Supporting 73,000 neighbors in Dane County

United Way of Dane County mobilizes the caring power of our community so all can thrive. From advancing health and education to strengthening livelihoods and local resilience, we connect people to possibility.

Imagine a future where families are healthy and strong, where all children can learn and succeed – and where everyone’s needs are met. This is the future we are committed to creating through our Plan for Community Well-Being – a plan built with our community, for our community.

Our vision for a brighter future focuses on improving individual and family well-being so that everyone in Dane County can lead healthy, successful and secure lives. When you look at what makes United Way of Dane County really work, it goes beyond the numbers – it’s the collective spirit of caring to solve whole problems. Through our network of caring connections, we’re able to address big-picture issues no one person or organization can solve alone. Every dollar donated to United Way is a powerful catalyst – multiplying six times over to create lasting, meaningful change, right here in Dane County.

At United Way of Dane County, we come together to close gaps and open opportunities in our community. And with our Plan for Community Well-Being and your support, we’ll transform measurable outcomes into life-changing support for our neighbors in these four areas:

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Youth Opportunity


Helping young people realize their full potential

Home visits • Childcare • Tutoring

  1. Build family well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working
    with children under five and the adults in their lives together.
  2. All students succeed academically, and graduate high school
    prepared for higher education, career and community.
  1. Increase percent of third graders in Dane County reading proficiently at or above grade level.
  2. Increase percent of Dane County students who graduate high school.

Children who start kindergarten-ready and finish high school are more likely to have the skills required to be successful in post-secondary education, an increasingly complicated job market and society. Adults with higher education levels are more likely to gain employment with family-sustaining wages.

We’re investing in strategies and programs that help support quality childcare and early childhood development – creating connections with families and young children – because we know that parents are our children’s first teachers.

We also support and lead programs that help prepare youth for the classroom and life beyond, through tutoring, mentoring and social-emotional learning (like empathy and confidence).

Financial Security

(Workforce & Housing)

Building financial stability and strength

Homelessness Reduction • Jobs Skills Training • Re-entry Support

More people are on pathways out of poverty.

  1. Decrease in number of children under five experiencing poverty in Dane County.
  2. Increase in people living 200% above poverty level in Dane County.
    What a family of three needs to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Dane County.

When more individuals have jobs earning family-sustaining wages and safe and affordable housing, they are less stressed and more able to provide for themselves and their families – better positioning our entire community and our economy to thrive.

We’re investing in strategies and local programs that help more families get what they need to become economically stable. Through partnerships, we connect participants with the resources to earn a diploma and/or go through industry-specific training, and match with employers who support paying family sustaining-wages.

We also invest in effective family homelessness reduction strategies including food access and case management, and much needed housing inventory.

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Healthy Community


Improving health and well-being for all

Infant-Maternal Health • Mental Health • Health Care Access

A Dane County absent of racial health disparities in physical and mental health.

Increase life expectancy in Dane County.
A good measure of the population’s longevity and general health.

While Dane County remains a top place to live, raise a family and retire, for many neighbors, education, income and health inequities and disparities remain consistent. In Dane County, your race and the ZIP code in which you live have a significant impact on your quality of life, life expectancy and health outcomes.

We’re investing in strategies and programs that aim to reduce health disparities, such as health insurance premium assistance and support from community health workers and doulas. We use community-based approaches and increase the diversity of the health care workforce to improve health outcomes for Dane County community members.

Community Resiliency

Addressing urgent needs today and advancing a better tomorrow

United Way 211 (24/7 Access to Resources and Service Coordination) Volunteer Activation • Nonprofit Capacity Building • Disaster Response

  1. Be a leader in social impact, connecting people who need help with people who want to help in efficient and effective ways.
  2. Respond to community emergencies and assist in long-term recovery.
  1. Increase number of referrals to quality, curated community resources in 211 database.
  2. Increase number of volunteers mobilized throughUnited Way’s Volunteer Center.

When in crisis, it is challenging to know where to go for help. And, with so many opportunities to help, it is hard to know where to make the most impact. United Way understands the big picture and can mobilize resources that make a difference through 211, Volunteer Center and work as a convenor and social impact leader.

When our community is hit with an emergency – like severe flooding, a global pandemic or man-made disaster – it’s important to have a unifying force that brings us together to raise resources and rebuild an even stronger community.

Through our experience innovating to meet community needs, and relationships with hundreds of local nonprofits, businesses, community leaders and you, we’re uniquely positioned to bring our community together to understand problems, co-create solutions and manage accountability for results.  

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With your support, we’ll continue to mobilize the caring power of our community to close gaps and open opportunities so all can thrive. Join us!