Tocqueville Society

Inspired individuals- transformed communities

Our Purpose

We are a network of more than 240 households in Dane County committed to transformative change. When we join together in bold generosity, we accelerate and amplify our impact to create a community where everyone can succeed in school, work and life. Help us reach more families working toward stability.

Our Impact

Tocqueville members are the driving force of United Way’s mission. Annual gifts of $10,000 or more make up nearly one quarter of all money raised by United Way of Dane County. Your support is leveraged many times over as United Way convenes the community to tackle the toughest issues, collaborate on key initiatives and measure results through community-wide metrics.

With your investment of $10,000 annually, we can provide:

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 children in our ParentChild+ home program with books and toys to help every child enter school ready to succeed. Learn more about United Way and education here.

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unemployed and under-employed job seekers with five weeks of foundational work readiness training through our HIRE Initiative. Learn how United Way is working to improve financial stability in Dane County.

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hours of personal care and home chore services to older adults so they can remain in their homes. Learn how United Way helps provide access to affordable quality primary, dental and behavioral health care.

Join Us

Tocqueville Society Membership Means:

Strategic giving that targets root causes, ensures accountability and collaboration and addresses our community’s most pressing issues.

Access to insights about what’s working and what’s changing as we help families grow their well-being and maximize their potential.

Opportunities to volunteer alongside others to amplify the impact of your philanthropy.

Relationships with community and business leaders who value servant leadership.

Recognition of your generosity to inspire others to join in as well as invitations to special events.

A message from Renee Moe, President & CEO, United Way of Dane County
“Our community’s highest and best expression is unleashed when every person in Dane County has the opportunity to realize their full potential. Tocqueville members invest at levels that enable this mission to scale up and build new and wider pathways for a more inclusive prosperity. They set the pace and inspire others through word and action. This work grows in reach and effectiveness when Tocqueville members say, ‘yes we can!’ We are grateful and our community is stronger because they do!”
About Tocqueville Society
Tocqueville Society was created by United Way nationally in 1984 to celebrate the legacy of Alexis de Tocqueville, whose 1835 Democracy in America celebrated the impact of North American volunteerism and giving for the sake of the common good. He wrote: “I must say that I have seen Americans make a great deal of real sacrifices to the public welfare; and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend faithful support to one another.”
Tocqueville Society in Dane County
Your membership in Tocqueville Society reflects your commitment that advancing the common good means creating opportunities for a better life for all. In Dane County, Tocqueville Society was launched in 1990 by Jerry Hiegel and Oscar G. Mayer, and today has grown to more than 240 households who have invested more than $64 million in our community.
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Member Spotlight

Anthony and Jamila Hudson

Our family is originally from Ohio. Jamila grew up in Toledo and I was raised in Cincinnati. We met at Xavier University (Cincinnati) and had our only child shortly after college. As we approached our daughter’s 1st birthday we discovered that Jamila had a rare kidney ailment that would eventually lead to 4+ years on dialysis and a kidney transplant in 2012. In 2013 we moved to Wisconsin for a new job opportunity with BMO Harris Bank and not long thereafter Jamila joined Kohl’s. Our daughter, Laila, enjoys playing club volleyball. She hopes for the opportunity to make her high school team as she begins her freshman year in the fall.

Professionally, this move has been incredibly rewarding to Jamila and I as both BMO and Kohl’s have exceeded our expectations. In March of this year Jamila received her second kidney transplant at UW Madison. To receive the gift of life as everything around us was in flux due to the pandemic was incredibly frightening and humbling at the same time. Jamila has fully recovered from the surgery and has started back to work virtually. We continue to educate ourselves on how best to navigate the pandemic to keep Jamila and others healthy. For this reason (and others) Wisconsin will always be special to us.

From our childhood to present day our family has been blessed by acts of kindness and generosity. Our paths may have been very different if it weren’t for individuals and organizations that believed in paying it forward. By giving to the United Way and to other not-for-profits through the United Way, we’re able to fulfill our obligation to this community that has been good to us. Jamila and I will continue to invest in the United Way of Dane County as they have a track-record of making investments where needed and ensuring that there are tangible outcomes. In addition, we continue to give to organizations that are near and dear to our hearts through the United Way. We find this to be most convenient as we manage our philanthropic priorities using United Way’s electronic tools and resources.

Several months ago when Covid-19 began to take a toll on our community we watched the United Way team up with several other organizations, including the Dane County Boys and Girls Club. We saw our leaders lock arms, put a spotlight on needs within this community and appeal to our hearts. In the weeks that followed the initial press conference we saw this community step up in a major way. There was approximately $3MM raised to support families, essential workers and those in need throughout Dane County. None of us could have predicted Covid-19 and the impact it would have on all of us. The way this community has come together in one of our toughest moments tells you a lot of about the character of this community. What makes us hopeful and happy is what we’re capable of when we come together as one. We’re not short on things that need our attention across this country and by partnering with organizations like the United Way we’re taking actionable steps to be part of the solution.

Paul and Kim Kundert

Fairness is important to us, and we feel strongly about sharing our financial resources to help everyone in the community have the opportunity to succeed. We trust the United Way of Dane County to use the money to do the most good.

The unique and important thing about the United Way of Dane County is the way they leverage volunteers and funding to deeply examine and respond to challenges in our community. The problems we face are complex and systemic. United Way convenes all parties to develop a matrix solution that coordinates providers and meets the complex needs families have to move out of poverty.

When you look at volunteerism happening through the work of United Way of Dane County and the sheer number of people they bring together, the United Way is a truly broad-based community organization. We’ve been particularly pleased to see strong inclusion and the voice of communities of color in the work of United Way – from governance at the board level to the processes that evaluate and allocate funding. The way in which United Way of Dane County works reflects the power of diversity and inclusion in our community.

We knew United Way was all about community, but until we were more involved, we didn’t realize how often United Way is called on behind the scenes to mobilize people and resources in times of urgent community needs. Their behind-the-scenes work may not capture the headlines, but they are sure to be on the ground bringing people together and helping the community to respond, whether the need is flooding or unrest due to racial injustice.

We have two boys, ages 15 and 12, so we stay active. We enjoy the outdoors, and summertime is our season. We’re both originally from Minnesota, where our families still live. We’ve made it a priority for our boys to know their cousins, so our summer vacations are often spent on a lake in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

What we're up to

Tocqueville Conversation Series

Join us for lunch, networking and conversation designed to inform and inspire. Programs feature remarks by United Way President & CEO, Renee Moe, and a keynote by business and philanthropic leaders. Save the date for our upcoming Conversations on August 11 and December 1.

Tocqueville Society Membership Dinner

Each fall, we gather to celebrate the impact our United Way Tocqueville Society gifts have on the Dane County community. We also honor and celebrate the philanthropy and commitment to our community of a member household. This year’s event, on October 8, will honor Dan and Patti Rashke.

United Way of Dane County Foundation

Gifts to United Way of Dane County Foundation extend your family’s legacy of effective, local philanthropy. Our Foundation advances United Way’s mission to improve lives through key initiatives in education, financial stability and health... today and for future generations.

Tocqueville Society Leadership

2020 Chair: Betty Bergquist
West Region Sales Vice President American Family Insurance
2020 Vice-Chair: Jeff Tubbs
Vice President of Business Development at J.H. Findorff & Son