YEARS of philanthropy + love for community
Charting the course
Connection, generosity, and a passion for community are the underlying themes that the Community Foundation’s first-ever CEO, Jenny Riggenbach, brings to her role at the helm of our community’s philanthropic force.
“No matter our circumstances, we all play a role in making central Wisconsin a welcoming place to live. Whether it is our ideas, our connections, our shared generosity, or our pride in this beautiful part of the world, it is the people that make Central Wisconsin special,” commented Riggenbach.
When considering the longevity and growth of the Community Foundation, previous Board of Director leadership recognized the potential to transition from an executive director to a CEO. “We felt the organization had grown over the past several years, and we wanted to recognize the head of our organization as a CEO. This leader is someone who, in addition to directing operations, is focused on the strategic perspective of where we want the organization to go,” explained Sue Shulfer, the Foundation’s Board President during the time Riggenbach was recruited.
“Jenny has a strength in strategic planning, and that is definitely coming out in working with her over the last year,” Shulfer added, “She’s very aware of what’s happening within the community. And she knows how to connect with people no matter how they are coming to the Community Foundation. She’s a community connector.”
A connector, indeed. Bringing people together is a highlight of the role from Riggenbach’s perspective, too. “I am very proud to lead a foundation that continues to bring people together to create opportunities for all in a community that gave me so much,” Riggenbach shared.
A year of celebration and love for community!
For forty years, the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin has been a growing partner of choice for generous donors who care deeply about making a difference in people’s lives and the future of Portage and Waushara counties.
Every day we are inspired by donors who want to learn more about how their generosity can make a difference, the volunteers who bring people together to ensure everyone has access to community treasures like the Green Circle Trail and Schmeecklee Reserve, and the organizations that have entrusted us to help them build their endowments so they may continue to provide important services in our community. We are proud that our expertise and knowledge about our community helps make connections between donors and the important causes that make central Wisconsin a special place.
This year’s annual report celebrates our history and our future. Together we share our community’s progress and continue to address our challenges. Thank you for 40 years of trust and investment. Together we are the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin.Dan Kinsella Jenny Riggenbach 2023 President CEO
Welcome to The Commons!
The Community Foundation’s New Home
The Community Foundation’s chapter has come to an end in the historic space that is 1501 Clark Street. The purpose behind their move is most inspiring – a shared vision called “The Commons” – that will support the growth of philanthropy in our community.
Mark Hilliker, CEO of Inclusa and its subsidiary Annova, acted as one of the visionaries and forces for good behind this opportunity. When Mark and his team at Inclusa heard that Delta Dental was building a new facility, it seemed like the perfect timing to discuss a location where nonprofits could share space, collaborate, and support access to vital community-based services – accompanied by some cost savings.
“We identified a need for local nonprofits to have high-quality, affordable, and collaborative workspaces to conduct their business,” Hilliker explained. “The team at Delta Dental was a great partner in supporting the concept. This project wouldn’t have been possible without their support.”
Serendipitously, the team at Delta Dental shared a passion for a similar concept. Denny Peterson, former President and CEO of Delta Dental commented, “We were thinking about the Hoover space and what we were going to do with it –this seemed like the perfect time to find out whether it was possible to create a nonprofit community center.”
Peterson recalled the impact of Former Delta Dental President and CEO, Dennis Brown, on this coming to fruition. “Dennis acknowledged that nonprofits don’t have a lot of capacity to think about their workspaces. They focus all their energy on programming and fundraising.”
With their new office space underway, the team at Delta wanted to give back to organizations who focus on community need and, as explained by Peterson, “not so much on themselves.”
When the Community Foundation heard of The Commons, they wanted to see what possibilities existed to relocate to a space that would support their needs. It was clear that The Commons would offer a unique opportunity to support the Community Foundation’s role as a convenor and collaborator.
“The Community Foundation’s work truly embodies our mission in partnering with others to build vibrant and inclusive communities – their values align directly with what we hoped to see in the group of nonprofits that would call this space home,” Hilliker explained. “Having the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin in the center will draw people into the facility to see the work being done by this amazing group of organizations.”
Peterson added, “We’ve got one really dynamic Community Foundation in Central Wisconsin. They support so many people; they continue to grow and develop, so it’s a nice thing that they will be front and center in the building.”A shared nonprofit community space catalyzing collaboration
Making Major Impacts
The Major Projects Grant Cycle at the Foundation is a new initiative developed to fund up to one project annually that supports the growth and development of a community project that will have significant impact in Portage or Waushara counties in the range of $25,000 - $50,000.
When evaluating the needs of our community and where significant impact was being made, large, one-time projects impacting both Portage & Waushara counties didn’t fit into the Community Grant guidelines. After thoughtful consideration from the Board, the Foundation created the Major Projects Grant Cycle to better serve our community.
In 2021, the Community Foundation awarded its first Major Project grant to Celebrate Plover. The first grant supported the completion of the Lake Pacawa Park ADA Accessible playground and splash pad.
