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Mary Vertastic, American Family Insurance, stops to pose for a quick photo at Campaign Celebration.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2013

Approximately 38,000 individuals and 1,100 corporations are projected to donate to reach United Way’s 2013 campaign goal.

(Madison) Today, United Way of Dane County announced its projection to reach $18.1 million for its 2013 Campaign.  Doug Nelson, 2013 United Way Campaign Chair and Regional President for BMO Harris Bank, kicked off this year’s campaign at Days of Caring at the end of August. He announced a challenging goal of $18.1 million, and the community responded with approximately 38,000 individual and 1,100 corporate donations.

“Thank you to everyone who responded to our call, ‘Take Action, Change Lives’, and opened their wallets and hearts to make this our most successful campaign,” said Nelson. “Every dollar makes a difference in our community’s education, safety, and health goals.”

More than 900 local philanthropists including community and business leaders attended the celebration event at the Monona Terrace, generously sponsored by American Family Insurance. The event focused on illustrating the impact of improving academic achievement for all students in Dane County with the help from thirty youth from The Simpson Street Press, a local newspaper. These students interviewed attendees as they came to the event tweeting what headlines attendees would like to see in the future using #takeactionchangelives. Later in the program, these same youth reporters explained the importance of the investment and work in closing the racial achievement gap by sharing personal stories of how United Way’s initiatives helped them overcome obstacles in their own lives.

Businesses, local organizations, and campaign volunteers were also recognized for their exemplary employee campaigns. (see below)

United Way President & CEO Leslie Ann Howard applauded all donors and individuals who helped reach the final goal, “Congratulations to all organizations for this incredible achievement. The generosity and out-pouring of support from Dane County is the driving force behind creating lasting change in our community. We can only change the human condition with the partnership of businesses, organizations, agencies, government, local leaders and individuals within the community. Thank you.”

Also announced at Celebration, was the winner of the Scion Sweepstakes. Teri Mueller from Dean Health Plan, won a 2013 Scion tC. Mueller was one of more than 12,000 people eligible who were automatically entered by making a first-time donation of at least $25 or increasing their donation over last year by at least $25.  The Sweepstakes was made possible by American Family Insurance and TASC.

United Way makes use of annual donations to create lasting solutions and measurable results in the community through the Agenda for Change.  Here’s a sample of the results we have had in the last year thanks to community support:

  • Since 1998, tutoring initiatives have connected over 57,000 students in Madison, Sun Prairie, Middleton and Oregon with over 15,500 trained volunteers to help them read at grade level by the end of third grade and complete algebra by the beginning of 10th grade.
  •  In 2012, more than 2,261 families remained in permanent homes and avoided the instability of homelessness thanks to United Way’s housing strategies.
  •  A screening and intervention tool used to identify and address anger, anxiety and depression in youth reaches 2,500 of sixth-graders in the four major school districts in Dane County giving students a greater chance at reaching graduation through in-school behavioral intervention.

“We have made significant progress toward improving the quality of life in Dane County  thanks to the community’s help and commitment to reaching our goals,” said Nelson, “While we’re projecting to raise more money than last year, we still need continued support to make sure we hit that number. The need doesn’t end today, every gift counts and has a transformational effect on lives in Dane County. If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, please give and be a part of this amazing work.”

It’s not too late to get involved in with United Way. People who are interested in supporting United Way can do so in the following ways:

 Make a Gift to United Way:

Give through your workplace campaign, start a workplace campaign at your organization or business, visit, call (608) 246-4350, or send contributions to United Way of Dane County, PO Box 7548, Madison WI, 53707-7548. We invite every member of the Dane County community to participate!

 Volunteer throughout the year:

Visit and click on “Volunteer Now” or call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or 246-4357.


(Companies with 100 or More Employees)

Community Impact Award:
Recognizes organizations for having the largest total giving to the campaign.

  1. American Family Insurance
  2. CUNA Mutual Group
  3. Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods
    UFCW Local 538
  4. Alliant Energy
    IBEW Local 965
  5. Madison Gas and Electric Company
    IBEW Local 2304
    OPEIU Local 39

Community Growth Award:
Recognizes organizations that have the largest percent increase in the number of new donors.

  1. Deloitte Consulting LLP
  2. YMCA of Dane County
  3. Wisconsin Distributors, Inc.

Community Chest Award:
Recognizes organizations that generate the largest percentage increase in employee giving.

  1. ACS, Inc.
  2. Stark Company Realtors
  3. Wisconsin Distributors, Inc.

Employee Engagement Award:
Recognizes organizations with the highest percentage of participation in their employee campaign.

  1. Zimbrick, Inc.
  2. Strand Associates, Inc.
  3. Stevens Construction Corp.

Employee Leadership Award:
Recognizes companies that have the largest average gift per employee.

  1. Foley & Lardner LLP
  2. The QTI Group
  3. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Red Feather Award
Recognizes organizations that have the largest dollar increases in their employee campaigns.

  1. American Family Insurance
  2. CUNA Mutual Group
  3. TASC

Innovation Award:
The Innovation Award celebrates an organization’s commitment to raising awareness and resources during the campaign, increasing participation, and retention an innovative way that helps us advance the community’s Agenda for Change. In addition to being creative, these organizations make leadership giving a priority, and implement best practices for growing a successful workplace campaign.

Stratatech Corporation
Wipfli, LLP

Our Community’s Agenda for Change


  • Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
  • Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.


  • There is a decrease in family homelessness.
  • There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.


  • People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

 United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to change the human condition in Dane County.