Media Resources

The latest news from and about United Way of Dane County

For media inquiries or questions, please contact:

Ashley Reynolds, Director of Communications
email:     mobile: 608-416-0401

For images of previous United Way events, visit our Flickr page. (Caption: Photo Courtesy of United Way of Dane County)

Not a media inquiry? Visit our Contact Us page.

Press Releases and Media Alert

United Way of Dane County Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator

Madison, WI (September 21, 2021) – United Way’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the 11th consecutive time that United Way has earned this top distinction.

Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices, and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that United Way of Dane County exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in our area of work – only 2 percent of charities evaluated have received at least 11 consecutive 4-star ratings.


United Way of Dane County Kicks Off the 2021 Community Campaign

Madison, WI (August 19, 2021) – Today, as part of a virtual kickoff event, United Way of Dane County officially announced the start of our 2021 Community Campaign. Built by analyzing community data, acknowledging the community’s greatest needs and leading conversations with hundreds of business and community leaders, this year’s goal is to raise $18.1 million, which is a $300k increase over last year’s goal.

“History shows our community rises to the challenge, especially when we are in the midst of an emergency or have heightened needs,” said Daniel Frazier, United Way of Dane County Campaign Co-Chair and Madison Market President of U.S. Bank. “With the effects of the pandemic still lingering, we owe it to our neighbors to reimagine the long-term recovery of our community and build back better. And with the support of this community, we’re optimistic we can do it.”


Nearly $1.5 million in Program Grants Distributed on Behalf of the UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity
Grants target financial stability and the education achievement gap for BIPOC community members

Madison, WI – June 3, 2021 – UW Credit Union, in partnership with United Way, will award 27 organizations located throughout the greater Milwaukee and Madison areas with racial equity program grants totaling $1.5 million. The UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity is a collaborative effort with United Way of Dane County and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County to remove barriers to economic mobility.


United Way of Dane County Announces New Strategies to Support More Equitable Health Outcomes

Madison, WI (May 19, 2021) – In a press conference on Wednesday, United Way of Dane County announced a new mobilization plan, outlining strategies to meet evolving healthcare needs in our community.
As a result of a year of planning and work, United Way’s Health Community Solutions Team (CST) of volunteers found that, while our community remains a top place to live, raise a family and retire, that is not typically the case for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Southeast Asian and people of color
(BIPOC) in Dane County. In fact, after reviewing data from the County Health Rankings Report, the Dane County Community Needs Assessment and other sources, they found significant gaps in quality of and access to care between the white and BIPOC populations in Dane County.


Volunteers Honored with Virtual Community Volunteer Awards

Madison, WI (April 13, 2021) – After a year of pause due to COVID-19, United Way of Dane County is happy to formally announce the recipients of the 2020 Community Volunteer Awards!

For more than 20 years, we’ve recognized the incredible champions for change in Dane County through the Community Volunteer Awards. And while we typically gather in person to celebrate their commitment to this community, this year we’re taking time to celebrate our award recipients and nominees virtually as part of National Volunteer Month.

The Community Volunteer Awards highlight the enormous benefits volunteers bring to Dane County. Leading by example, the nominees and award recipients encourage everyone to engage in their community through volunteerism.

“This month, we are celebrating some of our community’s most dedicated volunteers,” said Renee Moe, President & CEO of United Way of Dane County. “These individuals and organizations play a key role in championing change in our community. While their passion, dedication and commitment are always an inspiration, they’ve made such an incredible impact during this historically difficult time. Coming together to meet crisis with generosity and hard work, they’ve helped us meet the increase in need and remain committed to helping our community recover. Thank you, volunteers, for all you do. You are the real change-makers in Dane County!”


The Community’s Campaign Raises $17.8 Million with United Way of Dane County
Despite the challenging year, the community helped us reach our goal

Madison, WI (March 18, 2021) – Thanks to the generosity of thousands of individuals and businesses across Dane County, our community was able to raise $17.8 Million during our 2020 Community Fundraising Campaign, helping us to reach our goal despite such a challenging year.