“I think Lake Pacawa serves as the heart of our community. The park offers accessible fun and outdoor recreation for all ages and abilities. It is a place that can be enjoyed year round and encourages our community members to get outside,” commented Leigh Kraemer, a Steering Committee leader who helped make this vision a reality.
The park transformation includes a splash pad and play area, a pavilion shelter, piers, boat docks, and a paved walking trail around the lake, creating an inclusive play area.
With these renovations, Lake Pacawa Park is proud to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Community Foundation is proud to be among the many that made these additions possible and for the future of our Major Project Grant Cycle program.
Building a Community Foundation Together
In 1982, the Stevens Point Area Foundation was established by a group of local visionaries led by Mark Makholm, Gil Oelke, Jack Butler, John Holdridge, Edie Kraus, Helen Godfrey, Dr. Robert Cooper, and Louis Wysocki. This group’s focus initially was the long-term needs of the Boston School Forest. It became clear that the community would benefit from something broader, leading to the formation of a community foundation with impact that would grow exponentially.
key·stone [kē stōn]
NOUN a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together.
the central principle or part of a policy, system, etc., on which all else depends.
The Foundation was established to meet the needs of our community by helping others, enhancing education, enriching culture, fostering wellness, and improving the environment. Soon after forming the Foundation, outreach began to help donors and organizations understand the value of setting up endowments to reach their longterm charitable goals.
A key turning point came in the 1990s when Ann Shannon was hired as the first Executive Director, and thanks to the thought-leadership and generosity of the Worth Family, the Keystone Fund was established as an endowment to support the Foundation’s operations.
The idea of an operating fund was tremendously forward thinking at the time and has been a key Foundation asset, offering resources to make strategic decisions that contribute to the quality of services, growth and impact. Thanks to stellar volunteer board members, paid leadership, and strategic resources, we will continue to grow impact into the future.
Today, the Foundation is home to 285 funds that support organizations and community treasures, scholarships, and new projects, and is where charitable individuals, families, and businesses make strategic philanthropic decisions. Together, we have awarded an astounding $15.5M in grants and scholarships over the last 40 years.
We invite you to consider a gift into the Keystone Fund or any of the 285 funds at CFCWI. To learn more, visit cfcwi.org/funds.
“It is clear that this was something our community was thirsting for.”
The Stevens Point Area Foundation is established
The Fund One is created to “feed the poor of Portage County”
The first Mission Fund, now known as the Helping People Mission Fund is established
1996 The Stevens Point Area Foundation becomes the Community Foundation of Portage County
The Green Circle Endowment Fund is established 1998
The first Donor Advised Fund is established by the Judd S. Alexander Foundation
2007 The Education Mission Fund is established
The first Scholarship Fund is established in memory of Heidi Evenson
2007 The Education Mission Fund is established 2007 Rosholt Education Fund Scholarships are established
The Foundation expands to include Waushara County and the Foundation changes its name to the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin
The Hartford Waushara County Mission Fund is established by Geraldine E. Hartford
2012 2002 1992 1982 2022
2021 Foundation awards its first Major Project to Celebrate Plover 1996
Ann Shannon is hired as the Foundation’s first Executive Director
The Environmental Mission Fund is established 1997 The Women’s Fund endowment is established
The Worth Family established the Keystone Endowment Fund to support the Foundation’s operations 2000
The Foundation moves to 1501 Clark Street
The Foundation assets reach $3 million with 85 funds under management 2004 The Arts and Culture Mission Fund is established 2005 The Wellness Mission Fund is established 2005
The Foundation is recognized for achieving National Standards for the first time
2021 Jenny Riggenbach is hired as CEO 2008 The Wildrose School District Scholarship Funds are established 2008
The Living Legacy Circle is created to recognize donors who include the foundation in their estate planning
Stevens Point Education Association School District Scholarship Funds were established
The Foundation receives its first multimillion dollar gift from the Arthur E. Heinz Estate
The Almond Bancroft school district moves the Angie Sheldon Memorial Scholarship Fund to the Foundation
The Foundation is recognized as the charitable organization of the year by the Portage County Business Council
From inception, the Foundation has granted $15.5M into the community in grants and scholarships
is the best thing we could give our children—we just wanted them to have the best tools they could have to accomplish what they wanted to do,” Leslie explained.
Leave Your Legacy
Enhance the future of our community with your legacy gift.
A Life Well-LivedJoe DeBauche
of Central Wisconsin and established the Madison School Opportunity Scholarship to provide scholarships to Stevens Point Area Public School graduates who attended Madison Elementary School.
“When Joe made the decision to create this scholarship, the Foundation was the obvious choice for where to house it –especially because the Foundation supports so many other causes we believe in,” Leslie shared. “And the staff were incredibly helpful; they made it so easy for us to make our contribution and for the community to also contribute to the scholarship after Joe passed away in April.”
“Joe was a quiet mentor,” added Leslie. “The scholarship is another one of his quiet ways of providing opportunities for children and their families.” While Joe helped children solve the immediate problems they faced, he also encouraged them to think ahead, to set goals, to aspire.
