About Us

Our Values

Generous Hearts: Asking, Gifting, Being Called

Changing Lives: Working for Justice

Church Together: Acts of Faith and Word & Sacrament Ministry

Our Mission

We inspire donors to live and give generously by investing their gifts as a resource for transformation in ELCA Greater Milwaukee Synod ministries, serving communities of poverty.

Our Vision

That strong, vibrant ministries will be centers of hope in the midst of every community challenged by poverty within the Greater Milwaukee Synod.

Our History

From its beginning in 1988, the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been committed to “walking with the poor.”  In response to that growing commitment, the Greater Milwaukee Synod established the Outreach Fund at its 1995 Synod Assembly as an integral part of its strategy in meeting the financial needs of Word and Sacrament ministries serving the poor within the synod.  A part-time director of resource development was hired in 1997.

From 1998-2004 administrative expenses, including staff salary, were funded by the Siebert Lutheran Foundation as well as congregational endowment grants.  Thrivent Financial for Lutherans also made a grant that enabled the Greater Milwaukee Synod in 2005 to hire a full-time Director of Development for Outreach Ministry.  The generosity of the Siebert Foundation, Thrivent Financial for Lutheran and the congregational endowments allowed donor gifts to be used directly in ministry support.  Today, thanks to a generous five-year grant toward building an endowment fund and covering administrative costs, the funds donated to Outreach for Hope continue to be directed towards the ministries of Outreach for Hope.

In 2005 the Outreach Ministry Fund became “Outreach for Hope, Inc.” and a separate 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Outreach for Hope is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who are drawn throughout the region of the Greater Milwaukee Synod.  The elected Vice President of the Greater Milwaukee Synod serves as an ex-officio member of the Outreach for Hope Board of Directors with voice and vote.



The position of Advancement Director was created in 2016, with Maripat Monahan assuming that role with Outreach for Hope in September of that year.

Emeritus Staff:

Rev. Jim Bickel

Rev. Jim Bickel served as Executive Director of Outreach for Hope from the fall of 2009 until the end of 2017. He was installed to that position after serving a long tenure as a parish pastor in the Greater Milwaukee Synod since the synod’s inception in 1988.


Succeeding Jim Bickel as Executive Director of Outreach for Hope was Timothy Larson, who came to Outreach for Hope in January, 2018 after serving as Vice President of Philanthropic Services at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.  Timothy had also served for five years on Outreach for Hope’s Advisory Committee.

The Executive Director position is currently open.


Outreach for Hope is committed to provide ever-increasing opportunities for ministry with the poor.  Through Outreach for Hope individuals are lifted up from the despair of poverty, community is built among God’s people, young and old hear God’s Word shared as Good News, and the Sacraments are shared as a reminder of the community that is built around God’s love.