On Thursday, March 18, we at United Way of Dane County announced the campaign total and gave thanks to numerous community partners for making this hard work possible via a video posted to our social media accounts. While this event usually takes place in person, this year’s Celebration was a full week of events where the community could participate virtually. Learn more about the final event occurring tomorrow here.

UW Credit Union Invests $1.5 Million in Madison and Milwaukee to Address Racial Equity
The “UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity” is in partnership with United Way

Madison, WI – February 17, 2021 – UW Credit Union will invest $1.5 million to address racial inequities in Madison and Milwaukee through a new fund launched in partnership with United Way of Dane County and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

The UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity will address the barriers to economic mobility for people of color, with a focused goal of funding transformational programming solutions in Dane, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and/or Washington counties. Specifically, programs that increase financial stability and improve educational outcomes.

“The UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity is an extension of our brand mission, “Here for Every You,” said Sheila Milton, UW Credit Union Vice President of Diversity Equity, and Inclusion. “This fund is about investing in our neighbors in a tangible, meaningful way. This includes improving the financial wellbeing and capability of our Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) community members.”



Dane Workforce Housing Fund Reaches $11.8 Million in Investment Support
Fund seeks to address the workforce housing crisis in Dane County.

Madison, WI (Nov. 12, 2020) – The Economic Stability Council (ESC), made up of a group of local employers and funders, is excited to announce it has exceeded its goal of raising $10 million from local businesses to address the Dane County workforce housing needs. The fund, established and managed by Madison Development Corporation, is intended to be a long-term strategy that will help create and sustain more workforce housing units in Dane County and keep them affordable for at least 15 years. FULL PRESS RELEASE

Fabiola Hamdan Receives Women United Philanthropy Award

Women United Breakfast Celebrates Women in Philanthropy

Madison, WI (October 2, 2020) – Fabiola (“Faby”) Hamdan was honored with the Women United Philanthropy
Award at United Way’s virtual Women United Breakfast, which took place on Wednesday, September 30.  FULL PRESS RELEASE 


August 14, 2019


MADISON – On Tuesday, August 18, United Way of Dane County will launch the first installment of
the Working for All webinar series, starting with the topic of Community Response & Recovery.
Renee Moe, President & CEO of United Way of Dane County, and Paul Kundert, President and CEO
of UW Credit Union and 2020 Campaign Chair, will share an update on the current needs and
resources in Dane County.

The webinar will be followed by a private virtual Media Meet & Greet with Renee Moe and Paul
Kundert, where they answer your questions about information shared during the webinar.

Join us to learn how United Way is bringing our community together to address racial disparities
and support recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic and how you can help.

WHAT: United Way of Dane County Working for All Webinar & Media Meet and Greet

WHEN: Tuesday, August 18 | Register below
• 12:30 – 1:00 pm: Virtual Program/Working for All Webinar- Register
• 1:00 – 1:30 pm: Virtual Media Meet & Greet- Register

WHERE: Virtual Zoom Webinar | Register at Eventbrite with links provided.

If you would like to set up a separate time for an interview, please contact
Karen Burch, VP of Community Engagement & Marketing at (941) 713-0850.
To learn more about United Way of Dane County, visit

Over One Third of Wisconsinites Struggling to Make Ends Meet Financially

Third United Way of Wisconsin ALICE® Report shows many faced financial insecurity before COVID‐19

MADISON, WI—July 27, 2020—34 percent of Wisconsin’s 2.4 million households are struggling to afford basic necessities like housing, child care, food, transportation, and internet access. The astounding statistic was revealed in the state’s third ALICE report, released today by United Way of Wisconsin in partnership with United For ALICEand local United Ways across the state. FULL PRESS RELEASE 

Media Advisory

Application for Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund Open MADISON, Wis. –United Way of Dane County has officially opened the application for organizations to apply for dollars raised through our Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund. More than 840 donors have invested more than $1.4 million since the fund launched March 13 to provide financial relief for individuals and families affected by COVID-19.

