The Professional Dimensions Charitable Fund was formed as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1985 to serve as the charitable, tax-exempt arm of the organization. A separate Charitable Fund board of directors, which reports to the Professional Dimensions board, also was established. From 1986 to 1991, the Charitable Fund awarded college scholarships to economically disadvantaged women and small grants to a variety of nonprofit organizations in Milwaukee.
In 1992, the fund shifted its focus to concentrate on supporting local organizations that foster the self-sufficiency of women and girls. The biennial selection of a Charitable Fund project was developed as a way to strengthen a high-performing or high-potential initiative by infusing both volunteer time and financial support over a two-year period. At the same time, it gives members an opportunity to work together toward helping individuals and organizations in Milwaukee.
Past beneficiary organizations have included:
Reimagining the Signature Project
In 2022-2023, PDCF embarked on a reimagining process to update the signature project. While it is important to respect the rich history and impact of past Signature Projects, it became clear that evolution was needed, especially centering equity and inclusion and incorporating updated philanthropic best practices.
Based on significant feedback and input from community partners and PD members, the reimagining process aims to move from a donor-centric model of philanthropy to a more community-centric, donor-consulted model. Changes include:
1) Application and review process significantly simplified to lessen burden on community organization and co-champions and respect the time and energy it takes to apply for the grant.
2) Community organization requirements to engage with PD now more open, flexible and less prescriptive. Co-champions and community partners co-create the best partnership and ensure community organizations needs are prioritized over PD volunteer needs.
3) PDCF now strongly encouraging PD members to submit applications on behalf of nonprofits they partner with in a meaningful way, in order to promote stronger, more sustainable collaboration.
4) Community organizations no longer need to be explicitly serving only women and girls, organizations are able to receive grants if their work meaningfully impacts women and girls. Additionally, grants need not support a specific project but can have broader purposes.
5) PDCF commits to continue building on this reimagining and revisiting the strategic plan.
PDCF would like to share immense gratitude for members of the reimagining committee that engaged with this work thoughtfully, and with community in mind. Thank you to: Fiesha Bell, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Tammy Belton-Davis, Athena Communications, Wendy Cozzens, Make A Wish, Erica Gumieny, Chair of PDCF, Lauren Feaster, Professional Dimensions, Jenny Richards, Pratt Richards Group, and Rebecca Stoner, Vice Chair of PDCF.
CLICK HERE TO APPLY for the 2023-2024 Signature Project
For more information on the Reimagining Process, CLICK HERE