40 Years of Giving

Octoberfest was founded by downtown Appleton retailers and the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce in 1981 to promote their businesses, improve the community image and showcase the downtown area. The Octoberfest planning committee continues this tradition by awarding grants to local non-profit organizations using proceeds from the prior year's Octoberfest.

If you have questions regarding grants contact Kristen Greiner at the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce (

The Octoberfest committee considers projects that embrace the spirit with which Octoberfest was founded. Certain criteria must be met to apply. Applications are reviewed three times per year and a final report is required. We also only consider awarding grants for the same project for three consecutive years - with a year off before an organization can re-apply for the same project to be funded.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting change to the structure of Octoberfest for 2020, we have temporarily put the grants program on hold. We remain committed to our mission of supporting nonprofits - please stay tuned for an announcement about our alternative event that will support our community.