Madison, Wis. – Tens of thousands of caring Dane County businesses and individuals came together to pledge $19.54 million to change thousands of lives in our community.

“We are overjoyed at the generosity shown by Dane County,” said Dan Rashke, 2015 United Way Campaign Chair and CEO of TASC. “Local companies and donors rocked this year and, together, we will be moving families on pathways out of poverty over the next year.”

The 2015 campaign kicked off on August 18 at Days of Caring, with a record-high goal of $19.3 million. Today’s results were announced at United Way’s campaign celebration and include pledges already made and projected pledges for the rest of this year. Our campaign is still open and we encourage year-round giving. The community can give online or by mail (see below).

This campaign celebration also marked the final year of Leslie Ann Howard’s leadership. She served 34 years with United Way, including 26 years as President and CEO. United Way flourished in that time, transforming from a grant-maker to a local, community impact organization. Funds raised stay in Dane County to improve local lives with our partners in the areas of education, income and health.

“Leslie is a groundbreaking leader who has dedicated her life to changing the human condition for the better,” said Rashke. “Our community sends a heartfelt thank you to Leslie for her incredible passion and guidance.”

“I am so grateful to this community for joining together to achieve real and measurable results,” said Leslie Ann Howard, CEO of United Way of Dane County. “I am humbled by the continual commitment the community has shown to give back to their neighbors.”

Around 1,000 business leaders, local nonprofit agencies, volunteers, government leaders and other community partners came together to celebrate the collective efforts of their caring power. This year, that includes a special grant from our Campaign Chair Dan Rashke.

Dan and Patti Rashke (TASC) Family Foundation generously offered up a $350,000 matching grant to spur breakthrough funding for United Way. This innovative grant matches one-time, significant gifts which will fund United Way initiatives.

“We are so thankful to Dan and Patti’s innovative vision. We are inspired by Dan’s call to grow United Way participation and his personal outreach to leaders in our community,” said Renee Moe, President of United Way of Dane County. “The generosity from this matching grant ensures we will be changing lives in Dane County for years to come.”

The winner of the Give United Sweepstakes was announced at the event. Aaron Swenson of John Deere Financial won a custom vacation package for four to a destination of his choice plus a $1,000 TASC Cash Card. Givers were automatically entered when they made a first-time donation of at least $25 or increased their donation over last year by at least $25. The Give United Sweepstakes was made possible by TASC and Exact Sciences.

United Way would like to thank American Family Insurance for generously sponsoring this celebration at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center and TASC for bringing in local band LUBE and WJJO’s Johnny Danger and Greg Bair to perform today.

Our United Way’s 2015 campaign continues through the end of the year, so you can still give, advocate and volunteer. We invite every member of the Dane County community to participate year-round!

• Give online: UnitedWayDaneCounty.org
• Mail donations: United Way of Dane County, PO Box 7548, Madison, WI, 53707
• Volunteer today:
o UnitedWayDaneCounty.org and click on “Volunteer Now”
o Call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 to give or get help

2015 United Way Campaign Top Award Winners

Community Impact Award:
Recognizes organizations for having the largest total giving to the campaign
o American Family Insurance (Among companies with 350+ employees)
o Baker Tilly (Among companies with 100 – 349 employees)
o Christensen Associates (Among companies with 26 – 99 employees)
o Meridian Group, Inc. (Among companies with 5 – 25 employees)

Employee Engagement Award:
Recognizes organizations with the highest percentage of participation in their employee campaign
o Zimbrick, Inc. (350+ employees)
o Johnson Bank (100 – 349 employees)
o Oregon Community Bank
(26 – 99 employees)
o East Madison Community Center (5-25 employees)
Red Feather Award:
Recognizes organizations that have the largest dollar increases in their employee campaigns
o TASC (350+ employees)
o Hy Cite Corporation (100 – 349 employees)
o Bank of Sun Prairie (26 – 99 employees)
o Buttonwood Partners, Inc. (5 – 25 employees)
Community Growth Award:
Recognizes organizations that have the largest percent increase in the number of new donors
o Exact Sciences (350+ employees)
o DuPont (100 – 349 employees)
o Edgewood High School (26 – 99 employees)
o Literacy Network (5 – 25 employees)