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The UW Arboretum’s Visitor Center (formerly called the McKay Center) is pictured in an aerial view of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus during an autumn sunset on Oct. 5, 2011. The photograph was made from a helicopter looking northeast. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

General Guidelines

The Oscar Rennebohm Foundation (ORF) accepts grant applications only from Madison, Wisconsin area/Dane County public charitable organizations recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service under IRC section 501(c)(3), and under sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2).

Grants may be submitted at any time throughout the year.

If your organization has been awarded a grant, you will be required to submit a final grant report generally within six months after the completion of the grant period.

The Application Process

  • Review the specific grant guidelines—see “Funding Requirements”—to determine if your organization is eligible and whether your program/project qualifies under the guidelines.
  • If you qualify, please submit a Letter of Inquiry to the ORF. Your Letter may be submitted electronically or by standard mail to Oscar Rennebohm Foundation Inc. P. O. Box 5187 Madison WI 53705-0187. The Letter of Inquiry must include basic information about your organization and your program, project or campaign. The Letter should include the name(s) of the program or project leader(s) and contact information, goal, budget estimate, projected timeline, audience served or benefiting, and any previous grant funding. ORF may ask for an in-person or phone interview or a site visit to gather additional information, which will be included with the Letter of Inquiry for review when ORF makes its final decision.
  • ORF reviews every Letter of Inquiry submitted several times throughout the year.
    • If you do not qualify under the guidelines, you will be notified by phone or letter immediately.
    • If your grant application is approved, you will be notified immediately in writing of the grant amount, number of payments and expected payment date(s). The ORF board, or subcommittee, may approve a grant with a change to the grant amount or timing of the award to meet ORF financial obligations.
    • A grant may receive tentative approval upon review of additional information by the ORF board, or subcommittee, and the grant may ultimately be denied.
  • When you receive your grant, please submit to ORF a letter of acknowledgement as required by the IRS confirming receipt of the grant, your 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and that the grant is tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
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ORF Funding Focus

The primary mission of the ORF is to provide funding to organizations for both programs or building projects that will positively impact lives with primary focus on:

  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Human Services/Community Welfare
  • Research

ORF generally does not provide funding for:

  • Grants to individuals
  • Raffle tickets, door prizes or table sponsorships
  • Youth/adult sports programs and school activities such as teams, booster clubs, golf outings, extracurricular activities
  • Endowments
  • Political action committees or lobbying efforts
  • Organizations not granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status
  • Arts organizations except on a case-by-case basis

If you have questions about the grant process or whether your organization or project is eligible, please contact the ORF. You will receive a response via email.

Email messages and any documents attached thereto received from Oscar Rennebohm Foundation are not intended to constitute a notice of award. They do not confer any rights on the recipient nor any obligations on the sender to an award, grant, or other monetary obligation from Oscar Rennebohm Foundation, Inc. If you have been granted an award, Oscar Rennebohm Foundation, Inc. will send notice by a separate, clear, and unambiguous communication.

Phone: 608.492.4282


PO Box 5187 | Madison, Wisconsin 53705-0187

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