The Wisconsin Partnership Program supports community-driven work and recognizes that successful research and interventions depend on engaging communities as partners. Our community grant programs prioritize community voices, needs and lived experiences and aim to enhance community members’ ideas and efforts with new knowledge and scientific evidence, ultimately resulting in interventions and policies that help move health forward.

Community grant programs

The Wisconsin Partnership Program currently administers three community grant programs.

Community Catalyst Grant

The Community Catalyst Grants invest funding to precipitate and support community-based creative health equity approaches and ideas that are designed to actively reducing gaps in access, outcomes or opportunities. Catalyst Grants support projects with clear focus, a well-defined audience and an innovative plan to reduce inequities.

Community Collaboration Grant

Through the Community Collaboration Grants, Partnership Program staff work alongside organizations through 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, work to understand and translate community-level data and strengthen capacity to address local policy, systems and environmental change.

Community Impact Grant

The 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 aimed at improving health-equity in Wisconsin.

Grantmaking approach

Our approach to community grantmaking is informed by feedback from applicants, grantees and other stakeholders as well as research regarding best practices for achieving sustainable change. The following values have guided the development of our grant programs:

  1. Direct service programs, while extremely important, are not designed to “move the needle” towards solving complex health equity challenges; those changes come from addressing the policies, systems and environments that govern our daily lives and contribute to health.
  2. No one organization is capable of successfully tackling the complex health issues we face. This work is most effectively done through collaborations and partnerships.
  3. The perspectives and experience of those impacted most are crucial to both understanding and solving complex challenges; therefore, all of our community-led funding initiatives require applicants to provide evidence of significant and authentic community engagement – regardless of the size of the award.
  4. The Partnership Program, due to its unique position within the University of Wisconsin, can provide access to a myriad of university-based resources of value to communities across the state.

Advancing health equity

A shift in research and evidence demonstrates that within health, there are disparities between and among groups based on where people live, the color of their skin, and other demographic characteristics. To address this, the Wisconsin Partnership Program is committed to incorporating health equity into our grantmaking and awards. All of our Request for Proposals ask applicants how health equity is addressed in their work.