“The emerging leaders in Madison are hungry.”

Young Professionals Strive for Change in Dane County

United Way is home to so many inspiring leaders in Dane County. From By Youth For Youth to Key Club and Tocqueville Society, we are connected to an incredible number of community members who want positive change and make it happen through their leadership. This month, we are showcasing the young professionals who are becoming the next generation of leaders in Dane County through our Rosenberry Society.

Young professionals connected with each other throughout a full and successful #YPWeek last week. Rosenberry Society was a key organizer of this week, hosting two events: State of Education and Coffee Conversations. (For more on #YPWeek and a look at both events, check out the video above.)

Aaron Seligman led Coffee Conversations which focused on how to make coffee meetings effective and memorable. Aaron and his wife are both members of Rosenberry Society and he mentioned there’s opportunities to do more in the community with United Way.

“Not only are you giving something, but you’re really getting to invest in your community and the opportunities to see the impact of where it is going to go,” says Aaron. He is the Regional Director in Wisconsin for Leadership for Educational Equity. You can follow him on Twitter @AaronLEEWI.

Rosenberry Society is a simple, unique way to meet fellow young professionals who are interested in philanthropy. Corinn Plossel serves on our Rosenberry Advisory Council, works at Wegners CPAs and is an active member of many young professional organizations in Madison.

“People are having critical conversations on diversity and equity and so many other things you know United Way is touching,” says Corinn. “They can help bring light to these issues and what the community is doing to tackle these issues.”

Corinn (@coryplo) says Rosenberry Society is a great first step for a young professional to learn about our community and help them get involved.

“There’s always ways you can get involved in the community through Rosenberry.”

To join Rosenberry Society for as little at $10 per pay period, please email uwdcberry@uwdc.org. Follow Rosenberry Society on Twitter @uwdcberries or on Facebook.

Women’s Leadership Breakfast

2016 WL breakfast banner

Honoring Ginger Zimmerman as the recipient of the
2016 United Way Woman of the Year Philanthropy Award

Nakoma Golf Club
4145 Country Club Rd, Madison, WI 53711

Free valet parking available

More information about the Women’s Leadership Breakfast is available online here.
Please contact Lauren Rock at 608-246-4348 or womensleadershipcouncil@uwdc.org with questions.

The Women’s Leadership Breakfast & Woman of the Year Philanthropy Award is SOLD OUT!

We thank you for your interest to attend and support our Woman of the Year Philanthropy, Ginger Zimmerman.
You are invited to complete a registration for our event waiting list. When a seat is available you will be notified by United Way.

April 2016: Happy National Volunteer Month!

ReneeMoe black and white small fileVolunteers are the soul of United Way. Every decision made is formed by and discussed with volunteers. Does engaging the community with and through volunteers slow things down and add complexity? Sure. But we believe wholeheartedly that United Way exists by the community and for the community, and volunteer involvement is a critical and irreplaceable asset in making long-term change happen in Dane County. It is through diversity of experience and points of view that we can understand more fully the challenging issues we are working to address, and collectively identify how we can create change that sticks.

This month is National Volunteer Month across America, an excellent reason to reflect on the leadership and diversity volunteers embed in United Way’s work. On behalf of the Board and staff, I’d like to THANK all of our volunteers for their time, experience and leadership – whether working to end homelessness for families, running an employee campaign, digging into financial statements, or answering 2-1-1 calls for help. Staff promise to bring our A game, and it’s the volunteers who ensure the work and outcomes are A+. Check out our Volunteer Recognition booklet online! We are better because of you.

In 2015, 923 volunteers served on 57 United Way committees – their total contribution of time was 39,000 hours! In our community, 20,219 volunteers provided more than 437,000 additional hours of service to United Way partner non-profits. In total, that is a $10,981,320 value. That is a powerful testament to the willingness of our community to roll up its sleeves and collaboratively tackle our most challenging local human issues.

We honor and recognize the importance of volunteers at United Way and across the community. And, we are working to build out our community’s volunteer capacity through workplace volunteerism and the Business Volunteer Network, youth volunteerism and leadership, non-profit volunteer management capacity building, and – in development – a new online volunteerism platform that we hope to unveil later this year.

This month, we’ll be celebrating volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 10-16. On April 15, 16 and 17, more than 4,000 Dane County youth will participate in Global Youth Service Day. Then, on April 20, we will honor 74 volunteer nominees and 11 awardees who dedicate their volunteer time and passion toward creating a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life.

To all of you who volunteer, thank you. To all of you who manage and support volunteers, thank you. To those of you who are looking to volunteer, check out VolunteerYourTime.org to find a volunteer project that is perfect for you.


“Every Unit Counts”: United Way convenes partners, volunteers to create new homes

“Our goal is to get to 5% vacancy rate, which if we build 1,000 units a year for the next decade, we still won’t get there. So we’ve got a long way to go. It means that every unit counts.”

– Mayor Paul Soglin, City of Madison

The power of the community created new homes on Madison’s north side this weekend. Around 115 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to clean and paint apartments, so homeless families can move into stable housing.

