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Bader Philanthropies creates Bader Leadership Institute

June 23, 2023
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Bader Philanthropies announced this week its intention to create a leadership institute aimed at developing leaders who seek to create meaningful change in the communities the Milwaukee-based nonprofit serves.

Called the Bader Leadership Institute, the initiative will be led by Bader Philanthropies program officer Brandon Wigley, with guidance from the Oregon-based Groundwork Leadership Institute.

Since 1992, Bader Philanthropies has invested more than $450 million in organizations addressing major social needs throughout Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin and the world through grants and program-related investments, according to a press release.

With this latest move, Bader Philanthropies’ board of directors is hoping to add a critical piece to its multi-decade commitment to grantmaking and convening.

“It is a public statement about the importance of developing leaders who have the curiosity and will to create meaningful change in our communities,” the nonprofit said in a statement.

Wigley joined Bader Philanthropies in 2018. He oversees the foundation’s employment portfolio, which has awarded more than $42.6 million to Milwaukee-area nonprofit organizations.

In his new role heading up the Bader Leadership Institute, Wigley will work with the team to create a framework that engages individuals from all walks of life in an intensive cohort leadership experience. He will also be responsible for developing strategies for the ongoing engagement of leaders and evaluating the impact BLI leaders have in addressing the most critical issues in Milwaukee.

“The time has come to invest in the development of individuals who care deeply about our communities and have the courage to help us cut through the things that hold us back from listening and working with one another,” said Daniel Bader, president and CEO of Bader Philanthropies. “Since joining the Bader Philanthropies team in 2018, Brandon’s unique experiences combined with his pragmatic approach have helped the Foundation see the need for the BLI.”