Donor Opportunities to Strengthen the Madison Area

The golden "Wisconsin" statue on top the Wisconsin State Capitol overlooks Madison and Dane County.

Madison Community Foundation offers everyone the opportunity to make gifts of any amount—today or in the future through your will or estate plan—to support a wide variety of organizations and causes across Dane County.

Donors may choose to give to the Highest Priority Fund, which targets gifts to where there is the greatest opportunity to make a difference, the Community Impact Fund, which invests in a broad array of nonprofits in Dane County, or a Field of Interest Fund, which supports a specific focus area.

Eligible gifts include cash, stock, IRA qualified charitable distributions.

Highest Priority Fund

Donors provide unrestricted support that gives MCF the flexibility to pursue the community foundation’s as well as the broader community’s greatest opportunities to make a difference.

Community Impact Fund

The Community Impact Fund is at the heart of MCF’s mission to enhance the common good through philanthropy. Donors support initiatives that positively impact lives and our community for the long term.

Program, capital and endowment grants are made in five focus areas: arts and culture, learning, community development, the environment, and nonprofit capacity building.

Community Impact grants help nonprofits create and expand programs; construct, purchase and renovate facilities; fund land acquisitions; buy equipment; and support long-term financial sustainability.

A Fund for Women

Investing in women is a proven pathway to economic security for families in Dane County. A Fund for Women brings donors together to support women and girls throughout their financial life cycle, funding effective nonprofits that support GED completion and continuing education, job training (such as CNA certification, construction, and certificates in web development), professional development, transportation, child care and more.

Arts & Culture Fund

Increasing arts engagement for all ages, strengthening the local arts community, and building the capacity of area arts nonprofits is the core of this fund’s work. Donors support performances and art installations; festivals; public art; purchase, renovation, and construction of theaters and facilities, new equipment and technology; programs that benefit children to seniors and more.

Children & Youth Fund

Donors to this fund believe every child deserves access to the rich array of opportunities to learn and grow. Recent initiatives include the expansion of county-wide public library programming, the Madison school district’s Community Schools Initiative, Madison Children’s Museum, and the launch of the Madison-area Out-of-School Time program, which increases access to after-school learning and enrichment and reduces racial achievement gaps.

Basic Needs / Social Services Fund

Recognizing that every resident deserves a healthy and sustainable quality of life, donors help thousands of families receive food, shelter, heating, health care, education, transportation, and more. Grants from the fund support the local food pantry network, homeless shelters, affordable housing, community gardens, and nonprofit capacity building.

Community Development Fund

Donors support and strengthen neighborhoods and other community assets, building on the work of nonprofits to make Dane County a great place to live for all residents, regardless of their circumstances. Grants from this fund support investments in our community’s natural and cultural assets—schools and community centers, affordable housing, playgrounds and splash parks, libraries, bike paths, community gardens and more.

Environment Fund

Donor support protects and maintains the area’s natural beauty and green spaces, educates people of all ages through hands-on nature experiences, and provides access to parks, forests and nature trails. Recent grants include youth leadership programs, growing the Westport Drumlin and Pheasant Branch nature reserves, expanding bike and hiking trails across Dane County, outdoor classrooms, and a major ecology collection for the public library system.

Fund for the Elderly

With seniors making up ten percent of the Dane County population—a number that’s expected to double over the next 30 years—donors support much-needed goods and services that help seniors stay independent and limit isolation. Areas of support include affordable housing and food security, home maintenance and preventative health, arts and culture, and transportation and recreation.

Learning Fund

Donors invest in K-12 education, tutoring and mentoring, alternative education, workforce development, and lifelong learning for all ages. Recent grants include a bilingual youth newsroom, expansion of community schools, outdoor learning spaces, teaching gardens, neighborhood asset mapping, senior music education, Hmong summer academy, Latino youth internship program, youth entrepreneurship initiative, Certified Nursing Assistant classes and Native American curriculum planning.

Nonprofit Capacity Building Fund

Donors to this fund want to see the Dane County nonprofit sector not just survive, but thrive. With more than 2,900 501(c)(3) nonprofits in Dane County, donors provide critical support of MCF’s efforts to build capacity and infrastructure. Grants enable nonprofits to invest in development and marketing staff, technology, equipment, capital campaigns, strategic planning, professional development, collaboration and mergers, and more.

Give Now to any of these funds