20th Anniversary Community Grant Program Request for Partnerships

Last updated: July 11, 2024
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The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) is home to the Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP), a grantmaking program within SMPH established as the result of a generous endowment gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield United of Wisconsin (BCBS). The Wisconsin Partnership Program is committed to improving health and advancing health equity through investments in community partnerships, education and research.

A true embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea, WPP awards grants to innovative projects and initiatives that propel medical research, enhance health education and workforce development, support community health partnerships, advance health equity and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The work of WPP and its grantees touches all corners of the state, across a wide range of health challenges, communities, populations and geographic areas.

The Wisconsin Partnership Program’s vision, mission and values as well as its goals and grantmaking strategies are described in the 2024–2029 Five-Year Plan.

Goal and Description

Wisconsin Partnership Program 20 years seal

The 20th Anniversary Community Grant Program is designed to support Wisconsin-based organizations working towards health equity and/or addressing social determinants of health in increasing their capacity. These grants will support projects designed to help organizations work more efficiently and effectively and increase the organization’s ability to advance its mission. Grants are not intended to cover core operating expenses or provide on-going programmatic support.

These capacity-building grants should assist organizations to strengthen their internal systems. Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • IT infrastructure updates or technology improvements
  • Strategic, fundraising, communications, marketing, evaluation or business planning or development
  • Leadership training, including board development or staff training
  • One-time project costs, such as development of a new website or the purchase of software

Funding Scope and Duration

The 20th Anniversary Community grants are for up to $20,000 for one project, for up to one year. No-cost extension, budget revisions and change of scope requests will not be considered. The Oversight and Advisory Committee (OAC) anticipates allocating up to ten 20th Anniversary Community grants during this grant cycle depending on the availability of funds.

In addition to the funding provided through this grant, WPP will offer to match each grantee with an established WPP grant recipient to serve as a mentor organization and optimize chances for sustained success. This will allow WPP staff, in addition to mentor organizations and grantees, to learn from, engage and problem-solve together. We believe that experiencing this work together – and looking for mutually beneficial opportunities – will increase the ultimate success and sustainability of these grants.


Eligible organizations for this grant opportunity must be a Wisconsin-based organization within one or more of these categories:

  • Nonprofit, IRS tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization
  • Nonprofit, IRS tax exempt, 501(c)(6) organization
  • Nonprofit or public 4K-12 school or district
  • Tribal, state or local government entity

These grants are intended to build capacity of smaller and/or newer nonprofit organizations. Therefore, eligible organizations must have less than $500,000 in annual expenses OR have obtained nonprofit status after August 31, 2019.

The recipient organization is responsible and accountable for leading and advancing the project as specified in the Memorandum of Understanding. A named employee from the organization must serve as the point of contact.

WPP believes in working directly with organizations actively engaging in their community. Therefore, the recipient organization must be the implementing organization for the project. Organizations serving as fiscal sponsors for an implementing organization will not be allowed. A fiscal agent/sponsor is defined as an organization which meets at least one of three criteria:

  1. Lends credibility of its 501(c)3 or nonprofit status and/or organization capacity to a smaller project partner or a for profit entity
  2. Performs administrative functions for a project, typically for a fee
  3. Provides little to no programmatic oversight of the project and acts primarily as a passthrough

Source: National Council of Nonprofits

Applicant organizations are only eligible to apply for one project during this grant cycle. An applicant organization is ineligible to apply if they have had a grant terminated by WPP in the past 48 months or have received a formal notice of suspension or ineligibility from WPP in the past 48 months.

By applying for a Wisconsin Partnership Program grant, applicants agree to the Partnership Program’s terms and conditions.

Submission and Review Dates

Proposal Guidelines

Proposal Submission Deadline: May 29, 2024 at 5 p.m. CST.

The proposal is available in Fluxx. All applicants are required to have a Fluxx account to access and submit the proposal.

Fluxx Portal 

Important Information for New Fluxx Users : New Fluxx users must register for a Fluxx account by completing the Community Organization Registration Form under Create your Profile. Once reviewed by our team, which typically takes one business day, new users will receive an email with their username and instructions to set their password. New Fluxx users should register by May 24, 2024 as there is no guarantee that new registrations past this date will be processed before the May 29, 2024 at 5 p.m. CST application deadline. Applicants who fail to register by this deadline may not be able to submit an application.

Once logged in to Fluxx, click the green “Start Your 20th Anniversary Community Grant Proposal” button to start your application.

Email wpp@hslc.wisc.edu with questions regarding Fluxx.

The proposal includes many key components:


Upload the proposal as a PDF with a maximum of two single-spaced pages with 11-point font and 1-inch margins providing concise bulleted responses to each section in this order and using the three section headers.

