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Bader Philanthropies


Last Updated: 2016-05-29

At A Glance

Bader Philanthropies

(formerly Helen Bader Foundation, Inc.)

233 N. Water St., 4th Fl.

Milwaukee, WI United States 53202-5729

Telephone: (414) 224-6464


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-08-31)

Assets: $10,081,967

Total giving: $10,279,317






Established in 1991 in WI - Founded in the name of the late Helen Bader, who, throughout her life, sought to help others. After earning a degree in botany, she married Alfred Bader. Together they started a family, and created the Aldrich Chemical Co. (now the Sigma-Aldrich Corporation).

Purpose and Activities

The Helen Bader Foundation, Inc. strives to be a philanthropic leader in improving the quality of life of the diverse communities in which it works. The foundation makes grants, convenes partners, and shares knowledge to affect emerging issues in key areas: Alzheimer's and Aging, Workforce Development, and Community Partnerships for Youth.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Alzheimer's and Aging

The program area is working to improve the outlook for those older adults and their families in all sections of the state through four strategies: program development, education and training, public policy, and applied research. The foundation aims to make Wisconsin a national leader in addressing the various issues related to aging.

Community Initiatives and Directed Grants

The program works to make Milwaukee a better place to live for all residents, through wide-ranging efforts such as: nonprofit management, directed grants and community initiatives.

Community Partnerships for Youth

This program seeks to nurture innovative and effective efforts that can be replicated throughout Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. Building on partnerships with agencies of all sizes, CPY aims to build bridges between these strong, supportive services. The program has three key strategies: 1) Out-of-School-Time Opportunities: Support quality out-of-school, after-school, and summer programs that empower school-age youth, teens, and young adults ages 18-24; 2) Whole Youth Support: Support services for youth and families who face homelessness, hunger, and mental illness, including programs that encourage youth to develop mindfulness and other wellness strategies to manage stress, anger, and trauma; and 3) Capacity Building: Support stronger youth through stronger agencies.


Grants support efforts to bring some of the best ideas from across the world toward addressing Alzheimer's disease in Israel, including its impact on families. Proposals must be solicited by foundation staff.

Jewish Education

Grants support scholarships and projects that advance the Milwaukee, WI, area’s Jewish day schools. Proposals must be solicited by foundation staff.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has historically made PRIs in the form of loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments in ventures and projects with the potential for improving Milwaukee's economic vitality, with a particular focus on the city's struggling neighborhoods. The foundation makes PRIs to strengthen and expand the impact of the foundation's program areas working in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin: Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia; Economic Development; Jewish Life and Learning; and Youth Development.

Program-Related Investments (PRIs)

The fund supports groups working to make communities better for everyone. The PRI program is interested in reviewing requests that that have: 1) strong ties to existing foundation initiatives and strategies; 2) the capacity to attract other financing to the deal; and 3) unlikely support from mainstream funding sources, to the point where a deal may not happen at all without the foundation's investment.

Workforce Development

The program works to connect business, workforce, and community development partners with the shared purpose of revitalizing Milwaukee’s long-disinvested neighborhoods. Through it's Jobs for Milwaukee the foundation has five strategies to identify the best way to leverage the foundation’s ideas and resources: 1) Youth Preparation and Readiness; 2) Link to Existing/Emerging Jobs; 3) Job Creation and Expansion; 4) Workforce Policy Research; and 5) Spur New Thinking.

Fields of Interest

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Employment
  • Human services
  • Youth development
International Interests
  • Israel
Population Groups
  • Adults
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Seniors

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-08-31

Assets: $10,081,967 (market value)

Gifts received: $5,790,000

Expenditures: $12,274,141

Total giving: $10,279,317

Qualifying distributions: $13,622,585

Giving activities include:

$31,511 for 2 foundation-administered programs

$1,393,199 for 2 loans/program-related investments