annual report 2023 on green background with a woman gardening on the other half

Photo provided by FairShare CSA Coalition, credit: Shine United

a large group of young people and adults

Photo provided by Common Wealth Development

Friends:

I am thrilled to address you as the new Board President of Community Shares of Wisconsin. I am deeply grateful for your trust and support as we venture into an exciting and challenging 2024, continuing to propel Community Shares forward.

This year we will be working with our member nonprofits on our Racial Justice Plan, a plan that will allow the organization to be more aligned with our social and racial justice mission.

We are also diligently working to bolster the organization’s well-being through our grant with CORE and the Katz and Krantz Family Foundation by fostering people’s power and commitment to collective action for social change. As a membership-based organization, our commitment to engaging with and
supporting our member nonprofits is unwavering.

Through the generous support of donors, Community Shares and our member nonprofits work every day to effectively address the needs of our communities. I look forward to engaging with our member nonprofits, supporters, and community to continue our journey of growth together in 2024.

portrait of Veronica Figueroa Velez smilingVeronica Figueroa Velez
Board President
Community Shares of Wisconsin

2023 Highlights

  • 2023 was a year of reflection as a result of external and internal factors, creating a unique moment to enhance our ability to achieve our mission for the benefit of those we serve.
  • We continued our strategic planning with local consultants, Elevate Together, to reimagine the structure and operations of CSW. A survey and report, which were shared with our board and staff, pointed to CSW’s significant strengths and a reputation for innovation and sustainability. As a result of the planning effort, we created three microplans focused on staff, racial justice and equity, and board development.
  • A reorganized and refocused Fund Development and Communications committee kicked off in 2023. This committee will lead and advise CSW staff on our overall fundraising strategy. Their first task was to plan The Big Share’s 10th anniversary event.
  • In response to feedback from our member nonprofits, the CSW member work hour requirements were updated by reducing the total hours required and uncoupling the work hour requirements from receipt of the annual Share distribution.
  • The Big Share®, our annual online day of giving, raised over $650,000 for CSW and our member nonprofits in 2023. Over 3,500 people donated.
  • Susie Lawniczak joined the CSW staff as Development Manager and has been a great addition to the team.
  • At our annual Community Change-Maker Awards, we honored Marin (Mark) Denning, Denise Jess, and Anamaria Peralta as Community Change-Makers. We also recognized Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Conservation Voices with the CSW Collaboration Award for fighting for fair legislative maps in Wisconsin. Julie Andersen, of CORE and other organizations, received the CSW Lifetime Achievement Award for 40 years of work in social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

How You Support Us

19.8%  The Big Share® ($37K)

18.6%   Public Employee Giving Campaign ($355K)

14.5%   Private Employee Giving Campaign ($277K)

18.8%   Individual Giving ($359K)

17.3%   Community CHIP® / Community Round Up Program ($330K)

5.9%   Events / Corporate Gifts / Foundations ($113K)

5.1%   Other ($97K)

You Choose How You Give

  • Give directly to Community Shares of Wisconsin and support ALL of our member nonprofits.
  • Direct your gifts to specific member nonprofits and they receive 100% of your donation.
Expenses
2023
51.9%
($1,020K)
31.8%
($626K)
16.3%
($321K)
2022
58.5%
($1,194K)
27.9%
($569K)
13.6%
($277K)
2021
55.2%
($1,191K)
30.1%
($651K)
14.7%
($316K)

Direct distributions to our member nonprofits
Other support to our member nonprofits
Administration and fundraising

Examples of expenses:

  • Direct Distributions to Our Member Nonprofits—gifts that donors direct to member nonprofits, as well as a share of the money given to CSW.
  • Other Support to Our Member Nonprofits—training and technical assistance to member nonprofits; other services to member nonprofits, including services offered by the Center for Change.
  • Administration—state and federal reporting and compliance; accounting and bookkeeping.
  • Fundraising—raising funds for and representing our member nonprofits through workplace giving, The Big Share, and other fundraising initiatives.
4 youth looking to the left

