Plan for Community Well-Being

Imagine a future where families are healthy and strong, where all children can learn and succeed, and where everyone’s needs are met. At United Way of Dane County, that’s the future we intend to build through our Plan for Community Well-Being – a plan built with our community, for our community. This vision for a brighter future focuses on increasing individual and family well-being so that everyone in Dane County can lead healthy, successful and secure lives – making our entire community stronger and better positioned to thrive.  

This plan includes strategies around financial security, youth opportunity, healthy community and community resiliency – the building blocks of well-being. By continuing to work together with you, hundreds of local nonprofits, businesses, community leaders, donors, volunteers and families, we’re addressing big-picture issues that no one person or organization can solve alone. And, through these collaborations, we aim to create a more cohesive nonprofit ecosystem and achieve greater results.

Together, we are The Power of Many. Working for All. And we invite every Dane County resident to be a part of the change. 

Youth Opportunity:

Individuals 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. And adults with higher education levels are more likely to gain employment with family-sustaining wages.

We’re investing in local organizations and programs that help provide childcare and early childhood development – because we know that parents are our children’s first teachers. And we can help them succeed through holistic programming that help meet children’s and caregiver’s goals simultaneously.  

We also support and lead programs that help prepare youth for the classroom and life beyond through mentorship, tutoring and social-emotional learning. We partner with AmeriCorps for two of our programs, Achievement Connections and Elementary Schools of Hope. The Elementary Schools of Hope Program has provided individualized literacy instruction in elementary schools for over twenty years. The Achievement Connections Program has provided individualized math instruction in Dane County high schools for years.

Financial Security:

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 the entire community and our economy to thrive. 

We’re invested in local nonprofits and programs that help more families get what they need to become economically stable through job training, homelessness prevention and affordable housing. We also partner with six local agencies and 50 employers through our HIRE initiative – a free program which focuses on helping adults prepare for and find steady employment. 


Healthy Community:

While Dane County remains a top place to live, raise a family and retire, for our BIPOC neighbors (including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Southeast Asian and people of color), education, income and health inequities and disparities remain consistent. Unfortunately, in Dane County the color of your skin and the ZIP code in which you live have a significant impact on your quality of life, life expectancy and a wide range of health outcomes. 

It’s important that we work actively to reduce these disparities and ensure all have equal access to health care by supporting community-based health programs. To address this issue, we’ve invested in local nonprofits and programs that aim to reduce health disparities faced by our BIPOC community members. 

Our HealthConnect program helps lower income individuals and families who make too much to qualify for BadgerCare purchase insurance through In 2023 we paid insurance premiums for 578 people through 492 plans, helping more individuals and families across Dane County lead healthier, happier lives 

Community Resiliency:

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, rebuild and come out the other side stronger.

Through our 100+ years of experience and relationships with hundreds of local businesses, nonprofits, community leaders, donors, families and volunteers, we’re uniquely positioned to bring our community together in times of crisis. And we’re proud to be that unifying force!  

United Way 211, our 24/7 live, local assistance helpline, connects thousands of individuals to the resources they need every year. And, at the start of the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, we led the way in raising more than $2 million to help our neighbors in need. We truly are the intersection where the community meets to create change and address our most urgent needs, together.  

United Way mobilizes the caring power of our community to create lasting change for multiple generations: The Power of Many. Working for All.