The grant will open May 1, 2020 and close June 15, 2020. Winners announced by August 31, 2020.

We are committed to safety for our employees and the communities we serve. Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is supporting local public safety response agencies with the Rewarding Responders Grant. The grant was established in 2014 in conjunction with the foundation's 50th anniversary. Since that time, the foundation has awarded $50,000 each year, reaching 164 agencies for a total of $300,000 in support.


  • All organizations must provide emergency response services in the WPS gas and/or electric service area.
  • County, local and volunteer fire, law enforcement and rescue agencies are encouraged to apply.
  • Organizations that received a grant in 2019 are ineligible for the 2020 grant cycle.


Grants may be used to purchase equipment and professional development, but should be part of a well-planned and integrated public safety initiative. Projects must be special, one-time, safety-related efforts. Any equipment purchased with this grant must stay in the ownership of the department for a minimum of five years unless it is consumable or becomes expired.

The foundation will award $50,000 per year. The maximum grant amount awarded will be $2,000 per project and must be used within two years. Organizations previously awarded a grant in years prior to 2019 are eligible to apply; however, it must be for a new project proposal. Only one grant application per organization will be accepted.

Criteria and judging

Online application will ask for the following questions, including attachment of a budget:

  • Organization name (entity which holds nonprofit or government status).
  • EIN or Federal Tax Identification Number.
  • Organization description. Include organization size (number of members, safety vehicles, etc.), location or geographical size of area served, number of events the organization responded to last year, etc. (10 points)
  • Project title. This may include name of equipment or training.
  • Project description. Describe the equipment or training being requested and why. Include a description of equipment or training, how it will be used, and why this equipment or training was chosen over another. Describe the life expectancy of the equipment and the maintenance requirements.(15 points)
  • Project impacts. Explain why this equipment or training is needed. Describe how this grant would support safety initiatives in your community, who would benefit and how frequently this equipment or training would be used. If possible, include data/statistics from previous years as to number of times this piece of equipment or training would have been helpful. (15 points)
  • Project timeline and funding sources. Describe the project timeline (i.e., when is equipment expected to be purchased or when is training expected to take place). Include any additional funding sources for this project. (5 points)
  • Acknowledgement. Describe how the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation will be recognized (news release, banners at community event, etc.). (5 points)
  • Budget attachment. A simple budget or equipment/training quote from vendor is required. This could include an invoice, quote, pictures of product and/or descriptions from website/vendor. Include full cost of equipment or training.

What would be considered for funding?

  • Lifesaving equipment such as AED, Jaws of Life, CO and natural gas measuring equipment, thermal imaging cameras, pediatric IV kits, night-vision cameras and job-related safety gear, including masks, helmets, coveralls and fire resistant suits, ballistic vests, etc.
  • Professional development/training inclusive of registration fees, tuition, on-site trainer's fees, etc.

Not considered for funding: emergency generators; capital projects such as new buildings and large vehicle purchases; real estate; endowments; software; T-shirts or other promotional items; travel fees; stipends and/or meals.

Apply between May 1 - June 15. Winners are notified by August 31.


If you have questions, email the Foundation Administrator or call (920) 433-1433.

WEC Energy Group