On Thursday, November 3, 2022 UEDA celebrated 25 years of supporting individuals and groups in the community and economic development sector at our Annual Community Gathering with nearly 60 of our closest friends, members and partners.

4 picture collage of photos from UEDA 25th anniversary

We enjoyed food and beverages from Turning Tables MKE and attendees received a special gift acknowledging the ways we seek to connect and support our members.

UEDA’s Executive Director, Kristi Luzar, shared recent updates with the network and reminisced about UEDA through the years via these UEDA Highlights, a snapshot of the projects and programs we’ve been involved in over the years.

Lastly, we recognized the following individuals for their commitment to UEDA and their community, who exemplify our values of collaboration, capacity and connection.

Outstanding Community Partner
Brian Peters, Independence First

Extraordinary Volunteer
Maria Prioletta, City of Milwaukee Department of City Development

Check out a full recap / slideshow here.

Thank you to those who joined us! It was a classic UEDA event of connection and fellowship.

2022 Annual Community Gathering Sponsors image

On September 29th we celebrated and shared the accomplishments of Bank On Greater Milwaukee with nearly 50 attendees. A big THANK YOU to our funders and supporters! We also recognized our 2022 Bank On Champions for their efforts to support safe and accessible banking. Over the past 3 years, we’ve achieved the following:

  • Promoted 14 Bank On Certified Accounts. In 2019 there were 6 – our efforts have more than doubled the number of certified accounts in our market!
  • Completed an update of our annual “Your Smart Money” resource guide, including new content and a redesign. It features information on specific financial topics and in 2022 we’ve distributed nearly 6,000 guides in English & Spanish. It is also posted on the BOGM website Resources page.
  • Helped implement 6+ banking access program integrations and have produced & widely shared 23+ items of educational content, including guides, blogs posts, and videos.
  • Increased our coalition from 26 to 52 members, which includes 27 community-based organizations, 17 financial institutions, 3 government partners, and 5 network partners. Members have contributed 900+ volunteers hours to BOGM!
  • Educated and informed over 550 individuals on banking access issues through 10+ coalition meetings and roundtables.
  • Launched the Bank On Greater Milwaukee Advocacy Map, a tool to help us identify areas of need compared to banking access points (branches, other financial services) – read more about it here.
  • Assisted coalition members and community partners to secure other CFE Fund resources to launch new services that strengthen financial stability for people and families such as the City of Milwaukee Financial Navigator program and REAL Banking initiative.

Check out slides from the event which includes more accomplishments over the past three years and watch a congratulatory message from Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson HERE.

 

2022 Bank On Greater Milwaukee Champions photo collage

Pictured above, left to right:

Conor Williams (Community Connector), Migdalia Ervin (Innovation), Adam Procell (Community Connector), Wisconsin Bankers Association, Heather MacKinnon (Community Partner), Wisconsin Bankers Association, Rose Oswald Poels (Community Partner), Pastor Raymond Monk (Community Connector), Jaime De Jesus, Sr. (Community Connector), Dan Krohn (Leadership & Activity)

Read more about our Champions HERE.

 

Bank On Greater Milwaukee program funders image

 

UEDA Emerging Topics Series

 

Our Fall 2022 sessions will feature credit access programs, business improvement districts and community investment tools.

Session 2: BIDs and NIDs – Overview & Outlook
Held on October 20th, this session featured a primer on an established tool for community and economic development: BIDs and NIDs (business and neighborhood improvement districts). They continue to evolve to meet the needs of local neighborhoods, support commercial corridors, and shape the fabric of Milwaukee.

Just over 40 people attended and learned about the Harambee NID, which has been operating since 2016 and has a homeowner repair program, the Crisol Corridor BID and their Cluster Grant Program, and gained a bit of knowledge about special purpose BIDs. This event was held in partnership with the City of Milwaukee Department of City Development Commercial Corridors team. View slides here>>

PRESENTERS: 

  • Ken Little, City of Milwaukee Neighborhood Business Development Manager
  • Matt Rejc, City of Milwaukee Commercial Corridor Manager
  • Sally Svetic, City of Milwaukee Economic Development Specialist
  • Cordella Jones, Harambee NID #7 Board Chair
  • Leif Otteson, Cristol Corridor BID #50 Executive Director
  • Dan Adams, Kinnickinnic River BID #35 Board Member

Session 1: Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs)
Nearly 40 people joined us on September 13th to learn about SPCPs, an established tool that promises to bridge homeownership and wealth gaps across America. Earlier this year, an interagency statement on the SPCP provision clarified how lenders can structure and offer an SPCP and HUD issued guidance addressing compliance with Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Regulation B, and the Fair Housing Act. Together these changes have led to increased interest and investment in SPCPs. Our session featured expertise and discussion from:

  • Brad Blower, General Counsel, National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)
  • Geoff Cooper, Vice President – Product Development, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC)
  • Gabe del Rio, President & CEO, Homeownership Council of America (HCA)
  • Letticia Flores Poole, Vice President & Co-Head, BMO for Black and Latinx Businesses, BMO Harris Bank
  • Moderator: Carol Maria, Community Affairs Specialist, FDIC

Attendees heard an overview of what SPCPs are, how they are being used, and about the impact of new federal guidelines. Additionally, our speakers talked about the importance for lenders to develop SPCP plans and the newly released online toolkit for mortgage lenders from the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). We are excited to work with the UEDA network as we see SPCPs emerge. View the recording and slides here.

