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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 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

2022 grants

The Community Collaboration Grant Requests for Proposals will be released in 2022. Please check back for updated timeline and information. Sign up for our e-newsletter for updates.

Community Impact Grant Program

The Community Impact Grant Program supports community-academic partnership initiatives that seek to improve health and advance health equity by addressing the social determinants of health.

Since 2015, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has provided more than $31 million in Community Impact Grants to support community-academic partnerships across the state. These partnerships are improving health and advancing health equity across a wide range of initiatives, communities and geographic areas.

Recent awards support initiatives that are advancing health equity by addressing the social determinants of health as well as the systems and polices that hold inequities in place. In alignment with the Wisconsin Idea, the Community Impact Grant Program bridges the expertise and resources of the university with the experiences and expertise of communities to strengthen our ability to successfully influence health and advance health equity.

In 2022, the Oversight and Advisory Committee will allocate up to $3 million in grants of up to $500,000 for three years to community-academic partnerships that seek to improve health by addressing health inequities and their root causes.  Awardees from this funding cycle are eligible to apply for one three-year renewal for an additional $500,000 at the end of their initial award, for a total award of up to $1 million over six years. Renewals are competitive, and as part of the renewal application, awardees must demonstrate success in achieving progress on the primary activities outlined in the original proposal.

Grant program goal

The Community Impact Grant Program supports large-scale, evidence-informed, community-academic partnership initiatives that address the social determinants of health to advance health equity in Wisconsin’s urban and rural communities.

These partnerships require substantial and authentic community leadership to make progress toward sustainable systems change and must be supported by robust evaluation.

Proposals must address health inequities and their root causes and be informed and implemented by those who are most affected by these inequities.

Funding Scope and Duration

Each grant award is a maximum of $500,000 for up to three years. Awardees from this funding cycle are eligible to apply for one three-year renewal for an additional $500,000 at the end of their initial award, for a total award of up to $1 million over six years. Renewals are competitive, and as part of the renewal application, awardees must demonstrate success in achieving progress on the primary activities outlined in the original proposal.

Community Lead Organizations with active Community Impact Grant awards are not eligible to apply.

The OAC anticipates funding up to six awards.

Applicant eligibility

A Community Lead Organization is required and must be a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit, IRS tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, or a tribal or local government entity. 

The Community Lead Organization must have the fiscal and administrative capacity to oversee and manage the initiative and therefore must have expenses exceeding $500,000 annually. 

The initiative must include at least one Academic Partner with relevant expertise who has an established partnership with the Community Lead Organization.

Academic Partners must have a paid appointment at one of the University of Wisconsin System’s 13 universities, which includes 26 campuses and a statewide extension, in a faculty or emeritus faculty position or in an academic staff position.

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

Application materials and links

Start or continue an application

Key dates and deadlines

All dates are 2022.

  • April 28: Request for Partnerships released
  • May 27: Letters of Intent due
  • May and June: Letters of Intent reviewed
  • Week of June 20: Invite full application
  • Aug. 5: Full applications due
  • August and September: Full applications reviewed
  • Sept. 30 Invite finalist presentations
  • Oct. 26: Presentation to OAC
  • Oct. 31: Notify finalists of award decisions
  • Dec. 1: Earliest start date

Past recipients