March 15, 2023

Meet Christine Rew Barden

The New Chair of MCF's Board of Governors

At the February Board of Governors meeting, MCF welcomed a new Board Chair: Christine Rew Barden. Christine is an attorney who helps clients develop and implement estate planning and transition strategies that preserve family wealth and foster relationships across generations. She has been on the MCF Board since 2018 and is a member of MCF’s 2023 Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) study group.

A casual photo of Christine Barden, her husband Chris, and their children Katie and Jack

When Christine and her husband Christopher moved to Madison in 2000, they knew no one. But Christine’s commitment to civic involvement soon led her to MCF. “I met Amy Overby [who was MCF’s Vice President of Grantmaking at the time] in 2002 at Madison Breakfast Rotary, which we both were involved in. One day we were talking about what we did, and Amy said, ‘Let me take you to lunch and explain how MCF can help you and your clients.’,” Christine recalled. “She showed me how I could use MCF’s expertise to help my clients refine their philanthropic goals. I’ve been referring clients to MCF ever since.”

“MCF has been such a valuable resource for my clients,” Christine continued. “I trust MCF’s objectivity and know that they keep the donor at the heart of everything.”

Christine also appreciates the work MCF does in the community. “I see MCF serving as a convener and a collaborator for the whole community. We work with individuals and nonprofits, mature charitable organizations and capital campaigns for organizations that are growing. We’re the go-to resource here in Madison for all our nonprofits – big and small.”

This has benefits for individuals too. MCF’s deep connections in the community provide a wealth of information available to individual donors who are exploring options for their giving. “MCF can help people explore where their giving can have an impact, or can share the impact MCF’s funds are having in our community,” Christine explained. “And it’s exciting and inspiring to see what other people are doing with their giving.”

As Board Chair, Christine would like to deepen connections between MCF and advisors like her in our community. “I wish more advisors knew how much value MCF has to offer them and their clients. Advisors also are connectors and intimately involved in every aspect of our community. The synergy between their work and what MCF does is strong.”

Christine’s love and appreciation for Madison and the people here has contributed to her desire to give back. “This community has helped us raise our children – Katie, who is a sophomore at St. Olaf, and Jack, who is a freshman at Purdue – with so many opportunities through education, music, swimming, faith and volunteering,” Christine shared. “It has been such a great place for our family. And I love being in a position to share my time and talents as a way to give back.”

In addition to serving on MCF’s Board, Christine has served on the Boards of the Kids Forward Foundation and Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, where she helped both organizations create and implement legacy giving programs. She continues to serve in an advisory capacity for both organizations, as well as at her faith community of Covenant Presbyterian Church. “Being able to learn about an organization and do something to help it achieve its mission – I love that.”

We’re grateful to Christine for her willingness to contribute to the greater good in Madison, and for giving her time to MCF to help us achieve our mission to enhance the greater good through philanthropy.

Christine is a shareholder in Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren’s Trusts and Estates Practice, and founder of the firm’s Family Offices Group.

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