Wisconsin Grant Guidelines

We appreciate your interest in Wells Fargo's philanthropic goals and objectives. At Wells Fargo, we believe that grant-making decisions are more effective when made locally. That's why Wells Fargo is actively involved in the communities where we live and work, and why our team members are leaders in helping our communities succeed.

Wells Fargo is proud to support organizations that work to strengthen our communities. We look for projects that keep our communities strong, diverse, and vibrant. Our first priority is to support programs and organizations whose chief purpose is to benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and families.

Greater Wisconsin

Community Development

We support the improvement of low- and moderate-income communities through programs that:

  • Create and sustain affordable housing
  • Promote economic development
  • Provide financial education and promote economic empowerment
  • Provide job training and workforce development
  • Revitalize and stabilize communities 

Education

Wells Fargo accepts requests for financial support of nonprofits whose primary focus is to help educational institutions. The primary focus of grant requests should be to promote academic achievement for low- and moderate-income students. We will also consider requests that provide GED and ESL programs.

As part of our commitment to financial literacy Wells Fargo has developed Hands on Banking® / El Futuro en Tus Manos®, a comprehensive modular curriculum targeting age groups ranging from grade 4 to senior citizens.

Human Services

Wells Fargo is committed to supporting social and human service organizations whose work chiefly benefits low- and moderate-income individuals. These organizations may be involved in a variety of areas, including: 

  • Addressing critical needs such as hunger and homelessness
  • Enable and sustain independence for individuals and families
  • Provide access to community services

Arts and Culture

Wells Fargo will consider requests from organizations that work to enhance community diversity through: 

  • Access to cultural experiences for low- and moderate-income individuals
  • Availability of a broad array of artistic opportunities and venues that reflect the community’s diversity

Greater Milwaukee

We make grants in the following areas:

Community Development

Wells Fargo supports organizations that:

  • Provide support that responds to foreclosure, rehabilitation, affordable housing (including rent) and neighborhood blight
  • Small business development in minority/low income areas
  • Programming that promotes adult job readiness and skills development and literacy

Education

Wells Fargo supports organizations that:

  • Enhance youth literacy (k4 – 3rd grade) for students living in low-to-moderate income communities
  • Mentoring programs that work to increase high school graduation rates
  • Mentoring programs that prepare youth for success in post-secondary educational opportunities, trade schools, apprenticeships or technical college

Human Services

Wells Fargo is committed to supporting local social service organizations whose work chiefly benefits low- and moderate-income individuals in the following areas:

  • Initiatives that improve early childhood development
  • Addresses issues that impact food security
  • Assist our local veterans through various means

Arts and Culture

Wells Fargo is committed to supporting local arts and culture organizations that help make the Greater Milwaukee area such a vibrant and unique city to live and visit. Based on our current levels of support within this focus area, we are not accepting any new requests from arts and culture organizations at this time.

Wells Fargo makes contributions to organizations with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, as well as qualified tribal and governmental agencies.

Please note that Wells Fargo is unable to consider grants for the following:

  • Advertising and promotional items
  • Animal related causes
  • Capital campaigns
  • Endowments
  • For-profit entities including start-up businesses
  • Hospitals 
  • Individual higher education institutions 
  • Individuals, including scholarship or fellowship assistance 
  • International organizations 
  • Marketing activities 
  • Political, labor, religious or fraternal activities 
  • Publications, films or production underwriting 
  • Purchase of tables/tickets to fundraising events 
  • Recreational programs 
  • Single disease issues 
  • Sports/athletic group activities 
  • Start-up funding for new organizations 
  • Travel, including student trips 
  • Vehicles 
  • Video or film production, including documentaries

Please view the guidelines for your region:

Milwaukee

If your organization meets Wells Fargo’s eligibility requirements and fits our giving priorities, we encourage you to proceed with our online application. Applications are accepted throughout the year but only reviewed in January, April, July and October.

Apply Now

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Ruehl, VP/Community Affairs Officer
Wells Fargo Community Relations
100 E Wisconsin Ave, 12th Floor, Suite 1200
Milwaukee, WI 53202-4107
MAC N9811-121
(414) 224-7485
andrew.ruehl@wellsfargo.com 

All other Areas

If your organization meets Wells Fargo’s eligibility requirements and fits our giving priorities, we encourage you to proceed with our online application. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Apply Now

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Ruehl, VP/Community Affairs Officer
Wells Fargo Community Relations
100 E Wisconsin Ave, 12th Floor, Suite 1200
Milwaukee, WI 53202-4107
MAC N9811-121
(414) 224-7485
andrew.ruehl@wellsfargo.com

How do you define “low- and moderate-income” individuals and families.

“Low- and moderate-income” is defined as income less than 80 percent of the area median income for the community served.

How long does it take for a proposal to be reviewed?

Grant applications are reviewed throughout the calendar year. You will typically be notified of our decision no later than 60 days after we receive your fully completed application. Applications received between October 1 and December 31 may not be reviewed until the first quarter of the next year.

May I fax or e-mail the grant request to you?

No, we ask that you apply by using our online application process.

May I call during the review period to check on our application status?

We respectfully request that you wait 60 days after your fully completed application has been submitted before calling to check on its status. In most cases, you will have heard from us within that period.

Will someone from Wells Fargo make a site visit to our organization?

Due to the volume of requests we receive, it is not always possible to personally visit each organization. When we do make site visits, they are only to organizations that have submitted complete requests or those we have previously funded.

If we are declined, may we reapply?

Wells Fargo receives far more grant requests from worthy organizations than we can support. You are welcome to reapply the following year.

When can we expect to receive a check if we are approved?

A check is normally sent within 30 days of approval.