The foundation is a not-for-profit community foundation incorporated under the laws of the State of Wisconsin in 1993. Its primary mission is to promote strategic philanthropy, build social capital, and leverage community resources for the common good. The foundation's vision is a resilient, thriving community that embraces and supports all people. It receives and maintains funds to be utilized for philanthropic activities that meet the requirements of the foundation's governing documents.
In addition to the traditional community foundation grantmaking role, the foundation directly organizes and develops programs and leads community initiatives that aim to enhance the quality of life of the people of the south Wood County area in Wisconsin, by leveraging resources and empowering people in ways that provide opportunities for all. Frequently there is coinvestment in these efforts by partner funders such as national foundations.
The foundation supports positive community change by promoting adaptive leadership skills, relationship building, collaboration, convening, advocacy, a shared learning environment, and the effective exchange of relevant information. Examples of foundation-led programs include an Advanced Leadership Institute, a Teen Leadership Program, a Community Resource Center, convening a Nonprofit Council, and providing a variety of educational workshops and training opportunities. Examples of community initiatives include participating as a project site in the National Fund for Workforce Solutions' pursuit of a long-term strategy of creating a cohesive, integrated social services and workforce development system that fosters new solutions for economic growth, and participating in the Knight Foundations' Community Information Challenge, researching where and how local residents get their information, and assessing their ability to access the information they need in order to lead better informed lives. The connectedness and integration of a variety of grants, programs, and initiatives allows for a "community specific" framework through which collective resources can achieve a greater impact.