Together, we are The Power of Many. Working for All.

United Way of Dane County Coronavirus Response

United Way of Dane County is dedicated to serving our community during the Coronavirus pandemic. While the particulars of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented, the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors are at the forefront of our work 24/7, 365 days a year.

For 98 years, United Way of Dane County has provided critical support to our community in times of need. By providing high-quality, well-timed and coordinated services, United Way and our partners help families build their well-being faster and more effectively.

We invite you to share this page with resources available to our community. We are all in this together during this challenging and uncertain time. Together, we are The Power of Many. Working for All.

United Way of Dane County Resources

Community Resources

This is a list of resources available for individuals, nonprofits, educators and businesses.
Click Here

211 is not just a help line, it's a lifeline

Click Here

Volunteer safely and remotely

Click Here

Health insurance help is available

Click Here

Get the training you need for your next job

Click Here

FAQs

Your gift changes people’s lives.

When you give directly to United Way of Dane County, your donation is strategically invested in effective, research-based strategies and partnerships to tackle Dane County’s toughest issues in the areas of Education, Income and Health – building blocks of well-being. We drive and measure results to create the greatest impact.

DONATE HERE

Yes! To donate by mail send your check to:

United Way of Dane County
COVID-19 FUND
PO Box 7548
Madison, WI 53707-7548
Make check payable to United Way of Dane County

United Way’s office at 2059 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704 will be closed through at least May 26th.  Despite our office closure, we will continue to conduct business remotely Monday through Friday during normal business hours.

All events and in person meetings  are postponed through at least May 26th. For meetings that can be done by phone or web, your United Way contact will be reaching out to work with you. Click here for an updated information about both in-person and virtual events.

Dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211 to be connected to someone who can help. In anticipation of increased call volume, you can also access resources by visiting the 211 Wisconsin website

For COVID-19 facts, tips on what to do when you’re sick and other resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.

Social Media

Communication Updates

Thanks to the generosity of more than 1,000 donors, I’m thrilled to announce that 36 applications representing more than 90 organizations will receive approximately $1.5 million in grant funding through the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund.

The Fund was launched March 13th in collaboration with Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and Selfless Ambition, and it ultimately raised $2 million. $425,000 was granted to local organizations in the first phase of the granting process. You can read more about those investments here. Additional dollars were designated by donors to local organizations and other United Ways.

The remaining $1.5 million has been awarded to these organizations to support Coronavirus-related food, housing and flexible funding needs.

Starting March 20, United Way of Dane County received 100 applications totaling more than $3.4 million in requests. Since then a 17-member volunteer committee reviewed the applications. Our United Way of Dane County Board of Directors approved the recommendations earlier today and applicants have been notified of funding decisions. Our goal is to get dollars into the hands of people who need help right now.

While the particulars of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented, the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors are at the forefront of our work 24/7, 365 days a year. For 98 years, United Way of Dane County has provided critical support to our community in times of need. By providing high-quality, well timed and coordinated services, United Way and our partners help families build their well-being faster and more effectively.

From here, our Vision – A Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life – continues to unfold with the launch of a #GivingTuesdayNow campaign on May 5. We invite you to support this nationwide collaboration starting April 30th by visiting our website www.UnitedWayDaneCounty.org. More details on that effort are coming soon.

Please keep reading this newsletter to learn more about our partnerships that provide critical support to our community during this difficult time. Together, we are The Power of Many. Working For All.

Thank you for all you are doing to support our community.

With gratitude,

Renee Moe
President & CEO

THE POWER OF MANY. WORKING FOR ALL.
In the wake of the Coronavirus, United Way of Dane County was honored to be asked by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to strategically and safely support agencies with volunteer power and material donations specifically for the Dane County COVID-19 emergency and recovery efforts.

United Way of Dane County’s Volunteer Your Time website, www.VolunteeerYourTime.org provides safe and remote volunteer opportunities for individuals and agencies willing to help. We apply best practices to ensure the safety of all volunteer opportunities posted on VolunteerYourTime.org, including offering remote volunteer opportunities. These opportunities have been carefully vetted to ensure the safety of both you and those with whom you interact.

United Way of Dane County’s partner agency, Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin (CAC), is one of the many organizations needing your help and on the website VolunteerYourTime.org. CAC works with approximately 90 other food distribution sites. Without volunteers to help with deliveries, at-risk members of our community will get less food and access to a variety of healthy options.

Click to hear an important message from our partner CAC

Volunteer now!

UNITED WAY OF DANE COUNTY: MAKING THE MATCH
During this COVID-19 crisis, we need your help more than ever to ensure the well-being of our neighbors.