  1. Organization Description:
    1. Provide a brief description of your organization’s mission, vision and need for a capacity building grant
    2. Also include a brief description of the population served by your organization
  2. Project Description and Impact:
    1. Provide a detailed description of the capacity-building project or activity (An application should only have ONE capacity-building project; applications with multiple projects will not be considered)
    2. Describe the potential impact on your organization’s capacity to serve your community and consequently impact health equity, and describe how this project will enhance your organization’s effectiveness and future sustainability
  3. Organization Capacity and Partnerships:
    1. Briefly describe the organization’s experience in addressing social determinants of health and health inequities
    2. Describe the organization’s capacity to manage this project in addition to the administrative and fiscal responsibilities required by WPP
    3. Lastly, if applicable, provide a bulleted list of the partner organizations engaged in this work and how they will contribute to the initiative
Project Budget

Using the required budget template, the project budget should clearly indicate how the grant funds will be spent. Expenditures must:

  • Be fully justified, reasonable and clearly related to the project’s goals
  • Reflect the activities listed in the proposal
  • Explain the sources and amounts of any cash match or cost sharing funds
  • Be allowable, reasonable, and applicable in accordance with WPP Cost Principles

Requests should be made by expense type (services, travel, supplies, etc.) and should provide sufficient detail for individuals unfamiliar with the project.

Allowable and Unallowable Expenses

Guidelines for allowable/unallowable expenses are available for review on the Wisconsin Partnership Program website. Funds must be used for the capacity building project-related costs. Examples of how funds may be used include:

  • Consultant and contract services (e.g., training)
  • Travel
  • Technology
  • Office supplies

Funds, as outlined in the unallowable expenses policy, may not be used for:

  • General overhead expenses (i.e., general administrative support, rent, office space and cost-allocations for expenses not directly related to the project)
  • Capital expenditures costing $5,000 or more with a useful life of two (2) years or more; exceptions may be made for capital expenditures if such equipment is crucial to the primary objectives of the project; Wisconsin Partnership Program pre-approval is required
  • Projects outside the state of Wisconsin

Additionally, for this grant program, funds may not be used for:

  • Core operating expenses, such as human resources and accounting activities
  • On-going programmatic support
  • Participant stipends
  • Human subjects research
Budget Justification

A budget justification is required for purposes of describing in detail the major budget line items. The justification should provide specific information about why an expense is necessary for the project. The budget justification must be uploaded as a PDF with one-inch margins and a minimum 11-point font.

IRS Determination Letter

Upload the IRS determination letter of tax-exempt status or other relevant documentation for the applicant organization.

Designation of Confidential and Proprietary Information

The Wisconsin Partnership Program is required to operate in accordance with Wisconsin’s public records and open meetings laws. Using the form provided, identify and request confidentiality for any trade secrets or proprietary information included in the application.

Non-Supplanting Questionnaire

Complete the non-supplanting questionnaire (form provided) by responding to the questions and providing explanations as necessary. Supplanting means to replace, to take the place of, or to supersede. The Wisconsin Partnership Program prohibits any funds from being awarded that will supplant funds or resources otherwise available to applicants from other sources for the proposed project. The Oversight and Advisory Committee’s award decisions are conditional on a final review of non-supplanting by the Wisconsin Partnership Program Administrative Leadership Team. The Administrative Leadership Team’s decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed based on:

  • Need and Potential Impact (60 points): The proposal provides a clear and convincing summary of the need for the project to increase organizational capacity and gives reviewers confidence that the organization and proposed approach can have a positive and lasting impact on health and health equity in Wisconsin
  • Organization Capacity (30 points): The proposal illustrates a strong and qualified lead organization with a health equity focused mission
  • Project Feasibility (10 points): The organization proposes a single capacity-building project that is likely to be successfully accomplished in the proposed timeframe

Proposals will NOT be reviewed based on grammar, punctuation, spelling or informal language.

Review Process

Technical review: Wisconsin Partnership Program staff will review each application to ensure that all requirements are met. This includes review of eligibility of the applicant organization. For organizations with active WPP grants, staff will review the application to ensure there is no overlap of goals, activities, aims or objectives with the currently supported project. Proposals that do not comply with the submission or eligibility requirements will not be reviewed and the applicant organization will be notified.

Content review: A panel of academic and community reviewers with relevant expertise will review assigned applications based on the proposal review criteria. The review panel will share their scores, comments and feedback with each other, allowing for diverse opinions. This information will be shared with the OAC, along with the de-identified reviewer comments. OAC will take up the top-ranked proposals for review.

OAC review: The results of the content review will be presented to the Oversight and Advisory Committee (OAC). OAC members will each be given a group of the top-ranked proposals, along with de-identified reviewer comments, to review. The OAC will make a final determination of awards based on rank, discussion of the application and review materials, and the project’s alignment with the goals of the 20th Anniversary Community Grants Program. OAC’s decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Note: Applicants must maintain the integrity of the review process by not contacting reviewers or OAC board members directly or indirectly to influence the outcome of the review.

Applicants will be informed by August 1, 2024 on whether they have been granted funding. Applicants will receive the de-identified reviewer comments.

Terms and Conditions

Organizations that are selected for a grant award are subject to the Partnership Program’s terms and conditions outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (See example OAC Memorandum of Understanding). The Wisconsin Partnership Program has authority to establish additional terms and conditions unique to a funded project and will notify the organization.

Contact Information

Note: WPP staff will not pre-review or opine on applications.

General inquiries:
Aimee Haese, Program Officer

Budget or supplanting inquiries:
Jon Thomas, Finance Associate Director