community foundation fox valley full brand logo

APPLETON—The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region awarded $38.5 million in grants to 1,754 nonprofit organizations in fiscal year 2021, a 25% increase over its previous largest granting total in 2020.

The awards take the total amount of grants awarded in the foundation's 35-year history to $388.7 million.

For the 2021 fiscal year, which ended June 30, the grants included a record $1.38 million in scholarships from 216 scholarship funds awarded to 468 students from 60 high schools. The grants made exceeded $30 million for the third consecutive year, said Curt Detjen, president and CEO.

“Every dollar makes a difference to the nonprofits who receive them and the people they serve,” Detjen said. “The importance and impact of philanthropy has been more significant than ever during this pandemic, and we know this generosity will continue through the endowments and all charitable funds in the Community Foundation.”

The grants cover the full range of charitable causes in the community, including human services, community improvement, education, health care, environment, and arts and culture.

The Community Foundation’s 1,754 charitable funds under management total $545.9 million in assets and received $36.8 million in contributions. The median contribution was $103, and the median grant was $1,000.

Some examples of programs receiving grants:

  • Kaukauna Area School District's retired teachers helped students with online access during the pandemic. The Kaukauna Educators’ LegacyFund within the Community Foundation provided more than $9,000 to place 75 devices in students’ homes to improve online access during the pandemic.
  • Through culturally relevant messaging and outreach events, local leaders removed barriers to vaccines for Black, Hispanic, and Hmong community members by hosting COVID-19 clinics on the weekends, providing translators, and not requiring photo IDs. The pop-up clinics were supported by community partnerships and grants from the $1.8 million donated by 434 donors to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund established by the Community Foundation and United Way Fox Cities.
  • Funding funding supported trail expansions, park improvements, and recreational facility upgrades including Heckrodt Wetland Reserve’s “World Above Your Feet” play area; the Nelson Family Heritage Crossing bridge over the Fox River; and Province Terrace Trail extension connecting the 50-mile Paper Trail around the Fox Cities.
  • THRIVE Calumet addresses unmet mental health needs through assessments and community awareness, and it launched a pilot program to provide on-site mental health services in the school districts of Brillion, Chilton, Hilbert, New Holstein and Stockbridge, in partnership with Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley. Community support included a $231,544 grant from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership within the Community Foundation. 

More details on the financial performance, as well as lists of grant recipients, charitable funds and investment performance, are available at