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 three competitive community grant programs, each with a unique approach toward improving the health of the people of Wisconsin.

  • Community Catalyst Grants provide funding to support creative health equity approaches, designed with the goal of actively reducing gaps in access, outcomes or opportunities. Catalyst Grants are intended to support projects with clear focus, a well-defined audience and an innovative plan to reduce inequities.
  • 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 have limited access to resources and face high health equity needs in their community. Grantees receive support as they strengthen and expand current assets and partnerships, develop community-driven plans and take action towards local policy, systems and environmental change.
  • 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.

Community Catalyst Grant Program

The Catalyst Grant Program was created to provide catalyst funding to support creative health equity approaches designed with the goal of actively reducing gaps in access, outcomes or opportunities.

Catalyst Grants are intended to support projects in the early stages of development with:

  • A clear focus
  • A clearly identified audience
  • An innovative plan to reduce inequities

Grant awards: Maximum of $50,000 for a maximum grant duration of two years

Applicant eligibility: The applicant for this grant program must be a either a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, tribe or government entity. Foundations are not eligible to apply for this award. Applicants can only apply for one Catalyst Grant at a time.

2018 Community Catalyst Grant key dates and deadlines

Sept. 4, 2018

Application due

Oct. 24, 2018

Final decision by OAC

Oct. 25, 2018

Notification of awards

Dec. 2018

Earliest project start date

Community Collaboration Grant Program

The Wisconsin Partnership Program is pleased to introduce its new Community Collaboration Grant Program. Through this new grant, the Wisconsin Partnership Program will provide organizations with training and technical assistance to address health inequities stemming from the social determinants of health (e.g., income, employment, education, access to healthy food, housing).

Grantees will receive support as they strengthen and expand their current assets and partnerships, develop community-driven plans and take action towards local policy, systems and environmental change to improve the social determinants of health. Grantees will implement community-driven strategies to advance health equity using already existing community assets.

Grant awards: The maximum award for this grant is $300,000, over four years. The Partnership Program anticipates making up to four awards in 2017-18.

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 communities with significant need.

The Community Lead Organization must:

  • Be either a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, tribe or government entity. Foundations are not eligible to apply.
  • Demonstrate limited access to resources related to a health equity focus area identified or prioritized by the community.
  • Identify key partnerships in the community: groups, organizations or institutions that could be collaborating on this work.
  • Agree to actively participate in 1) learning activities by openly sharing challenges, results, successes, lessons learned, and 2) evaluation activities including infrequent assessment of your outcomes after the grant period has ended.

Community Impact Grant Program

This 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

2018 Community Impact Grant key dates and deadlines

Jan. 31

Request for partnerships released

March 21

Stage 1: letter of intent due

April 4

Invitation to next stage

June 4

Invitation to next stage

July 9

Invitation to next stage

Sept. 26

Stage 3: presentation to Oversight and Advisory Committee

Nov. 14

Final decision by Oversight and Advisory Committee; notification of awards

Jan. 2019

New grantee orientation and earliest project start date