United Way of Dane County makes strategic investments toward a better Dane County for all.

Madison, WI (May 4, 2017) In a continuing effort to address poverty and related issues in Dane County, the United Way of Dane County is investing $19,142,242 in the community in 2017 with a specific focus on stabilizing young families.
Nearly 150 volunteers have been working since August to review requests from 60 organizations as part of United Way’s annual process to determine how to invest the resources raised as part of its annual fundraising campaign.
“Making these investment decisions is a task all of us at United Way take very seriously, from the 150 volunteers who drive the investment decisions to the team at United Way that works directly with the agencies,” explained Karen Timberlake, of Michael Best Strategies and chair of the Vision Council, the volunteer committee charged with making investment decisions. “These investments are the most impactful way that we can respond to the community’s charge to be problem solvers and change-makers in Dane County.”
The community organizations receiving the investments serve a variety of audiences, but what they share is a focus on getting families out of poverty and ultimately stabilized and self-sufficient. “Focusing on poverty means addressing education, financial stability and health – the things that will make our economy stronger, neighborhoods safer and community more successful,” said 2017 United Way of Dane County Board Chair, Anna Burish of UBS Financial Services, Inc.
Each organization commits to monitoring and tracking the results of their efforts and reporting those back to UWDC to ensure that there is evidence-based data of what types of programs are working in the community. Some examples of those that are receiving investments include:

  • Centro Hispano: Centro Hispano has a track-record of success in improving the academic success of young students, work that will continue through their Schools of Hope program in 2017. In addition, in 2017 their Caminos program in the HIRE Initiative will provide workforce readiness training to the Latinx community for Certified Nurse Assistants and other healthcare careers.
  • The six partner agencies in the HIRE Initiative (Centro Hispano, Literacy Network, Madison-area Urban Ministries, Urban League of Greater Madison, Vera Court Neighborhood Center, and YWCA) will link people living in poverty with family sustaining jobs with 35 different local employers. In 2016 these agencies placed nearly 600 people in jobs.
  • The work that Madison-area Urban Ministries does through the Journey Home Initiative has resulted in only 6.7 percent of Dane County formerly incarcerated being returned to prison after release. This is a significant improvement from 66 percent in 2003.

“United Way values the good work of so many partners, and takes seriously our community-given role to connect the dots and create measurable results.” said Renee Moe, president and CEO of UWDC. “We are grateful to every business, every donor and every volunteer who makes changing lives in Dane County possible.”


About United Way of Dane County:
United Way of Dane County fights for the education, financial stability, and health of everyone in Dane County.
Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, United Way brings the many voices of Dane County together to find common ground, develop a strategic architecture for change, and make measurable progress, while engaging organizations and individuals with the opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer to change lives in Dane County.