We are following best practices to ensure the safety of all volunteer opportunities posted on VolunteerYourTime.org, including offering remote volunteer opportunities.

The following organizations were successfully matched through United Way’s Volunteer Your Time website:

  • Epic employee volunteers were matched with two Meals on Wheels programs.
  • TASC donated face masks to Porchlight.
  • End Time Ministries International Bishop Godfrey Stubbs delivers meals and groceries to families, with United Way of Dane County provides youth snacks to the Bishop.
  • Saris employees volunteer time and use of Saris e-bikes to deliver over 1,000 pounds of food from Community Action Coalition (CAC) to sites all over Madison.
  • Exact Sciences employee volunteer and BVNetwork Chair, Nathan Spencer, donates his time remotely to support Volunteer Your Time platform revisions.
  • Madison Teachers Inc. committed to childcare and food delivery needs in Dane County.
  • ACD Distribution donated games and toys to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County for care packages for kids.
  • Edgewood College Faculty, Fred Harrington, volunteers his time at the St. Vincent de Paul Madison Food Pantry by doing two food pick up/drop off routes each week with CAC.
  • Logan’s Heart and Smiles Executive Director Joe Herr volunteers with First Methodist Church to make weekly deliveries from the pantry to homes.
  • Arctica LLC President gave Community Action Coalition warehouse space through to August for food distribution needs

These are just several examples of the hundreds of people who are volunteering for our community’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Thank you Volunteers for your dedication and support to our community. 

THE POWER OF MANY. WORKING FOR ALL

What a tremendous response to community need! We are grateful for the show of support from longstanding United Way donors as well as other caring community members who want to help our neighbors get relief and ultimately recover and thrive from this incredibly challenging time. We talk about United Way being The Power of Many, and you have put your compassion and giving hearts into action. On behalf of an appreciative Dane County, thank you for your willingness to give, advocate and volunteer! We will get through this together, united.

Click here to view a list of our generous donors

COVID-19 Fund Update: 
96 applications, $3.4 million requested. Decisions announced week of 4/20

I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy. It’s hard to believe we are headed into our 4th week of virtual engagement and social distancing—our new normal. It feels like a lifetime ago that the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Dane County.

In March, United Way led a COVID-19 community “needs assessment,” calling on dozens of stakeholders to see what issues our community was facing during this crisis: income loss, housing and food insecurity, obstacles to childcare and sustaining agency operations. Meantime, thousands of people have been calling into United Way’s 211 information and referral service to report their needs and ask for assistance in real time.

Meeting our community’s needs, along with providing up-to-date information, drives our mission to achieve measurable results and change lives 24/7, 365 days a year.

As of last Friday, United Way of Dane County has received nearly 100 applications for grants through our Dane County COVID-19 Emergency & Recovery Fund. The total dollars requested exceeds $3.4 million. The next step is for our committee of volunteers to review applications and make those tough decisions. We will announce the list of grantees the week of April 20. Meantime, please donate so we can gather more resources for families during this crisis.

As I reflect, I am reminded of the humbling role United Way serves in our community: to frame issues, mobilize community resources and hold ourselves accountable for results. We are grateful to community members and organizations for generously responding to our call for support during this challenging time. I’m proud that we have been able to come together and show The Power of Many. Working for All.

Please read on to learn more about the resources available to our community during this time and share with your networks.

With gratitude,

Renee Moe
President & CEO

Click here to donate to the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency & Recovery Fund


COVID-19 RELIEF RESOURCES

Our United Way 211 staff recently took a call from a woman who lives far from her elderly mother and wanted to make sure she had access to food. Her mom isn’t very proactive when it comes to making meals, and the woman was worried she would go hungry since she can’t leave the house. 211 staff connected the woman with Meals On Wheels and grocery delivery options in our area, and she left the call feeling very hopeful.

This is just one of the hundreds of calls our 211 staff are receiving each day during the COVID-19 crisis. See one example below. If you or anyone you know needs help, call 211. United Way of Dane County is ready to help you.

Click here to learn about our resources


During this COVID-19 crisis, we need your help more than ever to ensure the well-being of our neighbors.

We are following best practices to ensure the safety of all volunteer opportunities posted on VolunteerYourTime.org, including offering remote volunteer opportunities. These opportunities have been carefully vetted to ensure the safety of both you and those with whom you interact.

Click here to volunteer!


Need help paying for your health insurance during these difficult times? HealthConnect can help. United Way of Dane County HealthConnect, in partnership with UW Health and Quartz Health Solutions, Inc., is a free program that pays health insurance premiums for qualifying Dane County residents.