Photo provided by Natural Circles of Support, credit: Jeffrey Lewis

2023 Distributions

through workplace giving, The Big Share, & other support

Member Nonprofits
1000 Friends of Wisconsin   $6,445
ABC for Health   $10,562
ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation   $34,706
Bayview Foundation   $27,567
Center for Media and Democracy   $12,371
Chrysalis   $22,127
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger   $5,610
Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin   $8,183
Clean Wisconsin   $19,206
Common Wealth Development   $18,595
conNEXTions   $3,492
Create Wisconsin   $7,547
Disability Rights Wisconsin   14,506
Embolden Wisconsin   $17,107
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin   $17,354
Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison   $5,926
Fair Wisconsin Education Fund   $17,679
FairShare CSA Coalition   $10,772
Freedom, Inc.   $29,394
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks   $31,531
Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts   $11,339
GSAFE   $71,389
Housing Initiatives   $8,043
Inspire Barber College   $3,055
Kids Forward   $22,081
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin   $29,373
Legal Action of Wisconsin   $10,096
Madison Area Community Land Trust   $5,559
Mentoring Positives   $9,104
Midwest Environmental Advocates   $16,395
MOSES – WISDOM of Madison   $14,477
NAACP Dane County Branch   $8,910
Natural Circles of Support   $4,003
Nuestro Mundo, Inc.   $9,375
Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County   $2,920
OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center   $18,634
Padres E Hijos En Acción   $2,920
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Wisconsin   $13,115
Positive Women for Change   $3,885
The Progressive, Inc.   $11,732
Project Home   $15,707
RCC Sexual Violence Resource Center   $33,685
REAP Food Group   $15,052
Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association   $3,040
River Alliance of Wisconsin   $23,350
Rock River Coalition   $6,405
Rooted Wisconsin   $11,607
Sierra Club Foundation – Wisconsin Chapter   $15,681
Southern Wisconsin Bird Alliance   $18,968
Sustain Dane   $9,567
Tenant Resource Center   $18,433
UNIDOS   $8,560
Urban Triage   $16,174
Voces de la Frontera   $10,106
Wheels For Winners   $12,570
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault   $8,519
Wisconsin Conservation Voices   $17,473
Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired   $15,026
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   $19,936
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association   $13,799
Wisconsin Family Ties   $7,323
Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.   $30,568
Wisconsin Wetlands Association   $20,608
Wisconsin Women’s Network   $11,152
Women In Transition   $12,886
Worker Justice Wisconsin   $7,342
Working Capital for Community Needs   $6,324
WORT 89.9 FM Community Radio   $21,386
Non-member groups
Proud Theater   $10,173
Indian Community School   $1,000
TOTAL   $1,019,508

Fostering Civic Engagement

After many years of statewide grassroots advocacy and litigation from Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and other nonprofits (including League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Conservation Voices), Wisconsin now has fair legislative voting maps for the first time in over a decade.

Gov. Tony Evers signing a bill surrounded by supporters

Photo provided by Wisconsin Public Radio, credit: Angela Major

WORKING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY, FOOD, AND FARMS

In her job with Ashland County, MaryJo has witnessed the devastating impact of big storms and flooding on her community. When the storms continued to cause damage, she thought “there has to be a better way.” Wisconsin Wetlands Association helped MaryJo discover how nature-based solutions—including wetland protection, wetland restoration, and floodplain reconnection—offered a better way to slow the flow of water on the landscape by helping bring back the landscape’s natural ability to store water.

three people in the forest looking at a map

Photo provided by Wisconsin Wetlands Association, credit: Kyle Magyera

EMPOWERING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

As a social worker at Women In Transition, Megan provides services to women with severe mental illness. Megan also hosts groups and workshops for the residents, including a Pride celebration with bingo cards to teach about the topic. “Ally is the first space on your bingo card, what does it mean to be an ally?” This simple game opened up conversations between the residents including how they can support the LGBTQ community.

two women sitting and smiling

Residents during the Pride celebration. Photo provided by Women in Transition.

SUPPORTING WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND FAMILIES

An employer was not paying farmworkers with H-2A visas correctly, confiscated their passports, and forced them to work 12-hour days, 7 days a week. Following a discrete meeting with the farmworkers, Legal Action of Wisconsin reported the employer to law enforcement and filed a federal civil complaint against the employer claiming unpaid wages, violations of migrant labor laws, and labor trafficking. The employer agreed to settle the case and the farmworkers received payment for hours worked and compensation for some of the abuses.

WORKING FOR A JUST, EQUITABLE SOCIETY

In 2024, Working Capital for Community Needs celebrates 40 years of providing access to microfinance for low-income entrepreneurs in Latin America. One entrepreneur is Rosa Melida Diaz from El Salvador who transitioned from selling tortillas as a child to managing a thriving business at 63 thanks to assistance from her husband and financing from WCCN’s partner ASEI. Presently, Rosa sells 1,000 tortillas daily, providing employment opportunities and ensuring stability for her family.

elderly hispanic woman making tortillas

Photo provided by Working Capital for Community Needs, credit: Michael Kienitz

ENSURING AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE HOUSING

With five home sales in 2023, Madison Area Community Land Trust was able to support five very low-income families on their journey to homeownership. To date, MACLT has assisted 123 low-income families in achieving homeownership. “As a single-income family of six people, we would normally be unable to afford a house in Madison. Our MACLT condo has given us a beautiful neighborhood to live in, with wide open shared yards for my children to play in.”

house with wild garden in the front

Photo provided by Madison Area Community Land Trust, credit: Amber Kolner

female graduate holding baby with two women on either side

Photo provided by Wisconsin Literacy, credit: Jake Gorges

Looking Ahead

As we look ahead we are sharpening our focus on staff and organizational well-being. Last year, we announced our partnership with CORE, an organization that provides nonprofits with funding to support individual and organizational wellness. Our CORE Wellness Roundtables will begin this summer with a group of members interested in discussing where wellness exists, both in member organizations and in the industry at large, and where there is room to expand our efforts.

We are also focused on the well-being of CSW as an organization. With that in mind, we look forward to continuing the implementation of the guidance provided by our strategic planning partner Elevate Together to strengthen CSW’s procedures and processes through staff, board, and committee work. This requires the organization to continue to develop clarity around its mission and goals in an ever?changing philanthropic landscape. As this world moves and changes quickly, we hope to continue to build a sustainable organization that prioritizes strong community partnerships and relationships, the health and wellness of our staff, and deepening our social justice analysis and praxis.