The Green Bay Packers Foundation announced this week it has distributed $1 million in annual grants to 237 civic and charitable groups throughout Wisconsin — including Sun Prairie-based Colonial Club and Shelter from the Storm Ministries — in its annual distribution of grants.
Tom Cardella, chairperson of the Foundation, made the announcement, and checks recently were mailed to the organizations.
The recipient groups typically receive the grants at a luncheon in the Lambeau Field Atrium in December, but due to the pandemic, this year’s grants were issued earlier to assist those organizations impacted by the pandemic.
“We’re proud to award $1 million through our annual Packers Foundation grants this year, a year in which many nonprofits are seeing a greater need in their communities due to the pandemic,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “So many people from the recipient organizations are on the front lines, and we are inspired by them and honored to help as they continue to serve those in need every day.”
This year’s grant cycle focused on organizations that will direct the funds toward the need areas of elderly, homelessness, human services and hunger. The grants awarded by the foundation must be used for the specific program or initiative for which the organizations applied. These grants are not recurring, and the 2020 recipient organizations will not be eligible to apply for grants again until 2023.
To learn about where each organization will be focusing the grant dollars and for more information on the grant cycles, visit packers.com/foundation and navigate to Project/Program Focus Area.
According to materials supplied by the Packers Foundation, the Colonial Club will use its grant for the Colonial Club’s building improvement project, while Shelter from the Storm Ministries plans to use its grant for the SFTSM Opportunity Coach Program, class fees and materials in addition to a loaned computer laptop for clients continuing their education classes.
Specific project/program focus areas by year for the 2020-22 three-year cycle include:
2020 – elderly, homelessness, human services, hunger;
2021 – arts and culture, athletics, education; and
2022 – animal welfare, civic and community, environmental, health and wellness (including drug/alcohol and domestic violence).
Organizations that applied for a grant during the 2017 – 2019 three-year cycle will be eligible to apply during the 2020 – 2022 three-year cycle.
Of the foundation’s contributions in 2020, 26 grants – aggregating $114,000 – were awarded to Brown County organizations. Additional grants, totaling $886,000, were made to 211 other groups around the state.
The foundation now has distributed more than $14.43 million for charitable purposes since it was established in 1986 by Judge Robert J. Parins, then president of the Packers Corporation, “as a vehicle to assure continued contributions to charity.”
Additionally, under the Packers Scholarship Program established in 2002, $53,000 was awarded – $26,500 to Scholarships Inc., for distribution to students in four-year colleges, and $26,500 to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) – for distribution to students in two-year associate degree or apprenticeship trades programs.
A portion of the scholarship funds come from National Football League Properties which, at the Packers’ request, returns to the Foundation royalty fees paid for using the Packers logo on Wisconsin automobile license plates.
Because the royalties do not fully cover the scholarships, the Green Bay Packers fund the remainder of the amount, a figure which totals $401,000 since 2006. As in recent years, the Packers Foundation will also distribute additional dollars to various NFL Foundation programs later this fall.
The Green Bay Packers Foundation Trustees, in addition to Cardella, include Marcia Anderson, Nancy Armbrust, Susan Finco, Jeffrey Joerres, D.J. Long, Jr., Larry McCarren, Dexter McNabb, Eric Torkelson and Mike Weller. The Green Bay Packers Foundation and its annual grants are part of Green Bay Packers Give Back, the Packers’ all-encompassing community outreach initiative that comprises appearances made by players, alumni, coaches and staff, football outreach, cash and in-kind donations, Make-A-Wish visits and community events.
Overall, including $500,000 in impact grants to groups in Milwaukee County and Brown County for COVID-19 relief and $250,000 awarded to Give BIG Green Bay, $1.75 million has been awarded through Packers Foundation impact grants this year.
The $1.75 million awarded through the Packers Foundation this year adds to several notable donations given this year through Packers Give Back, the organization’s all-encompassing community outreach initiative, to help those impacted by the pandemic and to address social justice concerns.
In total, including the Packers Foundation annual grants and various other Packers Give Back donations, the Packers organization has awarded $4 million in grants to nonprofit organizations thus far in 2020.