CONNECTING to the Community
Making a Difference

For over a century the Rotary Club of Milwaukee has been proud to make a difference by CONNECTING PEOPLE AND RESOURCES.  The Rotary Club of Milwaukee is again offering members a fun way to make a difference in Milwaukee. Using $25,000 from the RCM Community Trust, and Rotarians’ connections in the community, members can help make an impact by sponsoring “Connecting to the Community” grants to worthwhile projects in metro Milwaukee.


Join with one or more fellow Rotarians to identify eligible non-profits who can submit a simple application for projects that need financial support. Although all beneficial initiatives will be considered, special consideration will be given to grants that address structural racism across a range of issues including education, arts, systems change, safety or health disparities.   Here are the details:

    • A minimum of two RCM members must support each application
    • Organizations must be non-political, a 501(c)3 and serve Metro Milwaukee
    • 2022 grantees are not eligible for a 2023 grant
    • Submission deadline: February 28, 2023
    • Winning grants will be announced in April 2023




Members of the Community Connections committee will score the applications based on community need, the project’s potential impact and its tangible success criteria. A maximum of $25,000 will be distributed among the winning grant proposals.  For more information, call the Rotary office 414-276-4425



2022 Connecting to the Community Grant Winners


Milwaukee Academy of Science – $10,000

Students and families at Milwaukee Academy of Science have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This school year, academic leaders noticed a significant drop in elementary literacy scores due to extended virtual learning during formative years and inconsistent attendance. This grant will fund an early literacy intervention program called Next Level Novas. This program allows for one-on-one tutoring that meets the specific needs identified by teachers and administrators of K4-2nd grade students.  Learn more here.


YWCA of Southeastern WI – $5,000

YWCA SEW’s has #OneMission: to eliminate racism and empower women. Its Economic Empowerment Program serves this work with three current pillars: Adult Education, Personal Financial Literacy, and the Opportunity Advancement Center. This grant will support the creation of a new mentoring program. This expanded mentoring model will be designed with the input of the program participants themselves beginning this summer and is supported by a collaboration of funders (including Milwaukee Rotary) through 2024. Learn more here.


Acts Housing – $5,000

Families who purchase homes with the support of Acts programs create stability, financial security, and generational wealth by exiting the rental market and reducing monthly housing expenses. These extra funds can be used to purchase food, repair a vehicle, or invest in the home.  Acts Housing provides financial education, lending support, real estate services and home rehab coaching all under one roof. This improves the likelihood of success because families receive a more comprehensive experience and Acts team members are in constant communication bringing additional expertise and resources to the table.  Learn more here.


Money Coach, SecureFutures – $5,000

Studies show a lack of financial literacy among Wisconsin residents – many living paycheck to paycheck with a lack of emergency savings. Money Coach, a one-of-a-kind financial mentoring program provided through SecureFutures, provides teens from under-resourced Milwaukee communities with the coaching and guidance needed to develop strong money management habits and long-term financial capability. Teens are matched with volunteer mentors from the business community who teach financial literacy and provide one-on-one guidance. Students have the opportunity to earn a college/career scholarship giving them the opportunity to practice managing money while working alongside a trusted, caring coach. Learn more here.


Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Women Build — $5,000

Milwaukee is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. The most common barriers to homeownership include large down payments, rising housing costs, and denial of affordable loans. Milwaukee Habitat helps families become first-time homebuyers. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.  The Milwaukee Habitat Women Build will bring together women from across the area August 3rd – 6th to build homes and break down barriers alongside future homeowners.  Learn more here.


Many thanks to the Connecting to the Community Grants Committee, co-chaired by Pat Cronin and Beth Ridley, and members Kaushal Chari, Janine Kolbeck, Jody Lowe, Mary McCormick, Theresa Reagan and Marilka Velez.