We manage a variety of charitable funds that donors have created with us to help enrich the quality of life in the greater La Crosse area today, and for future generations. These funds provide grants to nonprofits and government or educational institutions working to offer services, programs or projects that bring a broad benefit to the community.
Some grants are awarded through competitive application processes. These grant opportunities are listed below. Read the directions under each category to determine how to apply to those funds.
The Foundation also awards donor-directed grants from our donor-advised, designated and scholarship funds, but organizations cannot apply directly to those types of funds.
Unrestricted fund established to serve changing community needs in seven different program areas. Click the General Fund button above to review specific grantmaking priorities, application deadlines and other directions for applying to this fund.
Field of Interest Funds
Field of interest funds are created by individuals and groups to pool their charitable gifts into one fund that addresses a specific purpose or area of interest. The five funds listed below have separate application forms and procedures which are detailed in each fund’s description. The Global Awareness Fund, Mary Grace Sieber Fund and June Kjome Justice & Peace Fund each have their own advising committees who review and recommend grant awards.
- Robert & Eleanor Franke Charitable Fund – Created through the estate of Robert & Eleanor Franke, this fund was established for the purposes of government, charitable, humane, educational, medical and scientific achievement within the doctrines of the Catholic Church. The Franke Fund will begin taking requests July 1, 2018. Stay tuned for more details.
- Global Awareness Fund – Seeks to fund programs or projects that expand awareness of our multicultural world by helping individuals identify with people from outside the United States. This fund is not currently accepting applications.
- Mary Grace Sieber Fund – Awards grants to projects that assist young people who have physical, emotional or mental disabilities so they can participate in programs to enhance their ability to lead more independent and full lives. In 2018, this fund will only accept applications submitted by invite only.
- Corinne Zielke Fund – Established to support baseball programs in the La Crosse area. This fund only accepts grant applications between December 15 and January 15 each year.
- June Kjome Justice & Peace Fund – Funds may be awarded for educational efforts in the La Crosse area that address the root causes of injustice and promote peace. This fund is not currently accepting grant applications.
Other Field of Interest Funds
The field of interest funds listed below are advised by our grants committee. Requests to these funds are made through the General Fund application process. If you see a fund that is relevant to your grant proposal, you can mention it in your application. Doing so won’t guarantee funding, but it might give your proposal an advantage during the final decision-making process. The program director reviews all General Fund requests for alignment with any of the field of interest funds, whether or not the request indicates one fund specifically.
- Roland Beranek – environmental and outdoor educational programs, preferably aligned with the donor’s interests of trapping and fishing
- Bridge Builders – activities promoting communication, understanding and appreciation between the LGBTQ+ community and the straight community
- Coulee Region White Cane – vision needs, with emphasis on school adaptive equipment for students with vision needs
- Howard Dahl – diabetes research
- Elizabeth Fund for Literacy and Well-Being – literacy and emotional well-being needs across the community
- Dr. Frank Furlano Family – educational and increased understanding of chemical dependency and mental health issues
- Alice A. Gordon and Viola Forshler Fund – children who have disabilities and/or to assist individuals with visual impairments
- Norman L. Gillette, Sr. Family – unrestricted, with preference to Norma’s “favorite” charities
- Harold L. Isenman – awards 1/3 of annual distribution to services for children with developmental disabilities, and 1/3 to cancer research; 1/3 for cancer research already awarded in 2018
- Johns Flaherty Collins – Michael Stoker – housing for needy families and homeless individuals
- Myrick Hixon EcoPark – environmental education programs and transportation for school children to experience the natural outdoor environment; only $1,000 remains for grants in 2018
- National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) – athletic enrichment opportunities for youth at-risk (ages 10-17); all 2018 funds already awarded
- PMJ – unrestricted; all 2018 funds already awarded
- Louis I. Rehfuss – mathematics and STEM opportunities
- Maureen L. Kinney – environmental preservation, education and/or arts/cultural programs; all 2018 funds already awarded
- Harold E. Lemke– projects that improve life for residents in the city of Onalaska boundaries; only $5,750 remains for grants in 2018
- Rudy & Jean Schnurrer – to assist families in need; all 2018 funds already awarded
- Margery J. Stansfield – unrestricted