HealthConnect has helped me put some of my financial worries aside and concentrate on a living a happier lifestyle. I’m now able to pay off my debt and see my doctor on a regular basis to help with my family history of heart disease.
– 2019 HealthConnect Enrollee

Click here to learn more about eligibility for HealthConnect

United Way of Dane County COVID-19 Update

Just last night our 211 staff took a call from a woman who lives far from her elderly mother and wanted to make sure she had access to food. Her mom isn’t very proactive when it comes to making meals, and the woman was worried she would go hungry since she can’t leave the house. 211 staff connected the woman with meals-on-wheels and grocery delivery options in our area, and she left the call feeling very hopeful.

This is just one of the hundreds of calls our 211 staff are receiving each day during the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond our 211 response at the front lines, dozens of other United Way staff have been gathering resources for our Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund, refining our application and timeline for distribution of those dollars, and *safely mobilizing volunteers. We are all in this together during this challenging and uncertain time, and we could not do this without your support.

Here are a few updates to close out the week:

1. More than 840 donors have invested more than $1.4M dollars in the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund, and thanks to your generosity, that number keeps going up. Click here to view a list of those who made leadership gifts of $10,000 or more.

To make a gift to the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund, visit www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/help4covid or text “help4covid” to 40403.

2. $425,000 from the fund are being distributed by our partners at Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and Selfless Ambition. The balance of the total fund and all future investments are available for organizations to apply for starting today. The priorities to receive funding are:
• Eviction/homelessness prevention
• Food/meals for older adults and children
• Flex fund (flexible dollars to respond to other crises that individuals, families or nonprofits experience)

United Way is accepting applications now through April 3. A volunteer committee of community, business and grassroots leaders will review applications and announce funding decisions the week of April 20. To apply for funding, click here.

3. We are actively recruiting volunteers to assist in Dane County’s COVID-19 relief efforts. Local government has deemed volunteers “essential” and we continue to offer volunteer opportunities while keeping your safety our #1 priority. Help now by visiting www.unitedwaydanecounty.org.

Thank you for all you are doing to ease the suffering of others during this difficult time. I know our community will emerge stronger as a result of your efforts.

With gratitude,

Renee Moe
President & CEO,
United Way of Dane County

P.S. Please forward to colleagues, friends, neighbors or groups who may be interested in helping with local COVID-19 response!

Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund Announcement

Madison, WI (March 20, 2020) – As Dane County faces one of the biggest public health crises in its history — businesses reducing workforce or closing leaving some without incomes, school closings leaving parents searching for childcare, food and housing services bracing for new complexities in their work, and health care workers preparing for a spike in patients — leaders in our community are taking action.

Today United Way of Dane County, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Selfless Ambition and other area organizations announced a collaborative effort to provide financial relief for those hit hardest by the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. Community members and businesses have already raised more than $885,500 for the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund.

Funds will be split into two approaches:
1. Short-term emergency, focused on individual and families’ immediate needs. This fund is operated by Boys & Girls Club and Selfless Ambition and fundraising closes on March 20. Grant decisions will be made by May 15 and will be directed to:
• Medical supplies for those impacted by this virus
• Meals for kids due to school closures
• Local shelters as they assist families and individuals
• College students in need of temporary housing and meals
• Senior citizens in need of meals, transportation and medical assistance
• Hardship funding for nonprofits for individuals and families

2. Long-term response and recovery, focused on providing resources to nonprofits, individuals and families. This fund is operated by United Way of Dane County and will remain open for the foreseeable future. This fund is focused on:
• Food/meals for older adults and children
• Eviction prevention
• Homelessness prevention
• Flex fund (flexible dollars to respond to other crises that individuals, families or nonprofits experience)
Long-term recovery needs will continue to be assessed as more data about the impact of the crisis become available.

No administrative costs are being charged for either fund. An independent group of community, business and grassroots leaders will determine disbursements. More information can be found here.