WHAT: Organizations invited to apply for funding

WHEN: Friday, March 27 through Friday, April 3


• 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)

P.S. United Way of Dane County is still actively recruiting volunteers for projects that have been deemed *safe and *“essential” by local government, including food delivery drivers. Help us recruit volunteers by sharing this link and clicking “volunteer now”:

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

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 or text “help4covid” to 40403.

United Way of Dane County Media Archives

November 22, 2021: United Way of Dane County Looking for Volunteers to fill 500+ Opportunities Through New Year’s Eve

November 17, 2021: MG&E: Customers Can Expect Their Energy Bills to Go Up $25-$30/Month This Winter

November 15, 2021: A ‘Starting Point’: Dane County Employers Make Slow Progress on Diversity, Inclusion

November 8, 2021: 11 Donation, Thanksgiving Meal Resources for the Dane County Community

November 5, 2021: Dane Co. Organization’s Program Helps Eligible Residents Pay for Health Care

October 29, 2021: White CEOs of Local Businesses Seek to Spur Change by Changing Themselves

October 27, 2021: Renee Moe on Closing the Achievement Gap

October 18, 2021: Opinion | Cheers for the Levys, the United Way and Bill Lueders

September 21, 2021: United Way’s Seasons of Caring takes different shape – In Business Madison (

Major General Marcia Anderson Honored with Women United Philanthropy Award

: United Way to Hold Brunch Celebrating Women and Education in Dane County

September 6, 2021: United Way Asking for Labor Day Donations

August 19, 2021: United Way seeks to raise $18.1 million in 2021 Community Campaign

August 19, 2021: United Way of Dane County Launches 2021 Community Campaign

August 19, 2021: United Way of Dane County Kicks off 2021 Community Campaign

August 18, 2021: Schools of Hope needs your help after 25 years of tutoring Madison children

August 17, 2021: United Way of Dane County Kicks off 2021 Seasons of Caring

August 9, 2021: United Way of Dane County Campaign Aims to Bring Community Together

July: 12, 2021: Child Tax Credit Cash to Start Hitting Parents Bank Accounts Thursday

July 12, 2021: Families Begin receiving Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments July 15

May 24, 2021: United Way Unveils Equity & Health Funding Strategies  

May 20, 2021: United Way of Dane County to Focus Resources on Addressing Racial Disparities in Health

May 9, 2021: Local organizations call for volunteers following pandemic shortage

April 30, 2021: Dane County Organizations to Receive $385K in Emergency Grants through UW Credit Union, United Way

April 29, 2021: Nonprofits Face Long Road to Recovery, but Organizers Optimistic Community will Step up

April 25, 2021: Literacy Network Pivots, Leans on ‘Loyal’ Donors as Pandemic Challenges Nonprofits

April 20, 2021: Madison Community Leaders React to Chauvin Verdict

April 20, 2021: United Way of Dane County Announces Mike McKinney Award Winner

April 16, 2021 Community Action Coalition doubles food delivery capacity

April 16, 2021: Biden’s American Rescue Plan is Projected to Cut Child Poverty in half, but Doesn’t Address Root Causes

April 13, 2021, United Way of Dane County announces Community Volunteer Awards

April 1, 2021: United Way of Dane County launches investment cycle application

March 19, 2021: United Way of Dane County raises $17.8M in 2020 campaign, reaching its goal despite COVID-19 pandemic

Dane County teen receives volunteer award for work on increasing cultural understanding

‘It’s just the right thing to do:’ Madison teen receives Community Volunteer Award

United Way of Dane County Community Celebration

Q&A: Keetra Burnette hopes Police Civilian Oversight Board ‘respects and reflects’ community voices

United Way empowers Madison mom to become community advocate

Grant a wish: How you can help area nonprofits this holiday season

Lunch(UP)date – December 3, 2020 (United Way of Dane County President & CEO Renee Moe)

United Way of Dane County receiving more calls for help

United Way of Dane County’s Holiday Wish List now live

Without a school building, Schools of Hope adapts its community tutoring program online

