of small nonprofits for relief funds during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that they were not able to access due to their size. These need-based microgrants provide immediate financial support ($2,500 per grant) for capacity building expenses for small nonprofit organizations that had to abruptly modify their operation model or services due to COVID-19. In the first COVID-19 Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant cycle, FCI received an overwhelming response of 169 applications from across the state. Based on this response, we felt it imperative we seek additional funds for another round of grants. 

“To say that we are thrilled would be an understatement,” states Chief Operations Officer Tracy Hubbard. “With these funds, we will be able to provide funding for small nonprofit organizations working to reduce racial and socioeconomic disparities in Milwaukee County that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 to ensure they can provide their invaluable services in the communities they serve,” Hubbard continues. 

The target for these grants are organizations in Milwaukee County with fewer than 10 FTE’s and an overall organizational budget of less than $500,000. Another unique aspect of these grants is the application process, which is designed to take less than 15 minutes to complete. FCI is also committed to getting these grant funds out the door as soon as possible and will be awarding grants using a lottery system.  Once a nonprofit applies and is verified, they are entered into the pool, and grantees are chosen randomly. There will be two $50,000 funding rounds for these grants. FCI will be accepting applications on Tuesday, September 8th – Tuesday, September 22nd for the first round. Dates for the second round in November are to be determined. 

“These organizations are doing amazing impactful work, the last thing we want to do is make them go through a lengthy application process that will take them away from that work and have them wait for their funds,” Tom Behnke, Manager of Communications and Development stated.
“Nonprofits breathe life and vibrancy into our community in all seasons, and especially during this extended time of crisis, their role is irreplaceable – providing the services, support and hope that people need most,” said Kathryn Dunn, senior vice president for community impact at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Just like small businesses, however, they have faced tremendous challenges, from loss of revenue to completely altering how they offer their programs. By supporting Forward Community Investments, we can together help sustain small nonprofits whose work is instrumental in eliminating disparities and improving quality of life.”

To be eligible for a COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grant, organizations must work towards reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities, be a 501c3 organization or fiscally sponsored, and serving people of color, low to moderate-income individuals, or other marginalized groups in Milwaukee County. 

Potential applicants are encouraged to visit our COVID-19 Nonprofit Emergency Capacity Building Grants webpage for full details. If you have any additional questions about the grants the process or want to ensure you are included in future grant announcements, feel free to reach out to Tom Behnke, FCI’s Manager of Communications and Development at  

About Forward Community Investments
In its capacity as a statewide community development financial institution (CDFI), FCI infuses capital into economically underserved communities and neighborhoods. Through our loans, grants and advisory services, we seek to support initiatives aimed at reducing social, racial, and economic disparities. FCI clients are involved in addressing inequities through a variety of strategies, including but not limited to: expanding and improving affordable housing and access to community services; stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods; and promoting community economic self-sufficiency. FCI has funds to lend for nonprofits seeking to address disparities. For more information, please contact Evan Reed, Regional Director of Southeast Wisconsin To date, FCI has invested more than $173 million into Wisconsin-based affordable housing projects and community facilities across the state. These efforts have resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs for Wisconsin residents. 

bottom of page