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Bader Philanthropies Celebrates 30 Years of Improving Lives in the Milwaukee Community

January 29, 2022

Bader Philanthropies, one of Southeastern Wisconsin’s top five foundations, is celebrating its 30th anniversary and its work to improve the lives of people in Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin and abroad.

In its 30 years of service, Bader Philanthropies has provided more than $426 million in support of a wide variety of causes including education, arts, health, Alzheimer’s and employment. Over 940 community partners in Milwaukee have received $248,279,628.

‘Spreading hope. Creating opportunities.’ is the organization’s theme as it commemorates 30 years.

“First, simply by funding our great nonprofit organizations, we hope we spread hope and create opportunities,” Daniel Bader, president and CEO of Bader Philanthropies, said. “Second, we moved to the Harambee neighborhood a number of years ago and we are very active in the community. We are out talking to and learning from the people in the community. In that process the community teaches us what their needs are. It’s simple, we want to help people.”

Helping people includes efforts to resolve issues that occurred as a result of the pandemic.

In April 2020, Bader Philanthropies announced it provided more than $1 million toward local COVID emergency efforts.

To date, the foundation has funded 63 local organizations for a total of approximately $2.3 million dollars toward local COVID emergency efforts.

The philanthropic group focused on making sure that all of the nonprofits in the community were OK.

“Everybody was disrupted, they are still disrupted,” Bader said. “We provided aid to the nonprofits that deliver services in the area. Some went to COVID testing, some went to food so people would have access and employment so people would have family sustaining jobs.”

Bader Philanthropies partnered with Shalem Healing to administer 1,520 COVID tests.

In conjunction with Bader Philanthropies’ 30th anniversary, a documentary, “Helen Daniels Bader: A Life Worth Emulating” was released this month.

“She was a quiet person, she wasn’t a household name at the time but she became a household name especially in the nonprofit community because of the foundation that was in her name,” Bader shared about his mother. “She was very humble. She was a person who didn’t like a lot of attention but was committed to helping others.”

The Helen Bader Foundation was established in 1992, three years after her death. In 2015, the group changed its name to Bader Philanthropies.

“It’s a short video with a collection of interviews from family, board members and nonprofit and community leaders who share stories of Helen Bader’s life and legacy,” Bader said. “There is also a recently published book, ‘Helen Bader, An Independent Spirit.’ The book and documentary go together to help people understand who Helen Bader was.”

“The future of Bader Philanthropies is that we are going to be here, still listening to what the community has to say,” Bader said. “We’re always looking at what the community needs and how we can respond in a way that’s relative and respectful of the community.