‘I’m always forever grateful:’ United Way of Dane County helps woman overcome abuse, homelessness

Needs outpace donations: Nonprofits worry ‘donor fatigue’ will hamper goals

Small, dedicated group of volunteers kickoff Goodman Center’s annual Thanksgiving drive

Calls to United Way increase by 400% during pandemic

Dane County nonprofit and developer announce new housing fund

DIGGING DEEPER: Getting youth back on the right track during a pandemic

‘There is hope;’ Madison woman overcomes homelessness with help from United Way

Catching up with civic stalwart Frank Alfano

Fabiola Hamdan Receives Women United Philanthropy Award

Packers Foundation awards $1 million in annual grants

‘Everyone wants to feel their voice is important’: United Way of Dane County launches campaign to help register, educate voters

City, Madison schools, United Way seek $400,000 in community donations for child care

Newly launched scholarship program would increase child care access

Plain Talk: The United Way’s fundraising campaign is more vital than ever

Madison police captain seeks ‘reasonable ideas’ to stem youth crime

City, Madison schools, United Way seek $400,000 in community donations for child care

Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools to make 5,000 supply kits

Campaign will provide thousands of Madison students with school supplies for online start

‘Wise-Witnesses’ Watch Over Protesters in Madison Crowds

NBC15 Protest Coverage- Interview with United Way Persident and CEO Renee Moe begins at 17:30

5,000 reasons a month to give to the United Way

United Way of Dane County Hopes New Community Campaign Can Raise 17.8 Million Amid Pandemic

Editorial: United Way of Dane County is the power of many, working for all

UW Credit Union finds a perfect match with United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County to donate 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to local organizations

United Way of Dane County to distribute PPE amid mask mandate

United Way of Dane County to pass out free PPE

New report detailing financial hardship in Dane County

United Way to give out free disposable masks

“One community together”: West High Area Collaborative helps Madison families with rent

Renee Moe: Calls for help are skyrocketing during the COVID-19 pandemic, so please help

Relief funds support nonprofits, just when their services are needed most

Giving back with United Way during the coronavirus pandemic

United Way Streamlines Website for COVID Volunteer Opportunities

Area agencies teaming up to help the hardest hit by coronavirus outbreak

Madison nonprofits challenge community to raise $1 million for COVID-19 response fund

Dane County nonprofits raise $900,000 to help residents affected by COVID-19 crisis

COVID19 emergency fund nears $1 million; committee and process named

Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund in place

Latino Professionals Association’s ‘Investing in Latinx Talent’ luncheon set for Friday

Dane County partnership formed to address racial disparity in healthcare

Catching Up: The Playing Field opens 2nd site to care for vulnerable Madison children

One year in, Urban Triage making an impact as it empowers Black families in Madison

Editorial: Rethinking Schools of Hope amid COVID-19

Tech Innovation Teams in Dane County Secure 2 Spots in a National Competition to Raise the Income of Dane County Families – INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH ON POVERTY – UW–Madison

Collaborative Partnership Delivers Supplies to Child Care Providers

Sentry Insurance Foundation Donates $50,000 to United Way of Dane County for Coronavirus Relief Support

Johnson Financial Group donates $200,000 in Wisconsin markets to support United Way and other nonprofit community organizations.

Old National Bank Responds to Urgent COVID-19 Need with $1.2 million commitment including $42,500 locally joining #GivingTuesdayNow

YMCA Puts $25K Relief Funding to Work in Emergency Child Care Programs

Specialized, Santa Cruz and Saris contribute to the COVID-19 fight

City of Madison Police Department- Community Resources and MPD Notable Calls 04/09/2020 to 04/10/2020

Madison Community Foundation- Resources for Nonprofits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

American Family Insurance, foundations pledge support to COVID-19 relief

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin- Emergency Food System Focused on Meeting Increased Demands

Urban League announces COVID-19 Workforce Recovery Initiative

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, March 25th Update

Challenging and Inspiring Times… Wisconsin Philanthropy Network

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s Statement on Food with Regards to COVID-19