In the 1950’s the Club was concerned about affordable housing for seniors and worked to build Zonta Manor, a $1.3 million passive solar apartment building on East Cambridge Ave. designed by a female engineer, one of our own members!  Due to a need experienced by the Club while raising funds for Zonta Manor, the Zonta Foundation, Inc. was established – On January 25, 1957.  This is the charitable arm of the club. All members of the Club are members of Zonta Foundation, Inc.

The Foundation of the Zonta Club of Milwaukee, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, exists to raise and disburse funds.  One third of funds raised are used to support Zonta International Service Projects in several parts of the world.  Two thirds of funds raised remain in the greater Milwaukee area and have been used to help other 501 (c) 3 non-profit agencies such as women’s shelters and transitional housing.  It has also supported programs to mentor young girls and to prevent violence against women.  Grants given range from $1,000—$3,000 and can be applied to programs for one to three years.  Grantees are asked to provide an annual mid-year review of the program or project being funded.

Thus, funding decisions are based on an agency’s non-profit status and its focus on improving the lives of women and girls, especially as it relates to violence prevention and education in the greater Milwaukee area.

The Board is soliciting requests from agencies starting May 2023, with due date July 15, 2023. The Board will review and make decisions by August/September timeframe. Awards will be given at the Zonta Fashion Show Fundraiser scheduled for October 21, 2023. 

The 2023 Application for funding is now available. 


Recent Fundraising History

Fashion Shows: 

2003 Spring   $15,286.00
2004 Spring   $15,162.00
2005 Spring   $13,929.00
2006 Spring   $19,345.00
2007 Spring   $18,501.46
2008 Spring   $16,044.23
2009 Spring   $14,076.63
2010 Spring   $14,591.63
2011 Spring   $21,117.00
2012 Spring   $20,155.00
2013 Spring   $19,412.00
2014 Spring   $21,700.00
2015 Spring   $22,300.00
2016 Spring   $23,300.00
2017 Spring   $26,458.00
2018 Spring   $27,045.00
2019 Spring   $27,000.00
2005   $225.00
2006   $1,025.00
2007   $4.430.00
2008   $2,770.00
2009   $900.00
2010   $1,500.00
2011   $1,625.00
2012   $2,325.00
2013   $1,500.00
2014   $5,000.00
2015   $3,000.00
2016   $3,500.00
2017   $3,000.00
2018   $2,000.00
Local Service Projects (not including in-kind):    
2008   $1,222.48
2010   $969.00
2011   $350.00
2012   $787.00
2013   $100.00
2014   $1,250.00
2015   $850.00
2016   $990.00


  • Tax Exempt Status:

The Foundation is classified as a 501(c) 3 organization under the US Internal Revenue Service rules which allows donations to be tax deductible.

  • Financial:

The Foundation’s budget is kept separate from the club’s operating budget.  The Foundation accepts donations and bequests and considers suggestions from members for charitable donations and financial support. It is guided in its activities by documents currently in place with regard to its mission and investment policy.  Members can be assured that Board members are credible and that all monies raised will go to support that mission.

Agencies receiving funding from Zonta Foundation in 2022 

Exploit No More Freedom House

Exploit No More serves adult female survivors of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, offering a safe and dignified space and time and means to heal. It is a 6-month program serving 10-16 clients per year, offering survivors of sex trafficking access to resources to meet basic needs (food, showers, beds, laundry services, computers/ internet, phone, personal care items) as well as a trauma- informed approach for physical and emotional healing. The grant from Zonta Foundation will help them continue to support the Freedom House 24/7 operations. Zonta Milwaukee Foundation has been following this program’s development for over a year and is very impressed with their progress.

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition Our Peaceful Home Youth Leadership Program

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition (MMWC) Our Peaceful Home is a program for young Muslim women and girls who have experienced trauma. It  addresses issues of identity, self- esteem, and emotions such as anger and sadness in a practical, culturally specific, and culturally relevant manner. Services include workshops held over six to eight weeks, therapist-facilitated healing circles and circles of support. Youth learn the characteristics of healthy relationships and, with therapist help, acquire tools to overcome personal challenges. The program serves 25-30 youth annually. MMWC is the only organization in Wisconsin that provides culturally specific domestic violence programming for Muslim women.

