The Helen Bader Foundation has been helping organizations change lives by
awarding grants since 1992.

A Message from Daniel J. Bader

President/CEO, Helen Bader Foundation

When it comes to addressing our shared social needs, it takes just one person to spark an idea.

What happens after that, depends on all of us. It takes solid organizations and institutions to put the idea into action, and help it go beyond any one individual. When we take it to the next level and when organizations work together, the impact of that one idea can spread into a movement.

From spark to staying power

At the Helen Bader Foundation, we believe that strong partnerships – among individuals, organizations, and their communities – are what it takes to create tremendous results. For two decades, we have been a conduit of these ideas, and we’re always excited to see when or where the next pivotal one will appear. 

We welcome the opportunity to look at challenging ideas. We can take risks, be patient, and watch the results. And at times, those results have been remarkable.

From immediate need to lasting change

As a philanthropic partner, we aim to keep ahead of the issues shaping our communities:

  • Just as the Baby Boom generation enters the years of life when memory loss becomes a worry, we have built a network to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Even as the economy has slumped, we have strengthened youth programming to provide needed inspiration to children in Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods.
  • Just as pockets of the city face some of the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression, we have created links between nonprofits and industry to close workforce gaps in greater Milwaukee.

Most recently, we have broadened our philanthropic toolbox to include Program Related Investments, an innovative approach to using non-grant dollars to complement our programs, and address social needs in Wisconsin.

Building upon two decades of partnerships

We have long sought to connect our grant partners with each other. Today, the next step is to collaborate with other funders, like us, who can  help build the momentum needed to tackle our toughest problems for the long term.

As we enter our third decade, we look forward to building more of those connections and we hope you will  join us.


Daniel J. Bader