The following guidelines can help you understand Northwestern Mutual Foundation's funding focus and navigate the grant application process.
This fiscal year, we will be accepting proposals for only two areas of focus: Third Grade Reading and Neighborhoods, specifically projects serving Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way.
The Third Grade Reading Initiative
We know that children who are not proficient readers by third grade have poor long-term outcomes, both in school and beyond. We also know that the prosperity of all Americans is dependent on the nation cultivating a future workforce that is highly literate, knowledgeable, and skilled. That said, more than 84 percent of Milwaukee third graders are not proficient in reading, which poses a long-term problem for the state of innovation, employment and overall progress in our city.
Milwaukee Neighborhood Scholarship Program
To encourage more Milwaukee-area students to pursue and succeed in higher education, Northwestern Mutual awards grants to support scholarship opportunities for first generation college students. The company matches each scholarship recipient with an employee volunteer mentor to help the student succeed both in school and in making the transition to a career. Access program guidelines and application form.
The Northwestern Mutual Foundation has supported the nonprofit Dominican Center as it works with residents to solve problems affecting education, health, housing, safety and employment. The support is part of an outreach by Northwestern Mutual to create welcoming, safe and healthy neighborhoods for more than 70,000 residents in three Milwaukee neighborhoods, Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way.
Making Milwaukee a Great Destination
The Northwestern Mutual Foundation supports attractions and events in Greater Milwaukee that make the city a destination where employees want to live, work and play. Organizations may apply for funding by invitation only.
Northwestern Mutual partners with organizations which have a tax‐exempt classification under 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. We do not make grants to organizations that advocate, support, or practice activities inconsistent with Northwestern Mutual's non‐discrimination policies, whether based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran.
In addition, an organization is required to be:
A U.S.-based organization
Located in and/or serving clients in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a preference towards serving clients in our targeted neighborhoods of Amani, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way
What we don't fund:
Organizations that are not tax-exempt under paragraph 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Code
Individuals, for any purpose
Nonprofit organizations located outside of the U.S. and those that primarily serve clients located outside of the U.S.
Grants that would represent more than 10 percent of a nonprofit organization's annual operating budget
Endowment, debt-reduction or debt-retirement campaigns
Capital campaigns, unless invited to apply by Foundation leadership based on our philanthropic interests and priorities
Groups or organizations that will re-grant Foundation support to other organizations or individuals (except for those approved on an exception-only basis)
Schools or community athletic events or teams, bands or choirs (including requests for equipment, uniforms, travel and any requests for in-kind donations to support special events)
Labor, religious or fraternal groups that do not provide services to the community at large
Organizations that do not align with Northwestern Mutual's non-discrimination policy as provided above
- The Foundation's deadlines for fiscal year 2017 are as follows:
- Letters of Inquiry (New Grantees Only) – October 17, 2016
- Stage 2 Applications (New Grantees) and Invitation for Existing Partners: January 6, 2017
No late applications will be accepted. Our fiscal year 2017 began July 1, 2016 and continues through June 30, 2017.
- All Letters of Inquiry/applications are to be submitted online using the online system.ACCESS YOUR ACCOUNT
- Access your account to do any of the following:
- Return to an application you have saved but not submitted
- Access record of your previous submissions
- Access requirement forms
How to Apply Online
Step 1: Read the background materials provided by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation
Please visit www.nmfoundation.com to review the Northwestern Mutual Foundation's giving strategies and focus areas. Reading this content will help you determine whether or not your organization is a potential fit for funding. The FAQ tab above provides further information about the electronic application process. If you have any questions that are not addressed in these documents, please contact us.
Step 2: Complete the application
Our online system is designed to make the application process as easy as possible for our nonprofit partners while still obtaining all of the information that is essential to us during our review. Please note: There are separate applications for grants and event/table sponsorships.
How to apply for a grant:
Submit an online Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to provide an overview of your project and explain how it will make a significant, lasting impact on third grade reading or on our targeted neighborhood outcomes.
- The link for the LOI will be available on September 15 and the deadline to submit your LOI is October 17, 2016. Existing nonprofit partners will be invited to submit a single stage grant application, which will be open on November 16 with a deadline to submit of January 6, 2017.
- If your project is selected for further consideration, you'll be asked to submit a more comprehensive grant application. Grants are usually announced three to four months after a completed grant application is submitted.
Funding for events and table sponsorships:
For fiscal year 2017, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is funding events on an invitation-only basis. (We've already contacted organizations we intend to support this fiscal year.)
Step 3: Review process
Once we have received your application in full, the program officer assigned to review your application will be in touch with your organization for follow up should the need arise. Within 60 days of deadline, we will either request a full proposal, ask for additional information, or send notification that we are unable to fund your request.
How can my organization apply for a grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation?
You may submit your grant application electronically through our Web site (www.nmfoundation.com)
How do I apply online?
To apply online, click the “Submitting Your Application” tab on our Web site, choose the correct application for your request and follow the instructions provided. To expedite the process, it is helpful to type answers to the application questions into a word processing document, and then copy and paste the responses into the appropriate sections of the online application.
The person who set up my organization's online account no longer works here. Should I create a new account?
No. If you still have access to the old login information, please use it to sign into your organization's account, and click “Change my E-Mail/Password” to update the account information. In the event that the login information is unavailable, please contact the Foundation at (414) 665-2200 for assistance.
I clicked the “Forgot Password?” link but did not receive a message from the system.
The system will only e-mail temporary passwords to users who have created an account in the past. If you do not receive a message, you may create a new account.