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.

Member Spotlight

2020 Chair: Betty Bergquist
West Region Sales Vice President American Family Insurance

Two things: my parents, who have always been very involved in their community giving generously of their time to organizations, family members, and friends who needed support. I didn’t realize it as I was growing up, but their example has been a huge influence in how I try to show up in my local community. And, American Family Insurance which has an incredible culture of giving back to the community.

My husband Tracy and I have been married 26 years. We have two sons who are great young men successfully finding their ways in the world. Jon is 19, and graduated from Sun Prairie High School in 2019. He’s going to college part time and working (full time now) too! Andy is 17 and wrapping up his Junior year at Sun Prairie. He is focused on all things basketball and fitness. He’s exploring college options and is currently leaning toward options in warm weather states! They are very independent, but when we are together, we love to travel, play cards, and watch movies.

I think of United Way as the overseer of need in our community and the group that sets strategy and direction on how to solve big issues. United Way offers guidance and coordinates other non-profits, to maximize dollars and impact.

Our CEO Jack Salzwedel. Seriously! He has a huge appetite for learning and is very open-minded to new ideas. He cares so much about the success of our company and employees, but also the communities we live and work in. And, I love that he is willing to take a stance on big issues!

Wouldn’t it be great if no one had to worry about housing stability or the availability of food? I especially hope this for our children. And, I hope for equity….in opportunity for education and for employment and for safety in our community. But hoping isn’t enough…and that’s why I am a believer in United Way as a path to our hopes becoming reality!

Betty and Tracy have been members
of Tocqueville Society since 2013.

2020 Vice-Chair: Jeff Tubbs
Vice President of Business Development at J.H. Findorff & Son

His mother is the biggest influence on his philanthropy. She was always giving of her time to the community through, church, school and her beloved St. Mary’s Hospital where she is recognized for her years of volunteer service – 30 years and over 22,000 hours!

Jeff was born and raised in Sun Prairie where he was part of a large family. His father was President and CEO of the Bank of Sun Prairie for many decades – banking was in the family DNA with Jeff working for M & I Bank for 15 years before transitioning to J.H. Findorff & Son 19 years ago to lead their business development team.  He and his wife, Maralee, live in Sun Prairie where they raised their two adult children, Ashley who is 24 and works for Oakwood – East in Madison and Ausitn, 22 and a 2020 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison with two majors and plans to go on to medical school.

 “United Way is the organization that connects the dots. They recognize and identify the needs and ensure resources are allocated to where they will do the most good for the Community.  A lot of people have money to give but do not always know where it will create the biggest impact – United Way does.”

 Three people stand out to me: Rich Lynch, Chairman at J. H. Findorff & Son, Jack Salzwedel, Chairman and CEO at American Family Insurance and Kevin Conroy, President and CEO at Exact Sciences. Each of these individuals exemplifies what is to be a true leader in business and in the community. They are big picture people with positive attitudes and a true sense of humility. 

It would be great to live in a community where diversity and inclusion do not have to be ‘worked on’ because they are woven into the fabric of our community. The achievement gap no longer exists and homelessness is an exception – not accepted. United Way is helping us move in this direction by keeping its finger on the pulse of the community.

Jeff and Maralee have been members
of Tocqueville Society since 2016.

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