To apply for funding click here to view guidelines for funding click click here

United Way of Dane County is currently accepting concept papers for programs to increase attendance for students of color in Madison, particularly in elementary with a focus on kindergarten. United Way is making available $36,000 in one-time funding for Dane County not-for-profit organizations, community groups (such as parent or neighborhood groups) and faith-based organizations in partnership with one or more of the listed Madison Metropolitan School District Elementary Schools. These schools include: Allis, Falk, Lapham, Leopold, Mendota, Midvale, and Orchard Ridge.  This opportunity allows groups to submit a proposal for how they would use up to $3,000 per organization in one time funding in partnership with an elementary school.

The deadline for receiving applications is June 6, 2014 at 6:00PM. Organizations will be notified the week of June 16. Funding will be released after June 24, 2014.

Decisions on this amount will be made by the HERE! Advisory Council, a group of community leaders co-chaired by Enis Ragland of 100 Black Men of Madison and Sal Carranza of UW System Administration. Community and faith organizations, (particularly those with established relationships in communities of color), in partnership with one or more of the schools listed above are invited to submit proposals that align with the identified strategies to increase attendance, for elementary students, especially students of color.  Funds available through this grant must be used for services provided in collaboration with one or more of the identified MMSD Elementary Schools and should be spent no later than January 31, 2015, with a final report due March 30, 2015.

For more information, please contact Kathy Hubbard at 246-4373, or email


  • Missing school early in life conditions the student to miss more school later; it becomes a learned behavior.
  • Attendance is tied to academic achievement; missing as little as 2 weeks during a single school year can have an impact on a child’s future success.
  • Attendance also strongly affects standardized test scores, drop out and graduation rates.
  • Without a high school diploma, a person’s annual earning power is $19,169; likely in jobs without health benefits.

The HERE! Advisory Council is made up of over 40 community leaders who are committed to ensuring every child in Madison has the ability to succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race by increasing the important of attendance in Madison. The ultimate goal of the HERE! Every Student, Every Day campaign is to ensure that all students are learning in thriving schools that prepare them for college, career and community. Attendance is crucial to this, and is something that everyone in the city of Madison can play a role in by understanding the issue and spreading the word about the importance of regular attendance to school.

 About 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.

About 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.