It was important to him that the scholarship funds be available for a wide range of post-secondary education.
Leslie explained, “Joe realized college was important for some students, but that a professional school or community college might be more useful for others.”Sue Shulfer Announced as Emeritus Board Member
Over the years, the Foundation has honored former board members with Emeritus Board Member Status to those who have made a significant contribution to the Community Foundation.
Sue has provided invaluable leadership to the organization. She has been a sounding board and mentor to staff and her fellow board members. Sue is committed to the foundation growing its role as a convenor and making the foundation welcoming to all. She continues to serve on the DEI committee and is a leading member of the Women’s Fund Strategic Planning Committee. Additionally, Sue has graciously contributed to a variety of Funds at the Foundation over the years.
For a man whose impact is as profound as Joe DeBauche’s, this is quite an accurate notion put forth by his wife and former UWSP film studies professor, Leslie.
Joe’s career in school social work included over 20 years of service to the Stevens Point Area School District. He was passionate about the kids he worked with, and he felt strongly that children’s success relied heavily upon their education, their family, and the resources available in Central Wisconsin.
After he retired, Joe’s desire to foster success in the children he had dedicated his professional life to remained strong. In 2021, he reached out to the Community Foundation
Joe included in his vision for this scholarship special considerations for first generation students and minority students. “Not all families are able to save enough for school or training after high school. All parents want to do the best they can for their children,” Leslie explained. You can see Joe’s legacy and values in his own children: Dillon, Harry and Sally. It is no surprise that they have followed their own unique pathways armed with the tools instilled in them by their mother and father.
“They all followed their interests,” Leslie shared. Dillon lives in Portland, OR where he’s an artisanal bread baker. Sally is an archivist at Standford University where she catalogs historical treasures for use by students and researchers. Harry moved to New York City for graduate school and is a conservator at the Brooklyn Museum whose mission is to be a catalyst for a more connected, civic, and empathetic world.
Much like the intent behind the scholarship, Joe’s three children had the opportunity for post-secondary education, and they have flourished. They represent three lives being incredibly well-lived, just like their father.
“We should never doubt that a group of like-minded citizens who are committed to a cause can make a significant change towards an improved community,” commented Sue of her impacts on Portage and Waushara counties over the years.
“I am honored to be named as an Emeritus Director having had the opportunity to grow CFCWI the past several years. Together we have and will continue to make tremendous impacts in the communities we serve.”
Fellow board member and colleague, Maureen Lewandowski, describes Sue as being “an integral part of the Foundation and the community for many years.” She added, “Sue is an amazing person and an inspiration. My favorite thing about Sue is her ability to connect with others.”
“People are the key to any business and Sue was the key person we relied on,” commented Mike Lauterbach, who served as Board President during one of Sue’s terms. He added, “Anyone whose paths have crossed with the Foundation has her to thank in some way.”Image courtesy of Harry DeBauche The Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin encourages people to leave a legacy gift to their community through their will or estate plan. Heinz Living Legacy Circle recognizes individuals who are planning to make a difference in this community for future generations through a planned gift. In Memoriam
“If there was a prize for a life welllived, Joe would have won it.”
Cash & Cash Equivalents $1,069,976
Cash & Cash Equivalents Held $167,671 for Investment Purposes
Investments $26,640,099 Other Assets $90,046
Total Assets $27,967,792
Liabilities & Net Assets
Accounts Payable $28,216
Accrued Expenses $3,902
Grants and Scholarships Payable $168,789
Funds Held for Others $1,453,448
Without Donor Restrictions $613,506
With Donor Restrictions $25,699,931
Total Liabilities & Net Assets $27,967,792
Revenue, Gains & Other Support
Contributions — $3,192,201
Cash and Financial Assets
Contributions — $23,924
Investment Income, Net ($4,347,130) Other Income $15,050
Total Revenue, Gains ($1,115,955) & Other Support Expenses
Program Services $2,280,142 General & Administrative $150,295 Fund Raising $128,335 Total Expenses $2,558,772
Emeritus Board of Directors Members
Mary Croft (In Memoriam)
Helen Godfrey (In Memoriam)
Betty Iber (In Memoriam)
Edie Kraus (In Memoriam)
Mark Makholm (In Memoriam)
Gil Oelke (In Memoriam)
George Rogers (In Memoriam)
Anne Schierl (In Memoriam)
Bob Worth (In Memoriam)
Justin Regnier, Chair
Portage County Grants Committee
Jeremy Solin, Chair
Waushara County Grants Committee
Dave Ray, Chair
Jennifer Koeppl, Chair
Lindsay Bernhagen, Co-Chair
Sam Dinga, Co-Chair
The Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin offers a variety of giving options.
• A cash gift is the easiest way to start a fund or give to an existing fund.
• Include a bequest or other planned gift in your will or estate documents.
• Maximize tax advantages through a beneficiary gift of your IRA or life insurance policy.
• Donate stock or real estate to minimize capital gains tax.