The Zilber Family Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to enhancing the well-being of individuals, families, and communities with a primary emphasis on supporting community-based efforts to revitalize neighborhoods in the city of Milwaukee.
Innovation: The Innovation Fund at the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative supports efforts that demonstrate the benefits of aligning interests in the built environment, open space, food access, physical activity, and health and wellness that are identified as priorities by the people who live and work in two low-income neighborhoods, Lindsay Heights and Clarke Square. Zilber has funded projects that connect access to healthy foods and physical activity to one or more of the following: environmental transformation, policy reformation, and economic and workforce development.
Impact: Innovation Funds prompted Zilber to focus on environmental sustainability and equitable development in ways they otherwise would not have without these resources. Staff has developed expertise on the interrelationships among land use, equitable development, and health and wellness and have sought out and collaborated with other funders, such as the Brico Fund. Zilber is increasing their portfolio in food access and the built environment, asking different questions of partners and grantees, and sharing the Innovation Fund framework with other funders and community organizations. Their grantees have made significant policy and environmental changes for their neighborhoods, built non-traditional community partnerships, and the foundation is supporting a consultant to support all of their grantees in fundraising additional dollars for their work in a way that is collaborative instead of competitive.
Read detailed case study of this effort.