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‘We need everybody to get involved.’ Philanthropists give Milwaukee nonprofits a boost during the coronavirus pandemic

March 25, 2020
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As nonprofit social service providers struggle to keep their doors open with limited ability to raise funds, Milwaukee’s philanthropic organizations are stepping in to help.

A coalition of organizations, including Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, has collectively raised $1.3 million so far.

The purpose of the coalition is to sustain the efforts of “nonprofits who serve local communities … facing mounting obstacles and disruptions to their missions” because of coronavirus.

More than half a dozen Milwaukee nonprofits have benefited so far, including Hunger Task Force, Feeding America, United Way of Northern Ozaukee County, Waukesha Food Pantry, Imagine MKE and the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers.

That’s in addition to separate funding campaigns set up to help struggling nonprofits, such as United Way’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund and Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment Urgent Response to COVID-19 Fund.

Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, said staff acted immediately.

“I have made some of the strangest Amazon orders — diapers and potted meat,” she said. “But that’s what our partners need.”

Angresano, like many others, watched states like Washington closely and began putting dollars aside in anticipation of a coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin.

Now that the outbreak is here, Angresano said she and other organizations are ready to help.