Investments Will Strengthen Community Partnerships and Stabilize Local Families

Madison, WI (May 24, 2018) –Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, nonprofits, individual donors and other partners, United Way is investing the $18,775,229 raised in its 2017 campaign to support the fight for the education, financial stability and health of everyone in Dane County. Last year’s campaign was chaired by Robert N. Trunzo, President & CEO of CUNA Mutual Group.

The community organizations receiving the investments serve all demographics, but they all share a focus on supporting families on a path out of poverty toward stabilization and self-sufficiency.

2017 saw positive, innovative changes to our campaign. Many companies participated in our new year-round “Seasons of Caring” volunteer opportunities, while others brought new and innovative tactics to their workplace campaigns to increase engagement and raise more resources for our community.

“United Way addresses our community’s toughest issues at their root causes,” said 2018 Board Chair Mike Hamerlik and President & CEO, WPS Health Solutions. “This holistic, family-centric approach to investing resources is helping accelerate results and changing more lives across Dane County.”

With a strong community focus and commitment to making Dane County the best place to life for all, American Family Insurance recently announced an additional gift of $530,021 to the 2017 Campaign. The additional gift is the result of an increase in American Family’s employee matching gift program. This increase was one of many commitments American Family made in response to savings realized by recent changes to the federal tax code.

Investment decisions were based on the work of our Vision Council and Community Solutions Teams, which are volunteer committees. Here are a few highlights.

  • $424,000 will help support Early Childhood Zones partnerships. Early Childhood Zones provide two-generation support to families in Madison’s Leopold and northside neighborhoods, Sun Prairie and Verona. The zones support families of young children through home visitation, employment/education and housing support, and other services. They are a collaboration between Dane County, United Way, the City of Madison, the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation and others.
  • $532,625 will go to our Housing First initiative through the YWCA Madison, The Road Home and The Salvation Army of Dane County. Housing First helps families achieve a stable housing situation before and while addressing other issues that contribute to their homelessness.
  • $302,100 will be invested in FACE-Kids, which provides therapist-led school-based group services to Dane County children and youth with a wide range of behavioral health needs. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, grief and loss, self-esteem, and anger management.
  • $757,793 will go toward strengthening the HIRE Initiative. 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 Madison) will link people living in poverty with family sustaining jobs with 40 different local employers. In 2017 these agencies placed more than 400 people in jobs, 285 of which were at $15 per hour or more – that wage allows a family to afford a market-rate two-bedroom apartment.

“Year after year, community members across Dane County step up to the plate to support one another through United Way. It is inspiring to see people combine their resources to collectively invest in sustainable, high-quality solutions that are cost-effective, measurable and address the most pressing issues in our community,” noted Mr. Trunzo.

“Every year I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our community,” Renee Moe, President and CEO of United Way of Dane County said. “This is just the beginning – we invest in communities, big picture vision with accountable strategies, and working together to invest more resources in families working toward stability.”


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.