MADISON, Wis., December 20, 2021 – Madison Community Foundation (MCF) today announced $1.24 million in grants to 23 nonprofits throughout the Madison area. The grants address opportunities and  support organizations in five focus areas: learning, community development, arts and culture,  environment, and organizational capacity building.  

Several themes run through these grants, including a focus on diversity and inclusion by developing a  pipeline of talent through paid internships for youth of color; investing in capital campaigns as organizations build capacity and improve their sustainability; and dedication to our natural resources  through farming, environmental research and solar power. 

“If anything, nonprofits have become more innovative during the COVID pandemic, pivoting to expand  services and find creative ways to provide resources,” said Tom Linfield, MCF’s Vice President of  Community Impact. “These agencies combine vision and tenacity as they propel our community forward. 

“From ensuring equity in workforce development, to expanding fresh produce in food pantries, to  dramatically increasing the capacity of the major service provider to the Latinx community, the grantees  are helping make this a rich and just community,” Linfield continued. “Madison Community Foundation is  proud to invest in these key organizations.” 

“These grants are possible because of the generosity of thousands of donors who have come together  to support our community through MCF’s Community Impact Fund,” explains, Bob Sorge, MCF’s  President and CEO. “Their gifts – large and small – collectively provide MCF the capacity to make  meaningful grants to these organizations.”  

The complete list of grant recipients includes:  

Elevating Lives in the Bayview Community 

$150,000 to the Bayview Foundation toward its capital campaign to greatly expand services by building  a new Community Center that is double the size of the current building. The campaign will also replace  its 50-year-old townhouses with a mix of 130 affordable apartments and new townhouses. 

Building a Safe, Strong, Sustainable Hub for Latino Families 

$100,000 to Centro Hispano to help prepare for a major capital campaign that will increase usable space  and expand programming to serve more families.  


Providing School-Based Outreach Programs 

$30,000 to CEOs of Tomorrow to provide programming directly in high-need schools, creating real world entrepreneurial and business-management learning opportunities for students.  

Building Science Capacity at Clean Wisconsin 

$25,000 to Clean Wisconsin to expand its summer science internship program into a year-round  fellowship program. 

Expanding The Big Share Day of Giving 

$75,000 to Community Shares of Wisconsin to continue to expand and support The Big Share online  giving day for three more years, leveraging millions in giving for 70 nonprofit agencies. 

Developing a Pipeline of Talent With Paid Internships for Youth of Color 

$20,000 1:1 matching grant to Dane County Library Services to help fund the Ripple Intern Program to  recruit, train and employ youth of color in paid internships with Dane County libraries.  

Installing a Renewable Solar Energy System 

$35,000 to the Deerfield Community Center to install a solar energy system for its Food Pantry and  Senior Center, lowering heating and controlling costs while also increasing safety for senior visitors by  providing a covered walkway into the building.  

Integrating Climate-Driven Spatial Analysis Into Strategic Land Protection 

$20,000 to the Driftless Area Land Conservancy to develop a geographic information system (GIS)- based tool to incorporate new science and data to gain a better understanding of the region’s  conservation needs.  

Expanding Learning Centers and Opportunities  

$25,000 to First Tee of South Central Wisconsin to expand four Learning Centers allowing First Tee to  partner with Madison Metropolitan School District to work with directly with students from 10 schools,  helping close the opportunity gap.  

Adding a Full-Time Development Position  

$75,000 to the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness to add dedicated fundraising staff, allowing it  to build organizational capacity and efficiency, develop and implement a strategic development plan, and  increase the number of individual donors providing support.  

Supporting a Master Planning Process  

$25,000 to the Friends of San Damiano to begin the master planning process – expected to engage at  least 5,000 residents from a wide variety of community groups – to develop the San Damiano property  on Lake Monona into a sustainable public asset.  

Building a Conservation Career Pathway for People of Color 

$45,000 to Groundswell Conservancy to build a Conservation Graduate Crew, in collaboration with  Operation Fresh Start, to help overcome some of the barriers of entry into the conservation field for  people of color.  

Creating a New Center for Modern and Contemporary Dance  

$30,000 to Kanopy Dance Theatre to help fund the Kanopy Center for Modern and Contemporary  Dance, which will incorporate state of the art equipment to support virtual learning, collaboration and  performances. 

Purchasing Land to Grow Healthy Produce for Food Pantries 

$50,000 to the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens to purchase the 15-acre Pope Farm Homestead,  which will double its growing capacity and allow it to provide Dane County food pantries with high demand, specialty produce.  


Increasing Opportunities for Choreographers of Color  

$15,000 to Madison Ballet to expand opportunities for choreographers of color throughout the  organization, from students, to emerging choreographers, to commissioning more established  choreographers to build new works to permanently enter Madison Ballet’s repertoire. 

Expanding Wonderground  

$60,000 to Madison Children’s Museum to expand the Wonderground outdoor playground to include  more complex play experiences for older children and additional accessible experiences for visitors with  limited mobility. 

Building More Accessible and Inclusive Playgrounds  

$30,000 to Madison Parks Foundation to add three accessible playgrounds with ramps, wheelchair  swings and poured-in-place rubber surfacing at Madison-area parks.  

Expanding Access to Black History for a New Day  

$150,000 to Nehemiah to expand the program to employees of school districts, police departments and  judicial leaders across the county 

Building a New Library to Serve a Growing Community 

$40,000 to the Oregon Public Library for building a larger library to better serve the needs of a growing  community. The new library will provide critical community meeting space, and expand free community  access to information, technology and programming.  

Increasing Development Capacity 

$50,000 to REAP Food Group to increase its development capacity by training board members to  actively participate in donor stewardship and fundraising and hiring a grant writer.  

Celebrating 30 Years of Academic Achievement and Youth Leadership  

$30,000 to the Simpson Street Free Press, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary by hiring six  additional teen editors. These new editors will help expand successful STEAM learning projects,  including “Women in Science and Math” and “Science of Wisconsin’s Environment.”  

Expanding Youth Programming at a New Neighborhood Center 

$60,000 to the Vera Court Neighborhood Center to create a new Youth Program Director position to  expand current youth programming and run new programs for the Bridge Lake Point Waunona  Neighborhood Center in preparation for a major capital campaign.  

Building a Youth Music Center 

$100,000 to the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra’s capital campaign to construct a new 40,000  square foot youth music center on East Washington Avenue. Half of this grant is for capital costs and  half is a 1:2 endowment challenge match.

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