Venture Grants

Since 1987, more than $1,000,000 has been allocated by Great Rivers United Way to non-profit organizations throughout the Coulee Region through Venture Grants.

Venture Grants are one-time, non-renewable funding opportunities available to any 501c3 not-for-profit health and human services agency in our seven-county service region. Funds are typically spent on tangible items or services (like a staff training) that enable an agency to better serve its clients.

70th Anniversary Venture Grants — 2019
In honor of its 70th Anniversary (1949-2019), Great Rivers United Way made $15,000 in Venture Grant funding available in May 2019. Programs applying for this one-time Venture Grant cycle were required to target one or more of the objectives in United Way’s new strategic plan. The following organizations were awarded funds…

Agency Funding Project Description Learn more
1 Brighter Tomorrows $2,000 Survivors Fund Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault often leave unsafe situations with little to no resources. Brighter Tomorrows purchased hygiene items, gas cards, and store vouchers that will help victims get back on their feet and connected to the services they need, supporting Strategic Objectives #2 and #3.
2 Coulee Council on Addictions $750 Outdoor Recovery Program
Many in recovery simply don’t know where to start when discovering a new life free of alcohol and drugs. The Outdoor Recovery Program supports a healthy and socially-connected community (Strategic Objective #3) because it helps participants build healthy relationships and develop healthy coping skills, thus increasing the effectiveness of other recovery services.
3 WAFER Food Pantry $1,549 Floor Cleaner
WAFER staff were using buckets, mops, and good ‘ol fashioned elbow grease to keep their 7,000 sq. ft.+ facility clean. This floor cleans means a safer and more dignified food pantry experience for hundreds of WAFER clients each week. WAFER works daily to stabilize household economic situations (Strategic Objective #2), and access to a variety of foods, including fresh produce from a clean facility, supports a healthy community (Strategic Objective #3).
4 Boys & Girls Club of Sparta $983 Stride Academy Stride Academy is a computer-based tutorial program that diagnoses strengths and skills gaps on Common Core and state standardized testing, adjusting content according to individual learning needs. This grant will allow the Club to purchase additional Chromebook tablets so even more members can participate in the program. Stride Academy positively impacts our youngest community members (Strategic Objective #1) through academic supports.
5 PATCH Coulee Region $1,000 Teen Educators PATCH Coulee Region is an innovative, youth-driven program working to improve adolescent health and well-being. Their Venture Grant will provide stipends for Teen Educators who participate in the program’s training and enrichment process, as economic status is a barrier. By paying Teen Educators for their time and expertise, that barrier is reduced, and further — participation helps young community members become healthy, connected, and productive adults (Strategic Objective #1).

If you have questions about Venture Grants, please contact Liz Evans, Community Impact Director, at (608) 796-1400 or

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