ideas to action

Ideas to Action

Ideas to Action helps organizations with creative ideas take action to strengthen community and deepen civic involvement. This year, the Foundation gave out awards to 13 projects focused on a wide range of issues including youth development, health and wellness, homelessness, human trafficking, gender equality and more totaling $25,000. Each recipient earned between $475-$2,500 to support diverse and tangible activities that will benefit neighborhoods and the public good across the region.

2019 Winners

Alverno College
$825 to support 20 girls and teens of color from Milwaukee Public Schools and Racine Public Schools to attend the State of Wisconsin Girls Summit on Mar. 28, 2020. These girls would work with mental health professionals and policy advocates to develop a plan to galvanize support for policies that encourage mental health for girls of color in Wisconsin. Register for the Girls Summit 2020.

Calvary Presbyterian Church
$475 to support purchasing bus tickets and reduced admissions to community attractions and events for recent chronically homeless residents at St. Anthony’s Place apartments. The program’s hope is that residents can begin to fully engage with what the city has to offer after the harsh life they’ve experienced within it.

Code for Milwaukee
$2,500 to support the development of a project management framework that will create projects that advance racial equity and inclusion and increase the digital, data and internet literacies of all involved in the project.

Convergence Resource Center
$1,000 to support guidelines for survivors of human trafficking when seeking medical and mental health assistance. A group of human trafficking survivors will help create the initial guidelines.

Greater Bethlehem Temple World Ministries
$1,700 to support an event focused on educating the community on men’s health, in particular, prostate cancer and screenings, addressing the various areas/conditions related to prostate cancer and providing onsite testing and connections to health resources.

Healing First Peer Advisory Committee
$2,000 to support a recruitment campaign to increase diversity and gain members from the wider community, increasing the committee’s effectiveness at tackling homelessness in Milwaukee. The committee will request match dollars from partners to continue the momentum beyond the spring.

Health Connections (TGNCNB)
$2,500 to support a four-month pilot program for the coordination and facilitation of name and/or gender change services to TGNCNB (transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary) people using the Health Connections Inc.’s “Name/Gender Change Guide” for Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee Environmental Consortium
$2,500 to support three activities including an event celebrating environmental heroes of color. It will feature a nationally recognized keynote speaker on the topic of environmental equity, a camping and outdoor expo to demonstrate outdoor recreation and camping skills, and an anti-bias workshop addressing the history of exclusion in the environmental movement.

Milwaukee Youth Arts Center
$2,000 to support a new youth-led initiative, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center’s Student Advisory Board, which will host informal events that spark conversation and aim to build and strengthen friendships between diverse groups of individuals and programs.

Public Allies Milwaukee
$2,500 to support Healing Justice MKE, a cohort of 15 people engaged in racial equity work. The cohort members will learn how to identify harm they have experienced and implement healing practices in their daily life and social justice work. Informed by practices of self-care, trauma-informed care and healing justice, the workshops will be designed to promote healing, asset-based thinking, collaboration and continuous learning.

$2,000 to support an event focused on bringing awareness to the barriers young adults face when they age out of foster care, such as acquiring housing and employment. The event will include a simulation and panel of youth who have aged out of foster care and will invite and engage the community, individuals, groups, organizations and corporate partners.

TEMPO Milwaukee
$2,500 to support bringing the American Association of University Women Work Smart and Start Smart workshops to Milwaukee women in the spring of 2020. The trainings will give women the skills and confidence to advocate for themselves in the workplace.

Walnut Way
$2,500 to support 10 Lindsay Heights residents who are interested in developing their own food and culinary businesses. The project will give tours of commercial kitchens and will help residents with trainings and assistance to acquire their licenses.


  • Applicant(s) must have participated in an On the Table MKE 2019 conversation at a registered table
  • Open to nonprofit organizations (standard Foundation grant eligibility applies)
  • Must feature a new idea generated through an On the Table MKE conversation
  • Focus should be on action and collaboration
  • Special consideration given to ideas that advance racial equity and inclusion
  • Limit one application per table


  • Oct. 11 – Application available
  • Oct. 31 – Application deadline (11:59 p.m. CST)
  • Dec. 20 – Applicants notified of final funding decision
  • Jan. 1 (2020) – Project period begins
  • Apr. 30 (2020) – Deadline to complete projects
  • June 3 (2020) – Final project report due

Selection Process

Recipients are determined by an advisory committee of community members, Foundation donors and staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is required for the final project report?
    • Awardees have the option to submit either a short written or video report along with a final project budget.