Zilber Family Foundation announces recipients of $1.8 million in grant funding

Gina Stilp, executive director of Zilber Family Foundation

The Zilber Family Foundation announced it has awarded $1.8 million in grants to 16 nonprofit organizations, including 11 in the Milwaukee area.

Ten of the grants target Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights, Clarke Square and Layton Boulevard West neighborhoods, where the foundation has directed much of its investment for more than a decade through the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative.

The funding is aimed at supporting community-based organizations’ projects and programs that increase access to quality and affordable housing, provide financial education, develop minority-owned small businesses and build capacity and effectiveness of the residents and nonprofits leading the work.

“Our grantees have shown incredible resolve during a particularly challenging time and have responded to increased demand for services during the pandemic,” said executive director Gina Stilp. “Local, community-based organizations are essential to meeting the community’s immediate needs and creating pathways to long-term social and economic opportunity. We’re proud to be working together to advance individual and community wellbeing.”

The local grant recipients include:

  • Aurora Zilber Family Hospice to offer training and educational opportunities for hospice and palliative care employees and volunteers.
  • Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative to serve as the lead agency in Clarke Square, and to implement community economic development, housing, and arts and culture action plans in partnership with residents and stakeholders.
  • Community Warehouse to support the sale of discounted home improvement and household materials to residents in ZNI and other Milwaukee neighborhoods.
  • LISC Milwaukee to support the placement of nine AmeriCorps volunteers at Milwaukee nonprofits offering financial counseling, eviction prevention, and community engagement services.
  • Literacy Services of Wisconsin to support adult literacy, education and workforce readiness skills.
  • Milwaukee JobsWork to support the delivery of financial skill building, job readiness training, and small business supports for residents of Lindsay Heights and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Mediate Milwaukee to support eviction and foreclosure prevention via free mediation services.
  • Neighborhood News Service to support coverage of low-income minority majority neighborhoods in Milwaukee’s central city.
  • Southside Organizing Committee to support bilingual resident outreach, education, and organizing on Milwaukee’s southside; and to participate in housing and economic development activities in Clarke Square and Layton Boulevard West neighborhoods.
  • UW-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health to work in partnership with Black leaders to advance a health promotion strategy that engages grassroots leaders and organizations in Milwaukee, and coordinates testing, education and outreach to combat COVID-19.
  • Walnut Way Conservation Corp. to continue to serve as the lead agency in Lindsay Heights and coordinate community economic development and housing activities for the neighborhood.

Other recipients include the Women’s Fund of Hawaii, Project Vision Hawaii, Mental Health America of Hawaii, Catchafire and Hawaii Food Bank.

The grants support the foundation’s primary focus areas, including affordable housing, community economic development and basic human needs. The foundation was formed in 1961 as a private grant-making institution by the late real estate developer Joseph Zilber.

The foundation also announced that its emergency grants for COVID relief, distributed between April and December, now total $1.9 million.

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Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking, kayaking, and seeing live music.

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