Nonprofits we spotlight and support in Dane County, Wisconsin.

Found 58 blog entries about Nonprofits.

We love the ways in which we hear about local nonprofits doing great work in our community. This month’s spotlight is on WayForward Resources, formerly Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM), which provides access to nutritious food for people throughout Dane County and support that helps people stay in their homes in Middleton, Cross Plains, and west Madison.

We first learned about this organization last fall from Shelley Lazzareschi’s client Taylor Rozman, who is the organization’s Housing Stability Director. She informed us that MOM (which was established in 1980 by members of local Middleton churches and transitioned to a community-based nonprofit organization in 2007) would be rebranding as WayForward Resources in 2023. We agreed that it would be

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Have you been thinking about becoming more involved with your community? You might think about joining a "friends group" for a city, county or state park.

Friends of Wisconsin Parks

What do friends groups do?

Friends groups steward the land by participating in conservation projects, maintaining trails and habitats, controlling invasives, assisting with research, coordinating fundraisers and educational events, among a variety of other projects. 

Joining a friends group offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with the land and learn more about the natural world in community with other people. And, chances are, there's a park near you that needs your help. 

For more information, and to learn more about volunteer opportunities near you, check out these websites:

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    Happy Pride Month! We spoke with GSAFE co-executive director Brian J. to learn more about how the nonprofit creates just schools for LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin. 

    Brian has been involved with GSAFE since 1998 as a volunteer and joined the staff in 2002, and he wants to build a better place for kids – especially those who don’t conform to gender role expectations and have other marginalized identities – by creating safe and affirming spaces for the next generation. “I want to make sure students don’t have the same experience I had growing up as a closeted queer kid in rural Iowa in the ‘80s who faced bullying, harassment, and isolation,” he said. 

    GSAFE helps develop the leadership of LGBTQ+ youth, supports Gender and Sexuality Alliances, trains

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    We interviewed Wild Harvest Nature Connection founders Alexander Britzius and Heather Hutchinson to learn more about their programs that involve intentional mentored time for children and adults in the outdoors – specifically at Madison and Dane County parks. 

    Dan Miller’s son has participated in activities through the organization, including foraging for “hen of the woods” mushrooms and tapping maple trees to make syrup. “Thanks to the mentoring and teaching provided by Wild Harvest Nature Connection, he's developing a real appreciation and passion for the natural world,” Dan said. 

    According to the organization, the foundation of this mentoring is finding each person’s curiosities and passions and asking questions to lead the learning. Heather

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    In honor of Earth Month, we’re highlighting a nonprofit that is making a big difference each day on a local level for the health of our planet. Sustain Dane’s mission is to inspire, connect, and support people to accelerate equity and sustainable actions for community wellbeing. Sustain Dane was founded in 1999 by a group of Madison residents and received nonprofit status in 2003. Its vision is a thriving and inclusive community with a sustainable environment and economy we are proud to pass on to future generations. 

    Among the many programs that the organization offers, the Sustain Dane Summit is not to be missed. Mark your calendars for November 3rd at Monona Terrace for a full day of workshops, speakers, panels, awards, networking, and Dane County

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    We’re excited to share the following updates from the OWN IT: Building Black Wealth program, a private sector initiative designed to address and eliminate barriers to wealth building and homeownership for Black and brown families in Madison. 

    Eight families purchased a home in 2022 with support from OWN IT down payment funds and valuable education offerings. The pilot program is currently offered only to families, alumni, and staff at One City Schools, but OWN IT hopes to expand as the organization develops. 

    Pictured above: The first OWN IT homebuyer closed on her first home in April 2022. Congratulations, Kelsey and One City Schools! And a big shout out to all the supporters of this movement to build Black and brown wealth in the Madison area.

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    Two years ago, our team made a commitment to become more intentional about the ways in which we spend our money and time on a local level. As we reflect on another year of investing in the communities we serve, we wanted to share a few updates from some of the organizations that we’ve volunteered for, collaborated with, donated to, sponsored, or highlighted in our monthly nonprofit articles in 2022. 

    Several of the nonprofits that we partner with focus on promoting social and racial justice, providing affordable housing, and protecting the environment. This year, the impacts of the pandemic and inflation led us to spotlight even more organizations that address ending hunger, homelessness, and social isolation. 

    Foundation for Dane County Parks:

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    What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “St. Vincent de Paul” or “St. Vinny’s”? If you immediately think of the thrift stores with the blue SVP logo, you’re not alone. They are a popular place to donate used clothing, furniture, and other items and find some incredible deals. They also provide employment opportunities for more than 260 people in Dane County alone!

    While the thrift stores certainly are a recognizable feature of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison, this international nonprofit that began in Paris in the 1800s offers several other important services related to food, medicine, and housing to further its mission of “helping neighbors in need, primarily through person-to-person contact made by volunteer members.”

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    When “Safer at Home” orders and social distancing guidelines went into place, shelters that used to be open to folks experiencing homelessness day or night were forced to rethink their operations. One such shelter that has been trying to secure a larger and more permanent “home” is operated by Porchlight, Inc., which this month reached a record of housing 207 people in one night. 

    Porchlight’s story began “when two people froze to death on the streets of Madison in 1984 – back when no one thought we had a homeless problem here,” said Porchlight Executive Director Karla Thennes. “Faith communities got together and rented the parsonage next to churches, got volunteers, and got sandwiches, and said, ‘If you’re homeless, come on in,’ and they did.” 


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    Five years after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990, a group of parents of children with disabilities founded Movin’ Out to “improve housing access and support, helping to build healthier, more resilient communities.” Over the years, the statewide nonprofit has provided critical housing resources and multi-family rental housing for people with intellectual, physical, or mental disabilities, people with low to moderate incomes, and veterans. 

    “As a social justice organization founded around the time ADA was passed, it’s past time for us to acknowledge that our organization has a responsibility and role to play in advancing racial equity and racial justice,” said Movin’ Out Executive Director Kathryne Auerback. “People of color

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