The Wisconsin Partnership Program supports community-driven work and recognizes that successful research and interventions depend on engaging communities as partners. Since its creation in 2004, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has infused more than $96 million in grant funding into nearly 300 community organizations and initiatives across the state.

These grants have helped implement a wide range of initiatives that align with the Wisconsin Idea and work toward the Partnership Program's overarching goal of improving the health and well-being of Wisconsinites.

The Partnership Program currently administers two competitive community grant programs, each with a unique approach toward improving the health of the people of Wisconsin.

  • Community Collaboration Grants provide organizations with training and technical assistance to address health inequities stemming from the social determinants of health. To be eligible, organizations must be led by the community impacted by the inequities and face high health equity needs in their community.
  • Community Impact Grants provide up to $1 million over five years to support large-scale, evidence-based, community-academic partnerships aimed at achieving sustainable policy, systems and/or environmental changes that will improve health, health-equity and well-being in Wisconsin.

Five-Year Plan

Learn more about the Wisconsin Partnership Program’s vision, mission and values as well as its goals and grant-making strategies as described in the 2019-2024 Five-Year Plan.

View the plan (pdf)

Community Collaboration Grant Program

The Community Collaboration grant program is a collaboration between and among grantees, the Partnership Program, and other UW System partners to bring the knowledge of community partners to the university, and to bring the resources of the university to community grantees—the Wisconsin Idea in action.

The goal of this grant program is to learn from and build trust with communities to advance health equity by collaboratively enhancing capacity, and increasing and strengthening partnership by working closely with grantees and providing training, technical assistance and funding. Grantees receive support as they strengthen and expand current assets and partnerships, build their infrastructure, and take action towards sustainable change.

Grant awards: The maximum award for this grant is $400,000, over four years.

Applicant eligibility: This grant program brings the resources of the University of Wisconsin to communities statewide by connecting grantees with potential academic partners, programs and resources. Eligibility requirements for the Community Collaboration Grants Program reflect our commitment to supporting organizations led by communities facing significant inequities.

The Community Lead Organization must:

  • Be either a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, tribe or government entity. Foundations and fiscal agents are not eligible to apply.
  • Be led by the community impacted by health inequities. The Partnership Program believes that improving health outcomes means shifting the upstream conditions that create these inequities and those solutions need to be driven by communities most impacted by inequities.
  • Be willing and able to commit time to relationship and partnership building, listening, co-creating knowledge, asset-based community development, training, capacity building and technical assistance activities

Community Impact Grant Program

The request for partnerships is designed to address the overall health, health equity and well-being of Wisconsin communities through support for large-scale, evidence-based, community-academic partnership initiatives. These partnerships require substantial community engagement to achieve sustained policy, system and environmental change, and must be supported by robust evaluation and effective dissemination.

The application process involves three-stages including an online initial application, an in-person presentation to the Oversight and Advisory Committee, and a final proposal (see below for funding cycle time line). Progressing to the second and third stages is invitation-only.

Grant awards: maximum of $1 million for up to five years

Applicant eligibility: Eligibility requirements for the Community Impact Grants Program reflect the Oversight and Advisory Committee’s focus on funding projects with significant potential for impact. Please see the RfP and the Additional Information section (pdf) for explanations and further detail.

Community partners must:

  • Be Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations or government agencies
  • Have an established community-academic partnership
  • Actively participate in an existing coalition or network, committed to helping advance the goals of the proposed initiative
  • Have the financial capacity to oversee and manage the project. For this request for partnership we are defining “financial capacity” as operating a current annual budget of $500,000 or more

While many organizations that engage in public health and well-being efforts may not meet the “lead community applicant” eligibility criteria for this specific funding mechanism, they may still participate in the proposed work as partners and collaborators.

Academic partners must meet one of the following criterion:

  • UW School of Medicine and Public Health tenure-track, clinical/health sciences or clinician-teacher faculty
  • UW-Madison faculty, academic staff or emeritus professor with approval of a department chair or center director, and have or acquire Principal Investigator status
  • Other UW System faculty, including UW Extension, with principal investigator status with an institutional review board of record

2020 Community Impact Grant key dates and deadlines

Jan. 29

Request for partnerships released

March 4

Stage 1: letter of intent due

March 16

Invitation to next stage

May 11

Stage 2: full proposal due

June 18

Invitation to next stage


Technical assistance to prepare presentation to Oversight and Advisory Committee

Sept. 16

Stage 3: presentation to Oversight and Advisory Committee

Sept. 16

Final vote of the Oversight and Advisory Committee

Jan. 2021

Earliest project start date