Wisconsin Public Service Foundation: Local Community Grant Program

Wisconsin Public Service


Grant amount: Up to US $1,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program, Capital Project

Location of project: Menominee County, Michigan, Counties in Wisconsin: Brown County, Calumet County, Clark County, Door County Expand all

Location of residency: Menominee County, Michigan, Counties in Wisconsin: Brown County, Calumet County, Clark County, Door County Expand all

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Overview:

Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is the philanthropic entity for WPS and other subsidiaries of our holding company, WEC Energy Group. In other words, the foundation and the utility are two different organizations, with two very different purposes. The foundation provides for charitable contributions to our local communities, while WPS and our other utilities are focused on providing safe, reliable electricity and natural gas to customers. The foundation is funded by our shareholders, not by our utility customers.

Through direct grants, scholarships and the employee Matching Gifts program, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation actively supports the quality of life in the communities we serve. The foundation provides nearly $1.4 million annually in contributions to programs in the following areas:

  • Arts & Culture: Arts and culture add to the richness of life in our communities. Foundation support projects that promote diversity and make the arts accessible to all people, including theater, dance, music, drama and museums.
  • Community & Neighborhood Development: Communities become stronger when neighbors work together. Foundation support nonprofit organizations dedicated to community improvement.
  • Education: Life-long learning helps ensure a strong future for our communities and their economies. Foundation support programs that complement our company's educational programs and philosophies, including opportunities for minorities and women. Foundation support programs where businesses and educational institutions partner, provide career planning and mentor youth.
  • Environment: As a company, the Foundation protect and encourage the wise use of natural resources. Foundation also support others' efforts for the betterment of fish and wildlife, water and air quality, forests, energy efficiency, renewable energy and recycling.
  • Human Services & Health: The physical and emotional well-being of everyone in our communities is a measure of the health of the communities. Foundation support programs that serve limited-income, senior and handicapped individuals. And Foundation support programs emphasizing wellness.

The History of Wisconsin Public Service Foundation

Wisconsin Public Service Foundation was incorporated in 1964. It was funded with paper company stocks and bonds that had been repurchased by WPS in the late 1920s and had appreciated significantly. The transfer of the certificates, accomplished over a four-year period, gave the foundation a financial base of $2 million. The resulting tax credits increased the value of WPS stock by $.20 per share, and gave the company a consistent means of contributing to charitable, educational and scientific organizations. Over the past 30 years, the foundation's stocks and bonds have redeemed, and the money has been used to buy mutual funds.

Today the foundation supports organizations involved in community and neighborhood development, education, environment, human services and health, and arts and culture. Donations average $1.4 million annually. Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is a strong supporter of capital projects, the United Way and start-up programs in communities where we serve gas or electricity.

Each region our utility serves has an established Contributions Committee consisting of local employees from a cross-section of departments. All donation requests for a region are sent to the region's Contributions Committee, which reviews the requests based on the needs and issues in the community, as well and the foundation budget for their region.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Eligible Applicants are 501c3 nonprofit organizations.
  • Funding Focus: Advertising, corporate tables or special events.

Preferences:

  • In making charitable contributions, WPS gives priority to organizations that:
    • Located within or provide significant benefit to communities served by WPS
    • Are judged effective by the community
    • Increase public awareness of important issues
    • Promote volunteerism
    • Cooperate, rather than compete, with similar organizations, and strive to minimize duplication of services
    • Hold nonprofit status

Ineligibility:

  • We Do Not Fund
    • Individuals
    • Churches and other religious organizations
    • Political organizations
    • Organizations that discriminate for any reason, including race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, national origin or sexual orientation
    • National and international organizations that operate outside the area we serve and whose funds are not used locally
    • Post-secondary scholarships other than those provided through our scholarship program
    • Free natural gas or electric service, moving of poles or utility-related construction
    • Public and private schools K-12