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 April 2024, with due date July 1, 2024. The Board will review and make decisions by August/September timeframe. Awards will be given at the Zonta Fashion Show Fundraiser scheduled for October 19, 2024. 

The 2024 Application for funding is now available. 



  • 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 2023


Total Local Grants: $22,000

Exploit No More Freedom House $5,000

Exploit No More’s mission is to respond to the impact of sex trafficking through community education, housing, and supportive services. Exploit No More’s vision is to be dedicated to seeing all survivors of sex trafficking treated with dignity and have access to safe housing, supportive services, and the ability to move forward to work toward their goals. Funds from the Zonta Foundation will help them continue their 24/7 operations of Freedom House, a remodeled apartment building that provides a warm and safe bedroom to sleep in, good food to eat, a hot shower, laundry, personal care items, and individualized case management services. Guests at Freedom House regularly say that staying there and benefitting from the services “saved their life.”

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition $4,000

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition’s mission is to lead positive community change through advocacy, dialogue, education, and outreach, using faith-based values to ensure dignity and equity for all. Their vision is a world that nurtures women and girls and empowers them to reach their fullest potential. Funds from the Zonta Foundation will support their Girls Hoops Club, an important addition to their Youth Leadership Program. Sports participation is known to increase confidence, improve health, and enhance academic success. The Girls Hoops Club will further support the mental health and physical well-being of Muslim girls and young women who are part of Milwaukee’s immigrant and refugee communities.

Sojourner Family Peace Center $3,000

Sojourner Family Peace Center’s mission is to transform lives impacted by domestic violence. Their core program areas focus on crisis response, systems advocacy, and healing services. They strive to ensure the safety of survivors of domestic violence and provide a pathway out through opportunities to make positive and lasting changes for survivors and their children. Funds from the Zonta Foundation will support their Healing Services, which provides resources, support, and assistance to achieve personal goals and self-sufficiency. Specialized programming is designed for children and teens who have witnessed family violence. Healing Services offers referrals to survivors in many forms related to education, employment, financial empowerment, and wellness.

Core El Centro $3,000

CORE El Centro’s mission is to enhance the health and wellness of our communities by offering integrative natural health services focused on empowerment, healing, safety, and reducing barriers to access. CORE El Centro is a grass-roots organization by and for Latinx women and families in Milwaukee’s nature-deprived, low-income, underserved neighborhoods. Low-income and minority communities in Milwaukee experience systemic inequities in health care, higher exposure to health threats, and worse health outcomes. Funds from the Zonta Foundation will support women in low-income households accessing an array of Trauma & Healing services, including holistic natural therapies, health navigation, and health and wellness education and fitness classes.       

Milwaukee Women’s Center $3,000

The Milwaukee Women’s Center’s mission is to provide innovative, culturally competent, holistic care. The agency’s vision is to serve and support individuals and families so they can live their lives free from domestic violence, addiction, and trauma. Funds from the Zonta Foundation will support the Domestic Violence Emergency Shelter Program serving women and their children who have been affected by domestic violence in Milwaukee County. The Shelter provides safe housing and supportive services, including counseling and support groups, safety planning, and comprehensive case management to address housing and other basic needs. In addition, children participate in age-appropriate trauma-informed programming to increase their awareness, prevent the cycle of domestic violence, and to increase their safety planning and self-esteem.        

The Cathedral Center $3,000

The Cathedral Center’s mission is to provide a safe environment for women and families while working to end homelessness–one life at a time. Funds from the Zonta Foundation will support their employment program called the Women’s Independence Program (WIP). Its purpose is to empower women and parents who are facing a housing crisis to achieve their fullest potential. WIP weaves professional case management, a stable and supportive living environment, courses on work readiness and personal growth, meaningful incentives, and access to a network of actively engaged employer partners. With a focus on employment, WIP is designed to improve the economic status of women, resulting in increased income, long-term independence, and financial stability.

Awesome Young Authors $1,000

Awesome Young Authors has a mission to empower and encourage children in their literacy and literary journey by providing various programs and initiatives. They believe that education can be a powerful catalyst for change. Their Empowerment Through Education Program aims to provide women and girls with access to quality education and development opportunities to overcome barriers, gain independence, and contribute to the socio-economic development of their communities. Funds from the Zonta Foundation will improve the Program by expanding outreach and providing scholarships, improving the quality of educational resources, training materials, and facilities, and forging new partnerships with schools, vocational training centers, and community organizations.

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

Past 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

Contact the Foundation at