Partnering Up to Spread More Good
The J. J. Keller Foundation, Inc. has been fortunate to become involved in a number of partnerships and collaborations that help maximize its impact on organizations from Green Bay to Appleton to Oshkosh. These partnerships have addressed children’s behavioral health, food pantries and a host of other programs that work to meet basic needs.
Milestones reached as Keller-Habitat collaboration continues
Two milestones were reached with the construction of Keller-funded Habitat for Humanity homes in 2012. First, the completion of a home in the Town of Menasha signified the $1 millionth dollar given by the Kellers to support the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity. Second, a Menasha home built by the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes became the 15th house done with Keller funds. Two main vehicles for funding Habitat homes over the years have been used: the J. J. Keller Foundation and the John J. and Ethel D. Keller Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.
U.S. Venture Open/Basic Needs Giving Partnership:
Keller and Schmidt families partner up to serve basic needs
The annual U.S. Venture Open golf outing was held on 5 courses throughout the Fox Valley on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, and became the second-highest fundraiser in the event’s 28-year history. A total of $2.125 million was raised as nearly 900 golfers participated in the event. In addition, the J. J. Keller Foundation provided $800,000 in funds to support the Basic Needs Giving Partnership, the group that makes decisions on where event proceeds for the golf outing are distributed. The Keller family was on hand to be recognized for their significant contributions to the success of the program to benefit needy people in the Oshkosh, Fox Valley and Green Bay areas.
This year’s celebrity guest was former Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver, whose story of his poverty-stricken childhood touched the audience gathered at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown for the closing dinner. More than 950 people attended the dinner in an 18,000-square-foot tent specially constructed for the evening. Live and silent auctions were part of the fundraising effort. Now that the money has been raised, committees from Community Foundations in Green Bay, Oshkosh and the Fox Valley will get to work on distributing proceeds to programs that focus on the root causes of poverty in the area.
Catalpa Health comes to life
The late Ethel D. Keller was an early supporter of the effort to bring a children’s behavioral health center to the Fox Valley. She and granddaughter Marne Keller-Krikava championed the cause, which resulted in a unique collaboration of three competing area health care systems – Affinity Health, System, ThedaCare and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The formation of Fox Valley Children’s Mental Health Center was the culmination of years of work, and Ethel was smiling down from Heaven as the doors opened in 2008.
As the program continued to evolve, a task force was charged in 2011 with determining how to provide even better access, improved outcomes and a more-sustainable model for outpatient mental health services for children. Their work was completed in early 2012, and resulted in the creation of a new organization to provide seamless, accessible, collaborative behavioral and mental health services.
Catalpa Health, a stand-alone entity with the same original health system partners, now provides outpatient services including individual and group therapy, psychological and neuropsychological testing, medical management (psychiatry) and prevention services for the local public schools. It’s a model of collaboration from many perspectives.
Stock the Shelves campaign sets a new record
The lines of people awaiting services at many food pantries continue to grow. The J. J. Keller Foundation began partnering with The Post-Crescent newspaper in 2009 to “Stock the Shelves” of local food pantries. We offer to match funds raised up to $35,000. The response by individual, corporate and foundation donors has grown each year, and in 2012, a new record was set: $285,227.41 was contributed, which was $10,000 more than the previous record, established in 2009.
The J. J. Keller Foundation also participates in campaigns by the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the Oshkosh Northwestern, providing a $15,000 match in each of those areas. Combined, the 2012 campaigns at The Post-Crescent, P-G and Northwestern campaigns reached $448,945. The J. J. Keller Foundation is now one of many organizations and businesses that have joined us in offering matching funds for the effort. The idea has caught on with other Gannett newspapers, and the 10 markets of Gannett Wisconsin Media collectively raised an all-time record $637,421 in 2012. Eighty-nine hunger relief agencies across the state will benefit.
Nonprofits benefit from social innovation program
A unique executive education program, the Social Innovation Leadership Experience, is creating a “mind shift” in nonprofit executive directors from basic needs-related organizations in the Fox Valley, Oshkosh and Green Bay, thanks to a grant from the J. J. Keller Foundation and the U.S. Fund for Basic Needs. In cooperation with Marquette University, the Social Innovation program equips participants with the tools to think outside the box and to encourage them to work toward solving social problems rather than simply managing them.
The program challenges participants to develop a “social entrepreneur” mentality – to become “people with new ideas to address major problems who are relentless in the pursuit of their visions, people who simply will not take no for an answer, who will not give up until they have spread their ideas as far as they possibly can” (David Bornstein, How to Change the World, Oxford University Press).
Participants gather on a monthly basis for group dialogue around social innovation topics and concepts, analysis of case studies, site visits to various entrepreneurial initiatives and presentations by experts in the field. The primary desired outcome of the experience is a mindshift: less contentment with managing social problems and more energy devoted to solving them, making a positive difference and achieving measurable social impact.
The social innovation aspect of the program is paired with emphasis on leadership development, provided by Innovative Learning Strategies. Executive directors explore leadership foundation-building strategies, learn from 360-degree feedback, receive one-on-one executive coaching, and engage in new collaborative learning partnerships.
The year-long journey culminates in a sharing of learnings with community leaders and nonprofit Boards of Directors. The seeds of social innovation are clearly being planted by the first “graduates” of the program in 2011, and we look forward to watching the community reap the rewards of the effort by the second group of participants in 2013.
Partnering Through Challenge Grants
Over the past five years, the J. J. Keller Foundation has become known in the Fox Valley for its challenge grants. In 2012, a number of local nonprofits were offered the opportunity to double their Foundation gifts by having them matched by other funders. Individuals and corporations alike accepted the challenge, and the result was a win-win for the participating nonprofits and those who invested in them.
Oshkosh Area Community Foundation
- $10,000 - Clarity Care’s Help at Home Program through the Oshkosh Northwestern “Do It!” Campaign
- $5,000 - Day By Day Warming Shelter
J. J. Keller Foundation
- $5,000 - Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley’s Center for Grieving Children
- $5,000 - Center for Alternative Learning
- $13,820 - CHAPS Academy
- $10,000 - Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region for The Post-Crescent “Dollars for Diapers “Do It!” Campaign
- $15,000 - Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley
- $25,000 - Fox Cities Community Health Center’s Community Emergency Prescription Drug Fund
- $2,895 - Goodwill Industries’ Community Garden Partnership
- $26,292 - Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities
- $5,000 - Ryan Community
- $17,669 - Salvation Army Fox Cities Red Kettle Campaign
- $4,157 - Salvation Army Oshkosh Red Kettle Campaign
- $5,000 - STEP Industries
- $75,000 - Tri-County Community Dental Clinic
- $10,000 - Women’s Fund of the Fox Valley
- $10,000 - Women’s Fund Oshkosh