“The city approached us to see if we could partner with our Housing First program and end homelessness for 27 families,” said Martha Cranley, United Way of Dane County Director of Community Impact: Basic Needs. “We brought the Business Volunteer Network to help out. They got volunteers and brought cleaning supplies and painting supplies. [These units will] be ready for families to move into starting in March.”

The Community Development Authority is a key partner, as is Meridian Group, Inc. A longtime partner with United Way, Meridian will manage the property. Families will lease from Meridian, which will build their credit and rental history.

“The other great partners in this work are our Housing First partners: YWCA, The Road Home, Salvation Army and East Madison Community Center. Their case managers will be working with families out here just like they would be in any other part of the city,” said Cranley.

“United Way has done a wonderful job and we’re going to have supportive services here,” said Madison Mayor Paul Soglin. “Those services are critical for addressing some of the other challenges because besides housing, we have to deal with transportation. We have to make sure there’s quality childcare, we have to make sure that health needs are attended to and we have to make sure there’s a great environment for learning.”

Thank you to the Business Volunteer Network for harnessing the community’s volunteering power. Please watch the above video of these incredible volunteers in action.

If you would like to get your organization involved in BVN, click here.

There is another cleaning and painting day scheduled for Saturday, March 19. All ages are welcome to participate. If you would like to sign up for a morning and/or afternoon shift, click here.

Strong Roots: Building Economically Stable Families Press Release

Welcome Slide

(Feb. 25, 2016) Madison, Wis. – Today, local leaders began a conversation with the community on how, collectively, we can implement strategies to reduce poverty.

Poverty is one of the largest challenges children and families face in Dane County. United Way of Dane County convened the Delegation to Create Economically Stable Families in 2014, led by UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and former City of Madison Police Chief Noble Wray. Today, the delegation shared its recommended strategies to increase the number of young families, particularly families of color, to become economically stable.

Blank led a community conversation with leaders and the public at today’s Strong Roots: Building Economically Stable Families event, sponsored by Alliant Energy Foundation. The Delegation’s recommended strategies are part of a larger, year-long discussion on how the community wants to engage in reducing poverty and closing opportunity gaps.

Civic, business and community leaders answered questions from community members on how they, along with the community, can take local approaches to reduce poverty in Dane County. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, City of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, American Family Insurance President, CEO and Chairman Jack Salzwedel, UW Hospitals President Ron Sliwinski, African American Council of Churches President Bishop Harold Rayford, Urban League of Greater Madison Board Vice Chair Derrick Smith, Centro Hispano Executive Director Dr. Karen Menéndez Coller, Oscar Rennebohm Foundation Early Childhood Program Director Jane Belmore and Wipfli’s Chief Human Capital Officer Claudio Diaz took part in panel discussions.

Since the fall of 2014, the Delegation researched strategies that would decrease the number of families who are living in poverty and address the barriers for children and families of color in our community.

“The barriers families of color face in Dane County are critical and must be addressed,” said Chancellor Blank. “Access to quality, affordable childcare is a barrier to steady employment opportunities. Low-income families also face barriers regarding education, housing and healthcare. Our delegation is committed to finding solutions that lower these barriers, so these families can break the cycle of poverty.”

The Delegation devised four strategies:
1. In collaboration with partners, stakeholders and the community, develop holistic, two generation, coordinated supports that empower young families living poverty to increase their economic stability.
2. Increase the number of young families living in poverty who gain family sustaining employment.
3. Increase the amount of and remove the barriers to affordable housing available to young families living in poverty.
4. Increase the number of children in poverty who are developmentally ready to be successful in school.
*For the Delegation’s full report, please visit here.

“Each strategy comes with an armful of tactics to ensure more families in poverty can become economically stable,” said Noble Wray, co-chair of the Delegation. “From expanding the reach of programs to creating a culturally diverse system of service providers that can connect families to the right services, these tactics will support families as they work toward a more stable life.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the work accomplished by the delegation, Chancellor Blank and Chief Wray,” said Renee Moe, President and CEO of United Way of Dane County. “Their collective research, understanding of local issues and development of strategies show the importance of supporting a family holistically. By focusing on education, income and health issues at the same time, a family in poverty will have a greater chance at successfully building a stable life.”

United Way will work with the community using the delegation’s strategies and will measure the number of families, especially families of color, enrolled and participating in the new, comprehensive, two-generational programming combining employment, housing and early childhood development that leads families out of poverty.

About United Way of Dane County:
United Way of Dane County is committed to the vision of a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life. Our community’s Agenda for Change are six goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Income and Health – the building blocks of a stable life. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are bringing the many voices of Dane County around a neutral table to find common ground and make progress, while providing organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer to change lives in Dane County.

About Alliant Energy Foundation:
The Alliant Energy Foundation was formed in order to help improve the quality of life – now and in the future – in the communities where Alliant Energy has a presence. The Foundation’s programs reflect a commitment to play an active role in those areas and give back to future generations. The Alliant Energy Foundation is an independent, non-profit philanthropic organization funded solely by an annual contribution from Alliant Energy Corporation, using shareowner dollars.