Moments in Philanthropy :: August 2011

In This Issue


New Funds at MCF

MCF Names New Officers and Board Members

MCF’s 2011 Celebration of Philanthropy

Wheel Access – Columbus Senior Center Gets a Chair

LACE Facilitates Library Grant

Celebrating Generously

Did You Know?



New Funds at MCF


Frederick "Fritz" Charles Kaump Scholarship for Memorial High School
Van Haren Family Fund - - Supporting the charitable interests of the donors

Independent Living, Inc. Endowment - - Supporting the mission of Independent Living, Inc.

John and Carolyn Peterson Fund - - Supporting the work of MCF 

Combat Blindness International Fund - - Supporting the mission of Combat Blindness

FMPS Kamvar-Schiavoni Family Scholarship Endowment Fund - - Scholarship for FMPS*
Charlotte Dixon Scholarship - - Scholarship for the Albany School District

*FMPS = Foundation for Madison's Public Schools


MCF Names New Officers and Board Members

Madison Community Foundation recently named new officers and board members to serve as leaders on the MCF Board of Governors. The new leadership will be affirmed and new members welcomed at the August Board meeting.


New officers are:

Chair: Rich Lynch, President of J.H. Findorff and Son Inc.

Vice-Chair: Jac Garner, President and CEO of Webcrafters, Inc.


Newly appointed board members are:

Craig J. Christianson, General Counsel for Promega Corporation

Steve Brown, CEO of Steve Brown Apartments


“Madison Community Foundation is an expert in philanthropy. These talented new members and officers will bring creativity, savvy and dedication to service to our board and the work we do in Dane County and beyond,” said Kathleen Woit, MCF President. “With their guidance, we will continue to work toward our goal to impact the lives of thousands of people and hundreds of charitable causes.”



Madison Community Foundation’s Celebration of Philanthropy is September 25


Madison Community Foundation Board of Governors and staff will host a Celebration of Philanthropy on September 25th from 6-8 p.m. at the Madison Children’s Museum. Join us as we commemorate the impact made on the local and larger community by generous fundholders and donors like you. This event is partially underwritten by CUNA Mutual Foundation.


  • Cost is $15 per person, the payment is not tax deductible.
  • Your payment will serve as your reservation and must be received in our office by September 19.
  • You may pay with a credit card using our secure online site here.
  • You may, instead, send checks to: Madison Community Foundation, P.O. Box 5010, Madison, WI 53705.
  • For more information, please call or email Darcy Kobinsky at (608) 232-1763.

Wheel Access – Columbus Senior Center Gets a Chair and More

Each month, about 200 different people walk through the door at the Columbus Senior Center to join friends for lunch, card games, art and craft classes, exercise groups, resource fairs and medical screenings. But for the seniors who couldn’t walk, the visit was arduous.


“We did not have a wheelchair on-site,” explained Marie Steffen, Senior Center Director. “It was such a challenge for our seniors to get their personal chairs out of their cars. We had one individual who had to sit on a wheeled office chair and be pushed from table to table during one of our card games!”


The Center submitted a grant application to the Columbus Area Endowment for funds to purchase a chair. When the grant was awarded, the Board was able to leverage a discount on the chair, creating a surplus that helped pay for a new computer for the Center as well. While a wheel chair provides access to the physical facility, the new computer gives seniors more access to the world of email, search engines, and Facebooking with their grandchildren.


“The Senior Center gained mobility for several clients and better computer access for all,” said Joe Conlin, Columbus Area Endowment (CAE) Board. “Seniors who have learned to use computers thru the facilities at the Senior Center have gone on to purchase their own for home use, giving them access to a far wider world. I think that is the best outcome of all.”


To find out more about the Columbus Area Endowment, click here.
To support the Columbus Area Endowment, click here.



LACE Facilitates Library Grant


The Lodi Area Community Endowment (LACE) recently helped Lodi natives John and Judy Steele award a $1,000 grant to the Lodi Woman’s Club Public Library to fund youth literacy stations and help promote the establishment of LACE. 


Lodi librarian Kristine Millard said, “This computer system is loaded with games and activities that increase intellectual and computer literacy. The previous units were so old and slow that they were rarely used. Now, with the upgraded hardware provided by the Steeles, children are on the computers significantly more and this is summer! We expect even greater use once school starts. Designed for children in preschool to sixth grade, this software increases literacy quickly and at a younger age. Children who use our programs may not have computers at home.”


John and Mary Steele both graduated from Lodi High School and feel it is important to give back to the community. The Steeles were enthusiastic supporters of LACE from its inception in 2009, contributing $6,000 to the fund itself. 


John told the Lodi Enterprise newspaper, “We know what these foundations can do for communities. It's really an opportunity to do some good things for our area."


The endowment currently holds about $65,000. When the balance reaches the goal of $100,000, the LACE Advisory Committee will begin the process of awarding annual distributions to Lodi area organizations.

Tax deductable contributions can be made to LACE at any time. To give your support, click here.
To find our more about the fund, visit the website here.


Celebrating Generously


Celebrating a personal milestone by asking for donations in lieu of gifts has become the ultra-fashionable thing to do. While making donations to charity in lieu of flowers has been a tradition at funerals, asking guests to do the same instead of gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, retirements and weddings offers a meaningful option for those who already have lots of “stuff.”


We can credit the Royals for taking it mainstream: Before Prince William and the former Kate Middleton married this spring, they created the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund and requested that instead of sending wedding gifts, guests make donations to the fund. Over 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) to will be distributed to 26 charities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. 


Madison intellectual property attorney Erin Ogden shared with MCF a discussion she had with her father. “He didn’t want or need more stuff.  Instead, ending hunger on a local scale was more important to him.  Each gift giving holiday I make a donation to the local food pantry in his name. We both feel great about it.”

 Lori Kay recently retired and spoke to MCF staff about using that event to make a difference philanthropically. "Since I am not known to be a "retiring person," my plans to leave the University of Wisconsin and the Office of the Chancellor and start another chapter of my life led me to think of ways to have community benefit through education continue with the participation of the Madison Community Foundation. By having any retirement celebration gifts directed here to the Mann Scholarship Endowment along with a personal match, I could help make friends and colleagues aware of this wonderful and unique program and perhaps build even more support both in the near term and future. I certainly encourage others to consider doing this as well!"

Jan Gietzel, Executive Director of A Fund For Women, told the story of a couple who suggested donating to AFFW or another named non-profit as a wedding gift. “The couple put the request for donations on their wedding invitation. It was a generous way to celebrate a very special occasion.”


Madison Community Foundation staff can help you or someone you know set up a conduit for your guests to celebrate an occasion by giving to the charity or non-profit of choice. If a decision is made to add to an endowment, the gift will continue to “give” literally forever.


To quote Malcolm Burrows, “May joy be shared through charitable giving.”


For more information, contact Amy Overby, Vice President, Donor Relations, at (608) 232-1763. 



Did you know?


Did you know that Madison Community Foundation can facilitate philanthropy for people no matter where they live?


Did you know that through a very flexible menu of services, MCF can meet the philanthropic goals of each person, family, business, and charitable organization?


Did you know that MCF staff assists cities, towns and villages throughout Dane County to build endowment funds for the benefit of their communities?