Latest News & Updates

CAE Annual Meeting May 9, 2023

At its annual meeting at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, May 9 at Savanna Oaks, the Columbus Area Endowment (CAE) will announce availability of community-impact grant application to be due on September 1. You can find forms and information here.

CAE grants are limited to nonprofit organizations that serve Columbus and Fall River communities in parts of Dane, Columbia and Dodge Counties.

CAE is dedicated to enhancing the educational,cultural and economic vitality of the Columbus area for present and future generations and supports the quality of life of its citizens through charitable grants. Interest areas include needs of residents in the Columbus area such as cultural enrichment, community development, education, environment and historic preservation.

"100 for 100 Campaign" A Success

In 2016, CAE set a goal of doubling its endowment in a "100 for 100 Campaign" to enlist 100 donors to raise $100,000.

MCF then challenged CAE to raise an additional $50,000. At the start of the campaign, the CAE endowment balance was $138,494.  During the successful 18-month campaign, CAE raised in excess of $100,000. With the grant from MCF of $50,000, the new CAE endowment balance has grown to over $325,000.  The 100 for 100 campaign combined with the MCF grant have effectively doubled the capacity of the CAE to give larger and more sustainable grants to applicants in the future. 

Columbus Area Endowment (CAE) proudly announces the 2017 Philanthropists of the Year

Sister Kathleen Conlin, Betty and Joseph Conlin, and Mary and John Roche were named CAE Philanthropists of the Year and will be honored for their years of service and generous contributions on Saturday, November 4.

Mary Roche, a 2017 Philanthropist of the Year, is recognized by the Columbus Area Endowment at its annual event.

The reception, 6 - 9 p.m., will be held at Savanna Oaks Community Center in Fall River, Wisconsin. Guests will enjoy music, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.  Join CAE for a great night out to socialize with friends and family and to honor these community members. 

The Conlin and Roche families share a strong conviction that the Columbus area community is an integral part of their own “family”.  The goodwill and donations they extend to their “community family” help make the Columbus area a great place to live, learn, work, and play. 

Mary Roche and Joe Conlin were some of the founders and pioneers of the CAE and were instrumental in its creation and development.  Because of their shared vision of an organization with funds permanently set aside to produce earnings to benefit the Columbus area the CAE came into being.  The CAE has evolved and prospered because of Mary and Joe’s caring stewardship and is able to continue its mission “To enhance the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of the Columbus area through charitable awards that sustain the quality of life for its residents.”   

Joe, Betty and Sister Kathleen have generously donated to many charities, some of which include: Columbus Area Endowment, Columbus Public Schools, Columbus Pavilion Project, Columbus Community Hospital, Columbus Public Library, Columbus Senior Center, Columbus Area Aquatic Center, Conlin Family Fund, Columbus Food Pantry, Columbus Salvation Army, St. Jerome’s Church and Endowment Fund, University of Minnesota Alumni Fund and University of Wisconsin Alumni Fund.        

Mary and John Roche regularly give and participate in a number of Columbus Area and Dodge County organizations. They are frequently surprised when they read names of donors in various places and find their names among the other philanthropists.  To name a few of the organizations: Columbus Area Endowment, CAAC Capital Campaign as Chairpersons, Fireman’s Park Pavilion, Shelter and Horsin’ Around Playground, Dodge County YMCA, Dodge County Humane Society, American Red Cross Disaster Services and Kiwanis.

Please join us in sponsorship of this event in honor of the Conlin and Roche families. Your sponsorship of $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or any contribution will help show your appreciation for the spirit of philanthropy to these two wonderful families.  Your sponsorship is your ticket to the event. 

Communities prosper because people who live in them care. By becoming a sponsor, you have an opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself and contribute to a lasting legacy for our beloved Columbus area. Please join us for what promises to be a special evening. 


Download the CAE brochure (PDF).


Learn more about Ways to Give