(920) 921-2215
384 N. Main Street - Suite 4Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Fond du Lac Area Foundation …
For Good For Ever!

In 2011, the Fond du Lac Area Foundation awarded 442 grants totaling $800,000.  In 1975, the Foundation was able to award only one grant for $350.  Through the years more and more local people learned about the opportunity the Fond du Lac Area Foundation provided in helping them establish charitable endowment funds that would stay right here, to benefit our own community.  Thanks to the generosity of thousands of local donors throughout the years, the Fond du Lac Area Foundation has now awarded more than $10.8 million dollars in the form of grants to the Fond du Lac community.

Our community is so fortunate, that Carl Tonjes and the founding board of directors recognized the value a growing endowment could provide.  Endowment was emphasized throughout the years.  Unlike many community foundations in the country that have mostly non-endowed funds, more than 95% of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation’s funds are endowed.  What does that mean to our community?  It means that the Fond du Lac Area Foundation will be here forever.  It means that every year, under normal market circumstances, the amount of money that will be reinvested back into the community will continue to grow, even if no one else would ever add to it.  It means that the Fond du Lac Area Foundation will be able to provide greater and greater benefit to this wonderful community we call home.

The Fond du Lac Area Foundation currently has 270 component funds.  The Foundation provides donors with a variety of different fund types to choose from and can work with donors to help them decide the best areas for their fund to benefit.  These were all started by people with a charitable dream and who were able to see that dream become a reality with the Foundation.  These funds can be started with as little as $1,000.  These funds are a great way to leave a legacy for a family member or a loved one.  Whether you want to give a gift, start a fund, or even volunteer with the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, your support and generosity have allowed the Foundation to not only survive for the last 36 years, but also to thrive.  The Fond du Lac Area Foundation will continue to follow its mission of creating a better community by promoting philanthropy, awarding effective grants, and providing leadership on important community issues … today & forever.

— Joseph J. Braun, Director of Development

2011 Fond du Lac Area Foundation Fast Facts

  • Founded in 1975, the Fond du Lac Area Foundation began with one fund of $50,000 from the sale of the Children’s Home.  The Foundation received 10 new funds in 2011 from local donors to bring our total to 270.
  • With the income the Foundation derives from our endowment funds, the Foundation has steadily been able to increase the number and amount of grants it awards to community groups and organizations each year. In 2011, the Foundation awarded 442 grants totaling more than $800,000. There were also 170 college scholarships awarded totaling more than $159,000 to area students.
  • The Foundation acts in many capacities. In addition to making grants to area nonprofit organizations, the Foundation leads initiatives, convenes groups of organizations to address community issues, advocates for change, helps to leverage other sources of funding, and provides expertise and assistance to area organizations.
  • The Foundation’s impact is broad, benefiting the community in the arts, education, environment, health, human service, and a variety of forms of community development. This broad focus and flexibility allows the Foundation to honor the intentions of generations of donors to have significant impact in our current community.
  • The Fond du Lac Area Foundation is governed by a 12-member volunteer board of directors who each are eligible to serve two three-year terms.
  • Current Board Members serving as volunteers to the Fond du Lac Area Foundation are Chair- Steve Millin, Vice-Chair Tom Herre, Treasurer Steve Franke, Secretary Steve Peterson, Steve Cramer, Carol Hyland, Pat Miller, Paul Rosenfeldt, Vikki Sadoff, Mimi Sager, Jack Twohig, and Scott Wittchow.
  • The Fond du Lac Area Foundation is served by employees, Sandi Roehrig, Joe Braun, Sue Steinbarth, and Jenny Zacherl.  The staff has a combined 49 years of community foundation service experience.
  • The Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. has undertaken an effort for the development, promotion, and implementation of National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.  Executive Director, Sandi Roehrig, has been honored by the Council on Foundations with her selection to serve as a member of the national committee of peer reviewers.
  • The Foundation’s unrestricted funds continue to be our most flexible resource in providing funding for innovative projects that help to make our community a better place to live, work and grow.  Through the generosity of our donors, over $125,000 was awarded this year to organizations and programs that enrich our community in the areas of Social Services, Heath, the Arts, the Environment, and Education through our Unrestricted Funds.
  • The Foundation held its seventh annual dinner in October and awarded its “Legacy” awards for outstanding philanthropy to Joe and Dawn Colwin/Mid-States Aluminum and AAUW- Fond du Lac Branch.
  • The Sophia Foundation, our first Supporting Organization, established by Virginia Duncan Gilmore provides a focus on Caring Community.
  • The Oakfield Community Fund is a field of interest fund that serves the Oakfield area.  Citizens of the Oakfield area have been building up an endowment that will:  Provide a base organization to coordinate support for education and the arts beyond the traditional school district budgets, encourage and increase local business, civic, private sector, and individual support within our school and community, encourage and recognize student and teacher achievement in our schools, encourage innovation and life-long learning for community members of all ages, and support the use of the most recent technologies in teaching and learning.
  • The Woman’s Fund of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation is working toward a goal of 1 million dollars.  The Woman’s Fund is governed by a board of 21 volunteer women whose goal is to affect positive change in the lives of women by developing and providing funding, engaging women in philanthropy, and creating understanding of the strengths and challenges of women in our community.