Interested in learning more about SPCPs? Check out these links!

 

UEDA 2022 Emerging Topics Series Sponsors logos

 

Upcoming Sessions – in progress!

We are planning to feature either a local effort to launch a Community Investment Trust (a wealth-building tool developed to invest in people and places) or an overview of Federal resources coming into local communities via recent legislation passed by Congress, including the American Rescue Plan Act (2021), Infrastructure & Investment Jobs Act (2021), Inflation Reduction Action (2022).


 

UEDA logo horizontal jpg     Nonprofit Academy of Wisconsin logo

UEDA and the Nonprofit Academy of Wisconsin (NAWi) are excited to announce a new partnership offering capacity building services to nonprofit organizations in the Greater Milwaukee area, building off work that began in mid-2019 to provide organizational-focused technical assistance to nonprofits.

This partnership will strengthen and extend the range of education and consulting services to nonprofits. NAWi will serve as the technical assistance partner for UEDA, focusing on, but not limited to, agencies that receive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The NAWi team will include Rob Meiksins, Martha Collins, and Andrea Rodriguez, who will work with UEDA to deliver these services. Our Technical Assistance Advisory Committee will provide guidance to the implementation of this partnership.

“This is an exciting opportunity,” said UEDA Executive Director Kristi Luzar.  “We have been working with nonprofits in the community and economic development sector for a long time but have had limited capacity ourselves to reach more nonprofits. This partnership with NAWi provides that.”

Our shared goal is to help nonprofits be intentional about how they build and strengthen their organizations and is based on the Standards for Excellence, a nationally recognized organizational model that NAWi has followed since its inception. The Standards are a set of competencies that are used as a lens to review where a nonprofit organization is in terms of governance and operations. Our approach is to then work with the nonprofit to see how they want to adapt what the Standards recommend to align with the nonprofit’s mission, culture, age, and size with an eye towards organizational sustainability.

“We have been working together for a couple of years now,” said Rob Meiksins, co-founder and President of NAWi.  “It has been a good working partnership between UEDA and NAWi, and this seemed like a natural progression.”

To launch this new partnership, we will offer a free two-part introduction to the Standards model and how it can benefit nonprofits on May 31 and June 7. Sessions will be 90 minutes and led by Rob and Martha of NAWi, who are both certified consultants in the Standards for Excellence. The Standards are made up of 6 guiding principles, and each session in this webinar series will cover three of the Standards and how nonprofits can implement them.

Any organization that completes both sessions will be given access to a very brief version of a survey to compare how the organization functions in relation to the Standards. Then, we will offer a 1-hour follow-up session to review the findings and help organizations start thinking through how a full organizational review can help them deliver on their mission. Pre-registration for these introductory sessions is required.

Register for Session 1 (Mission Strategy and Evaluation, Leadership, Legal Compliance and Ethics)

Register for Session 2 (Finance and Operations, Resource Development, Public Awareness, Advocacy)

Moving forward, UEDA and NAWi will also focus on serving agencies that receive CDBG grant funding from the City of Milwaukee, who will now have access to help with a variety of services including consulting and conducting an assessment of how your organization is functioning. Contact NAWi here or by calling 414-367-8209 if you are interested (must be a 2022 CDBG funding recipient).

Lastly, this program partnership will also leverage and support Nonprofit Lift, an initiative that began through a collaborative effort in 2021 with other intermediaries that support nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan Milwaukee region. Nonprofit Lift recently launched a resource website and consultant directory and we are excited to align our work with this important effort. Learn more here>>

We are pleased to share a new resource, www.NonprofitLift.org, for nonprofits in the Greater Milwaukee Region is now available!

Logo for Nonprofit Lift

This resource went live on May 3rd and is the product of collaborative work UEDA has been engaged with other intermediaries that work to support the capacity of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Lift’s website provides:

  • An easily searchable directory of 50+ consultants to nonprofits in the Greater Milwaukee Region (and beyond, in most cases)
  • Sources for nonprofit training and professional development
  • Resource lists for starting and for running a nonprofit
  • Resources for nonprofit sector data, research, and news

Many of these resources are also available to nonprofits throughout the state. Special thanks to the Nonprofit Management Fund for their financial and technical support, which helped create the platform for the website and consultant directory.

