First Tee — Southeast Wisconsin Joining 45+ Local Nonprofit Organizations for Giving First Day

As holiday shopping season nears, a coalition of 45+ Milwaukee-area nonprofits are leading a coordinated effort to emphasize the importance of supporting our communities first through a campaign called Giving First on Tuesday, November 22nd.

Giving First day flips the script by encouraging philanthropy one week before Giving Tuesday, which traditionally falls after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber-Monday shopping.  Local nonprofits put the community first all year long and hope the community will put them first this giving season.

Ken Leinbach, Executive Director at the Urban Ecology Center reflects on Giving First saying, “It has been incredible to see the seed of this idea grow into a powerful collaboration. Giving First encourages our community to approach the holiday season with abundance and generosity towards nonprofits who, in this typical time of joy, are often faced with fear and scarcity.”

This year, Giving First has 45+ community-serving organizations conducting their fundraising campaigns on November 22nd instead of the traditional Giving Tuesday. This is something we know Milwaukee will rally behind.

Patty Metropulos, President & CEO of Kathy’s House shared, “Residents of Milwaukee and the surrounding areas have a reputation for stepping up to support our neighbors through difficult times. The Giving First Collaboration embodies the humble generosity that is both a tradition and a vocation for our community.

Before the hustle and bustle of the traditional shopping weekend, we invite everyone to reflect on the needs of our community and invest in shared values. 

Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director of WAVE Educational Fund reminds us that “Giving First is our chance to enter the holiday season with our values front and center. So, before shopping, let’s take this opportunity to put what really matters at the very top of our list.”

For up to date information on the collaborating organizations including direct links to donate visit

45+ Milwaukee-area organizations participating in Giving First 2022: 

  • America’s Black Holocaust Museum
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee
  • COA Youth & Family Centers
  • Community Smiles Dental
  • CORE El Centro
  • Danceworks, Inc.
  • Dominican Center
  • First Stage
  • First Tee — Southeast Wisconsin
  • Friedens Food Pantries
  • Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail
  • Friends of Lakeshore State Park
  • Havenwoods Neighborhood Partnership
  • The Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC)
  • Hillel Milwaukee
  • Historic Milwaukee, Inc.
  • Islands of Brilliance
  • Journey House, Inc.
  • Kathy’s House
  • Kinship Community Food Center (formerly Riverwest Food Pantry)
  • Luther Manor
  • Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc.
  • Meta House, Inc.
  • Milwaukee Center For Independence
  • Milwaukee County Historical Society
  • Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation
  • Milwaukee Water Commons
  • Near West Side Partners, Inc.
  • Nearby Nature Milwaukee
  • Project Kindred
  • Radio Milwaukee
  • Reflo
  • Riveredge Nature Center
  • Running Rebels Community Organization
  • Safe and Sound
  • Sojourner Family Peace Center
  • Southside Organizing Center
  • Teens Grow Greens
  • The Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail
  • United Methodist Children’s Services
  • United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee
  • Urban Ecology Center
  • Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center
  • WAVE Educational Fund
  • Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education
  • Wisconsin Parkinson Association
  • Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee
  • Woodland Pattern Book Center
  • Zeidler Group, Inc.

More information and direct links to give to your preferred non-profit can be found at