In addition to the impending sunset of Milwaukee’s most prominent foundations, several Milwaukee-based corporations that provide support to area nonprofit organizations have been acquired or are in the process of being acquired by out-of-state firms.
For example, Marshall & Ilsley Corp., which contributes about $4 million a year to charitable giving, is being acquired by Toronto-based BMO Financial Group.
The combination of major foundations sunsetting and the acquisition of large
area businesses makes the future uncertain for charitable giving in the area.
“It’s been a slow and gradual slide to this point,” said Julie Whelan Capell, board president of the Milwaukee chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and director of planning and development at The Planning Council for Health and Human Services. “Frankly, no one knows what the future of funding will look like. Companies no longer headquartered here can only do so much from a distance and government funding for these organizations is getting less and less. A city like Milwaukee really feels the pinch.”