More About Nonprofit Lift

This collaboration of capacity-building intermediary and philanthropic organizations in Wisconsin formed last year in response to the challenges facing the nonprofit community in the Greater Milwaukee Region. In 2021 we held several town hall discussions with nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, after reviewing the results of the Understanding and Supporting Milwaukee Nonprofits study conducted by Project Pivot and the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2019.

The study and town hall discussions helped identify areas of need and nonprofit resource limitations in the Greater Milwaukee Region, leading to the development of Nonprofit Lift and the resources you can now find on their new website. We are continuing to work in partnership on additional steps to make capacity-building services and resources more accessible to nonprofits in the Greater Milwaukee Region.

Nonprofit Lift is a collaboration of the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Milwaukee, Jobs That Help, Project Pivot, the Nonprofit Academy of Wisconsin, Nonprofit Management Fund, Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin, and Create Wisconsin (formerly Arts Wisconsin).

Held February 28 – March 4, 2022, our 14th annual Carnival Milwaukee fundraiser was a week-long virtual celebration that focused on giving back to the local businesses and partners that have supported UEDA and this event over the years. During the 5 Days of Carnival Milwaukee celebration we:

  • Partnered with 4 restaurants for Dining Deals (Amilinda, Antigua Latin Inspired Kitchen, Orenda Cafe, Sam’s Place Jazz Cafe).
  • Had 100+ attendees at our virtual “Fat Tuesday Fun Day” lunchtime event.
  • Distributed 90+ goodie bags featuring local products from Kilwin’s, Swaye Tea and our sponsors.
  • Provided 23+ hours of Carnival-themed content via email and social media.

Additionally, we recognized ArtWorks for Milwaukee as our fifth Carnival Milwaukee Bridge Builder, an award that “recognizes a community member or partner for their efforts to honor diversity and connect people and places through the expression of culture in food, art, music and space.”

A longtime member of the UEDA Community, ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s commitment to connecting youth to experiences that foster creativity and learning through people and place, while lifting up Milwaukee’s diverse neighborhoods, exemplifies the spirit of this award. They join previous Bridge Builder Awardees Diverse Dining, VIA CDC, Milwaukee Public Library, and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, who are all shaping our community in creative ways!

Along with our Sponsors, nearly 60 individuals made contributions to UEDA, helping to support program areas that focus on stable rental housing, sustainable homeownership, financial inclusion, and small business support. also, through our Dining Deals, individual donations, and event sponsorships, we were able to invest more than $3,600 into 17+ local, small businesses that have supported this event in the past!

Throughout the 14 year history of Carnival Milwaukee, UEDA has had the privilege to work with many local food enterprises who have been an integral part of what makes this annual fundraiser so special. We hope you will continue to support them as they have supported UEDA!  View UEDA’s Carnival Milwaukee Food Tasting Feature Here

 

THANK YOU TO OUR 2022 SPONSORS

UEDA 2022 Carnival Milwaukee Sponsor images

In August of 2021, Take Root Milwaukee (TRM) celebrated 10+ years of helping Milwaukee citizens purchase, repair and maintain their homes. The celebration, which was postponed from 2020, brought together participants from over 50 organizations to reflect on the progress of the program and envision what the future of homeownership in Milwaukee could look like.

Take Root Milwaukee was launched in 2010 as a partnership with the City of Milwaukee and Freddie Mac. It is a collaborative effort, from a diverse group of organizations, to preserve and promote sustainable diverse neighborhoods by encouraging and maintaining homeownership.

“The birth of Take Root Milwaukee came out of the foreclosure crisis,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “It allowed realtors, counselors, neighbors and community groups to work with the city to stabilize housing in Milwaukee.”

The celebration welcomed Joaquin Altoro, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), who provided guests with inspiring opening remarks, and Mayor Tom Barrett, who has been a strong advocate and supporter of the network since its launch in 2010.

Krisit Luzar, UEDA Executive Director, and Johanna Jimenez, Take Root Milwaukee Program Manager, shared insight into how this network was formed and how it has continued to grow and evolve over the years to meet the needs of the community. It is currently a program of UEDA.

Additionally, members of the TRM Resource & Oversight Committee recognized both Kristi Luzar and Jessica Wetzel of UEDA with a Certificate of Recognition for their commitment to Take Root Milwaukee and the success it has brought to the Milwaukee-area residents it serves.

Over the past decade, Take Root Milwaukee has brought together 54+ organizational members, representing homeownership counseling agencies, financial institutions, realtors, local government, neighborhood organizations and other community partners.  Together, they have helped 7,600+ individuals and families become homeowners, and nearly 7,000 individuals and families complete critical repairs in their homes.

To learn more about Take Root Milwaukee, check out our 10 Year Impact Report and watch our Anniversary Celebration video below.