in its branches

‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.
(Matthew 13:31-32)


Siebert Lutheran Foundation, for the first time in its nearly 45-year history, is accepting funds from donors and foundations who align with Siebert’s funding priorities and wish to increase their impact. Through leveraging the expertise Siebert has developed over its decades of achieving Gospel impact in the church and community, philanthropists can benefit from its:

  • Deep knowledge of the Lutheran community and its leaders in Wisconsin, especially Greater Milwaukee 

  • Professional program officers with a defined and analytical due diligence process

  • Follow-up reporting and outcomes evaluation to assess impact

Type of services offered
  • Customized philanthropy consulting services for Christian/Lutheran families or family-held businesses considering how to increase the impact of their philanthropy 

  • Support for established Christian/Lutheran family foundations or philanthropy programs, e.g. back office, technology, program/grant due diligence, impact evaluation, selection of asset management services – customized to donor’s needs

Type of gifts accepted
  • Unrestricted gifts for current needs

  • Unrestricted gifts for endowment, bequests, estate gifts 

  • Pass-through grants to programs and organizations that align with one or more of Siebert’s three Gospel-focused priorities and mission (pass-through fee is generally 2%) 

  • Directed gifts for specific Gospel Impact Funds that support mission-related programs:

    • Education & Youth Development (Pan-Lutheran)

    • Ministry Innovation & Leadership (Pan-Lutheran)

    • Poverty Alleviation & Pathways to Self-Sufficiency (Pan-Lutheran)  

    • ELCA Fund – Special interest fund to support exclusively ELCA ministries

    • WELS Fund – Special interest fund to support exclusively WELS ministries

    • LCMS Fund – Special interest fund to support exclusively LCMS ministries

    • Other named funds as endowed by donors ($50,000 minimum)

This is a comprehensive "Creative Ways of Giving" document that provides examples of gifts you can give now (such as appreciated assets or from an IRA or Donor Advised Fund) or ways to give later (such as through a will, contract, or retirement plan).


Innovative strategies also being explored to increase resources for Gospel impact
  • Collaborators’ strategy to involve high net worth donors, multi-generational families, and foundations

  • Estate planning coaching, in partnership with congregations

  • Partnering with national foundations who wish to increase impact in southeastern Wisconsin or statewide  


For more information or to make a gift through Siebert Serves,

please email Siebert's President Charlotte John-Gomez or call 414.269.2834



Why is Siebert Lutheran Foundation now working with donors and prospective donors like me?

We believe greater resources will grow the Kingdom and glorify God. We want to help you increase your impact by leveraging our four decades of grant-making expertise.

What are the benefits of partnering with Siebert (versus what I’m already doing)?

Siebert brings knowledge, relationships and evaluation capabilities that few, if any, Christian funders can replicate. Since 1976, Siebert has granted $135 million to Lutheran-affiliated organizations, primarily in Southeastern Wisconsin and Greater Milwaukee, and affected countless lives for Christ.

What is Siebert’s asset level?

At the end of 2019, Siebert had nearly $107MM in its portfolio. Granting approximately $4MM per year, Siebert has consistently been listed as one of the most active Milwaukee-area foundations.

What are Siebert’s priorities?

Siebert focuses on three important funding priorities:

  1. Growing the Body of Christ … by investing in Lutheran leaders, ministries, congregations, and innovative evangelism in Wisconsin.
  2. Educating while Sharing the Gospel … by funding high-performing Lutheran-affiliated schools in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities within Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and Waukesha Counties.
  3. Serving as the Hands and Feet of Christ … by supporting effective strategies at Lutheran churches and organizations to meet the basic short-term needs of disadvantaged people, and to create pathways toward greater self-sufficiency and empowerment in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities within Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and Waukesha Counties.

How can I support one of these programs?

  • Private and family foundations can partner with Siebert to create a smooth administration and process for vetting grants to organizations that match the foundations’ and Siebert’s funding priorities
  • Individuals can give unrestricted current or planned gifts for one of our three Gospel Impact Funds
  • Individuals can also create a named Endowed Fund encompassed by one of the three funds ($50,000 minimum).

What kinds of gifts does Siebert accept?

You can give now to support our grantee partners who may have special needs during COVID-19 and/or you can consider an endowment gift to help our mission into perpetuity.

What is the minimum gift that Siebert will accept?

Siebert is focused on growing your Gospel impact, so a donor can offer any gift, though a named Endowed Fund has a minimum of $50,000 and a pass-through gift has a minimum of $25,000.

What is Siebert’s fee structure for working with donors?

Siebert realizes that each donor has unique needs – so there is no “one size fits all” solution or fee structure. We partner with individuals and families to do what is fair, with the goal of maximizing contributions to the chosen ministries. (A pass-through fee is generally 2%.)

What are gifts I can give right now?

  1. Use appreciated assets
    - Stocks, bonds, mutual funds
    - Privately held business interests or partnerships
    - Appreciated real estate
  2. Give a gift and receive an income back with a charitable trust
  3. Give part or all of a Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA (for those over 72; note that RMDs do not need to be taken in 2020) (directly to a Siebert grantee)
  4. Make a Gift from your Donor Advised Fund (directly to a Siebert grantee)
  5. Give a pass-through grant to programs and organizations that align with one or more of Siebert’s three Gospel-focused priorities and mission
  6. Participate in our Innovative Collaborators’ Event being piloted during 2020: join with others to increase your collective impact.

What are gifts I can give through my estate?

  1. Gifts through a Will
  2. Gifts through Contracts—add Siebert as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy or an IRA (or 401(K) or 403(b) plan).

Stories of Change from Grantee Partners

This video is a sampling of Siebert Lutheran Foundation grantee partners. The stories show efforts that have created lasting change in the Milwaukee area. 

Opportunities to Make a Collective Impact

This video highlights why donors choose to give back to maximize their life's impact through customized philanthropy management services from Siebert Serves.