Why We Give: Donor Stories

100 Black Men of Madison member Edward Murray reads to Orchard Ridge Elementary Students. MCF stewards a fund started by his organization.

Every day at MCF, donor stories about why they give inspire us:

Teachers determined to help all of their students learn and thrive; women passionate about promoting careers in science for other women and girls; men dedicated to mentoring at-risk boys; families honoring a loved one’s legacy; parents who want to teach their children the importance of giving; couples who share a passion for the arts.

Giving is all around us. Here are some of their stories.

An Enchanted Forest: Steve Morton

An important part of Steve Morton’s legacy came together when he discovered a way to protect and preserve his family’s 120-acre retreat within the picturesque Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin through Madison Community Foundation.

Read more about Steve Morton.

Unlocking Our Community's Potential: Mary Burke

A conversation with fundholder, Legacy Society member, and former Board member Mary Burke.

Read more about Mary Burke.

Leaving a Legacy: James Tye and Gabriel Neves

When James Tye and Gabriel Neves decided to leave a charitable giving legacy, two words drove their decision: "Madison" and "lakes."

Read more about James Tye and Gabriel Neves

History Lesson: The Stark Family's Long Legacy

Phil Stark has fond childhood memories of visiting his father, Paul, in the building that’s now home to Madison Community Foundation. Built in 1926 to house the office of The Paul E. Stark Company, now Stark Company Realtors, the historic structure was revitalized and reopened as Austin Place in 2014 by the Block 100 Foundation created by Jerry Frautschi and Pleasant Rowland.

Read more about the Stark Family

The Art of Giving: Orange and Dean Schroeder

Orange’s Fund for the Arts supports annual scholarships available to all high school graduates who have participated in the Madison Youth Choirs and Dean’s fund supports UW Opera as well as Dean and Orange’s own nonprofit, the Handel Aria Competition. 

Read more about Orange and Dean Schroeder

On Their Way: Mann Educational Opportunity Fund

The Mann Educational Opportunity Fund is a scholarship honoring Bernard and Kathlyn Mann, longtime Madison residents whose strong belief in education helped ensure the graduation of their five children from Madison Memorial High School and later from universities.

Read more about The Mann Educational Opportunity Fund

Global Good: Tom Popp

Some people play golf in retirement. Tom Popp chose philanthropy.

Read more about Tom Popp

Planning for the Future: Jane Earl

Jane Earl wants to ensure her favorite causes in her favorite community are supported forever.

Read more about Jane Earl

For the Love of Madison: Roberta Gassman and Lester Pines

Roberta Gassman and Lester Pines are leaving a legacy to a community they love.

Read more about Roberta Gassman and Lester Pines

Taking Root: Donor's Gift Will Grow Forever

An $8,000 gift from a donor-advised fund at Madison Community Foundation is enabling Dane County Parks and Operation Fresh Start (OFS) to team up for trees.

Read more about this gift

A Path to Giving: Carol & John Toussaint

Carol and John Toussaint’s path to charitable giving began early in life.

Read more about Carol & John Toussaint

All Hands on Deck: 100 Black Men of Madison

When Madison native Chris Canty asked his father, Wayne, if he could join 100 Black Men of Madison, a youth leadership and development program for area youth, particularly young men of color, the response was direct and definitive: "Are you ready?"

Read more about 100 Black Men of Madison

The Joy of Giving: Sally & John Ouellette

When Sally and John Ouellette took a financial advisor’s suggestion and created the Ouellette Family Donor Advised Fund, they never imagined the joy it would bring them. Now, nearly two decades later, the endowment has allowed them to give away more than their original investment. Not only that, the fund today is worth more.

Read more about Sally & John Ouellette

Leaving a Legacy: Jane Coleman

Jane Coleman loves big-picture thinking - and big-picture giving. That's why she named Madison Community Foundation as a beneficiary in her will to make sure big ideas have a home for generations to come. 

Read more about Jane Coleman

The good thing about working with the community foundation is, you discover how many more people share your heart.”
- Norma Madsen, donor, Legacy Society

Learn more about Ways to Give