We are grateful for the support of the hundreds of donors and businesses who have contributed to the fund so far. Lead gifts to the combined effort include the following:
$100,000 Dan and Patti Rashke TASC Family Foundation
$100,000 Madison Gas & Electric Foundation
$100,000 UW Credit Union
$ 75,000 Ascendium Education Group
$ 50,000 Kevin and Sheila Conroy
$ 50,000 Bob and Anne Trunzo
$ 50,000 Jim and Jessica Yehle
$ 50,000 John and Jo Ellen McKenzie
$ 50,000 American Family Insurance
$ 50,000 UW Health, UnityPoint Health–Meriter and Quartz
$ 50,000 Madison Teachers Inc.
$ 42,500 Alliant Energy
$ 30,000 Group Health Cooperative of South-Central Wisconsin, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital –
Madison, UnityPoint Health – Meriter and UW Health
$ 25,000 GE Healthcare
$ 25,000 Meicher Family Foundation
$ 38,000 from individuals and families in gifts of all sizes

United Way of Dane County is also actively recruiting volunteers to assist in COVID-19-related efforts. At Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s request, we are working to connect any healthy person willing to help agencies with volunteer power and material donations, for example volunteer matching EPIC employees with Meals on Wheels or TASC employees donating masks to Porchlight. Volunteerism priorities are:
• Food delivery
• Childcare for emergency care workers
• Temporary housing and food pantry staffing support
• Temporary housing and food pantry donations
Help now with safe volunteer opportunities and material donation needs specific to COVID-19 relief at www.volunteeryourtime.org.

We are committed to the care of our community and each other, and we always emerge stronger than before. Together, we are The Power of Many. Working for All.

To make a gift to the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund, visit www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/help4covid or text “help4covid” to 40403.

United Way is actively engaged in our community’s response to COVID-19. Here are a few updates we want you to be aware of as we start out the week:

Effectively immediately, our building located at 2059 Atwood Avenue is closed to the public in an effort to help prevent the spread of the virus. We anticipate a reopen date of April 6, but that date may be adjusted as more information becomes available. All volunteer and partner meetings will occur virtually.

We are working with nonprofit, government, faith and business stakeholders to develop a coordinated emergency response fund, collaborating with the Boys and Girls Club and Selfless Ambition fund that went live last week. This week we are evaluating stakeholder needs, understanding what federal funds might be available, and determining a transparent, effective and timely process for funds distribution. You can make a donation here in the meantime.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has asked United Way to aggregate and organize volunteer opportunities that arise in the wake of this public health threat. If you know of any organizations or grassroots efforts recruiting volunteers, please connect them with Morghan Vélez (morghan.velez@uwdc.org). We will post volunteer opportunities to volunteeryourtime.org as they become available.

Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram (@unitedwaydaneco), LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest information on this dynamic situation.

We expect to formally announce this coordinated fund and how to safely volunteer on Friday, March 20. Our intent is to match critical needs with those who want to help to best deploy community resources and increase positive outcomes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly and as we learn more about this pandemic United Way of Dane County is uniting the community to respond to this public health emergency. 

United Way is working with Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Selfless Ambition, other nonprofits, businesses, public health, Dane County, City of Madison, Madison’s Schools (MMSD), Chambers and others to develop a coordinated emergency response fund for our community.

This week we are evaluating needs, understanding what federal funds might be available, and determining a transparent, effective and timely process for funds distribution. 

We expect to formally announce this collective fund on Friday, March 20.

If your organization is starting fundraising efforts and want to be included in this comprehensive approach, please email Sandy Erickson (sandy.erickson@uwdc.org) in order to better coordinate our efforts. 

The Power of Many. Working for All.

As the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe and in the U.S., I want to let you know what United Way of Dane County is doing to respond to this public health emergency.

First and foremost, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers, agency partners and the communities in which we live and work — especially the families we fight for every day.

Our internal team is assessing the situation daily, remaining vigilant, and following all recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health authorities. Our 211 information and referral service is preparing for increased call volume due to the pandemic.

Please be assured that while we remain focused on the health and safety of our staff and those around us, we also are focused on providing continued service to the community. We are taking steps to ensure we can continue to deliver the same high level of quality and engagement internally and externally during these unique circumstances.

Agency partners: Please keep us informed of any program challenges that may result from this emergency. Our team is here to help and will continue reaching out. To accommodate our partners who are necessarily spending time planning related to the virus, we are moving the reporting deadline for annual reports to April 15th.

United Way committee volunteers: Your United Way staff liaison will contact you via email as soon as possible with next steps regarding your upcoming scheduled meetings.

Donors and partner businesses: We anticipate needs for employment, housing and health care, and we appreciate your continued investment to support those who are losing income, dealing with health challenges, managing caregiving and more. Our neighbors need our support now more than ever.

In line with CDC recommendations, we are evaluating our options for our upcoming events, including our Community Volunteer Awards on April 28. We will be posting updates to our events webpage regularly and will also communicate updates via email. 

As we navigate this time of uncertainty together, I want to reaffirm The Power of Many. Working for All. I hope that you and your loved ones are well, and we are here if you need us.

Renee Moe, 
President & CEO 
United Way of Dane County