Sojourner Healing Services

Sojourner advocates work one-one with clients to develop Healing Plans: how clients are hoping to heal, grow, or move forward. With a mission to transform lives impacted by domestic violence, Sojourner’s first priority is to address the immediate safety concerns of clients. Once a client is safe, life skills and healing plan programming is integrated into conversations. Advocates support clients to explore their passions and goals and identify ways to achieve those goals and address any challenges that may arise. A wide variety of programming options within Hope and Healing ensure that women are empowered to embark on a path that includes goal setting, support groups, job readiness training, ­financial empowerment, basic adult education and literacy, higher education and scholarship assistance, and professional and leadership training.

CORE/El Centro Trauma and Healing Services

CORE El Centro offers healing services for all women no matter what their economic status, cultural background or religious belief, by providing natural healing therapies to integrate body, mind and spirit in a culturally sensitive environment. The Trauma & Healing Program is a collaborative venture with their on-site partner, The Healing Center, which o­ffers adult sexual abuse survivors and their loved one’s opportunities for healing and wholeness by providing support and counseling, advocacy and community education. CORE/El Centro’s bodywork services and movement classes o­ffer women a chance to reconnect with their sense of self, their soul, and their sacred power.

The Women’s Center Waukesha

For 40 years, The Women’s Center has provided safety, shelter, and support to adults and children affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and tra­fficking. The Employment & Life Skills Program promotes self-su­fficiency and addresses practical barriers to independence. Clients learn about job opportunities, careers that pay family supporting wages, the job search process, and coping skills to manage multiple roles. The program also offers job-readiness coaching, career development, job seeking assistance, mock interviews, mentoring opportunities, and transportation to career fairs and interviews. Life skills education helps women develop financial goals, create and maintain a budget, find affordable and safe housing, and understand health and wellness through nutrition education.

Milwaukee Women’s Center Emergency Shelter

Milwaukee Women’s Center, A Division of Community Advocates provides innovative, culturally competent holistic care that empowers individuals and families to live safe, independent and healthy lives that is free from domestic violent, addiction and trauma. The Emergency Shelter program serves women and children effected by domestic violence. The shelter provides safe housing while offering counseling, support groups, safety planning and comprehensive case management services to address housing and other basic needs. The children participate in age-appropriate trauma-informed programming to increase awareness, prevent the cycle of domestic violence and increase their self-esteem.

Franciscan Peacemakers Social Enterprise

Franciscan Peacemakers Social Enterprise (SE) program provides employment training to women who are survivors of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. Participants earn a living wage and learn skills (manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales and administration) that are transferable to the job market at completion of the program. This program empowers women by giving them control over their ability to earn income in an appropriate, safe and well-paid manner. The SE manufactures a line of all-natural bath and body products that are hand made with all natural ingredients.

Many of the agencies that received funding in the past:

  • All Saints Catholic Church B.A.G.S. Program
  • Alverno College
  • Baird Day Care Center
  • Benedict Center for Criminal Justice, Inc.
  • Bottomless Closet
  • Broadscope Disability Services
  • Casa Maria
  • Center for Deaf Blind Persons
  • CORE/El Centro
  • Daystar, Inc.
  • Family House, Inc.
  • HeartLove Place
  • Hope House
  • House of Peace
  • Intercession, Inc.
  • Journey House
  • Joy House
  • Know Thyself
  • La Farge Lifelong Training Institute of Milwaukee
  • Laubach Literacy Center
  • Literacy Services of Wisconsin, Inc.
  • Mental Health Association in Milwaukee County
  • Meta House
  • Milwaukee Women’s Center
  • My Home/Your Home
  • Neu-Life Community Resource Center
  • Our Next Generation
  • Penfield Children’s Center
  • Pearls for Teen Girls
  • Salvation Army
  • Scott Christian Center
  • Second Harvest
  • Shade Tree Resource Center
  • Sojourner Family Peace Center
  • Spanish Speaking Council
  • St. Anthony Hospital (Substance Abuse Program)
  • St. Catherine Residence
  • St. Gall Adult Learning Center
  • St. Mark AME Church, Quality of Life Center, ABE Program
  • Struggles of Survival Center
  • Task Force on Domestic Violence
  • The Mary Bethune Reading Academy
  • The Women’s Center – Waukesha
  • Volunteer Services for the Visually Handicapped
  • War Memorial Center
  • Women’s Resource Center – Racine
  • You Can Say Yes, You Can Say No

Contact the Foundation at