Community and Volunteer Engagement

At United Way of Dane County, we use our leadership, vision and expansive relationships to bring the community together in multiple convening roles. We regularly engages donors, neighborhoods, people who experience specific issues, and the broader community to ensure we have our fingers on the pulse of what people are saying and thinking. One major aspect of this is our strategy to create change in Dane County through volunteerism.

Volunteerism provides benefits to volunteers, the people and organizations they serve and the community as a whole. By connecting strategic financial investments with dedicated volunteers, we make measurable progress on our vision to create a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life.

Why it matters:

  • An increase in the number of volunteers at all levels, particularly skill-based volunteers and more diverse board/committee members will lead to the expansion of services and growth of organizational capacity of our non-profit partner agencies.
  • Many people – especially those impacted by services – do not know how to get involved as volunteer leaders or in other volunteerism efforts. They may lack the connections, confidence or knowledge of how to get started.


  • Build the capacity of grass-roots organizations that support communities of color
  • Develop new volunteer leadership to help increase the diversity of United Way’s, partner agencies’ and other nonprofits’ boards and committees
  • Increase volunteerism within the Community’s Agenda for Change to 800,000 hours by 2020.


  • BoardWalk — This nonprofit leadership series was developed to assist individuals who may not be typically asked to serve on a board or committee in developing leadership skills, building confidence, and making connections to have a voice in the services that are provided in our community. In 2015, 27 participants from diverse backgrounds completed the BoardWalk Academy gaining skills, knowledge, confidence and connections to serve on nonprofit boards.
  • – a one-stop shop for Dane County to find ways to get involved.