Change Inside 2023
A behind-the-scenes look at how we’re advancing the local social and environmental justice movement
Celebrating a Decade of Giving:
The Big Share’s Journey Has Been an Impactful One
As we usher in 2024, we also celebrate a significant milestone — the 10th anniversary of The Big Share®. When we organized the inaugural event for 2015 we hoped for success, but little did we know that a decade later The Big Share would not only be a fundraising powerhouse but a catalyst for transformative change.
From day one, our focus has been unwavering — centered on our member nonprofits and the critical issues of social justice and environmental sustainability. This commitment has cultivated not only a robust fundraising platform, but also a vibrant community driven by shared values. We made a commitment to use community centric fundraising principles in our work, and through this, we have been able to democratize fundraising and make it accessible to the everyday donor.
Aiming High: $5 Million for Social Justice & Environmental Causes
Looking ahead to our next The Big Share event on March 5, 2024, our goal is ambitious: to reach a total of $5 million in contributions over ten years. Currently, The Big Share has raised a total of $4,205,425 over nine years, giving us an $800,000 goal for 2024! This financial milestone, while impressive, only scratches the surface of the true impact The Big Share has had on our community.
Beyond Dollars: Investing in Training and Education
At the heart of The Big Share’s success lies a dedication to the education and empowerment of our member nonprofits. Beyond traditional fundraising strategies, we’ve prioritized training in digital communications, enabling our member nonprofits to amplify their voices and extend their reach. This investment has not only elevated individual member nonprofits but has expanded the influence of CSW beyond the confines of workplace giving.
Expanding Impact: CSW’s Ripple Effect
The impact of The Big Share extends far beyond the dollars raised. By investing in the education and growth of our member nonprofits, we’ve seen remarkable results. GSAFE, for instance, has transformed into an online giving powerhouse through grassroots fundraising efforts. Wheels for Winners, a member nonprofit that doesn’t participate in workplace giving, has found a significant funding source through The Big Share, altering the landscape of their financial sustainability.
Voices Amplified: Digital Skills and Social Media Success Stories
One of the most inspiring aspects of our journey has been witnessing members enhance their digital communication skills. From mastering the art of video creation to significantly increasing their social media footprint, these success stories are reshaping the narrative of grassroots movements. As one member nonprofit, Wisconsin Literacy, put it, “CSW and The Big Share have motivated our team to produce more video success stories that feature the life-changing work of our local member literacy agencies across the state. Stories connect us and inspire us to act.”
Looking Forward: Continuing to Make Change Happen
As we reflect on the past decade, it’s clear that The Big Share has evolved into more than just a fundraising event; it’s a beacon of empowerment and community strength. Together, we look forward to the next chapter, confident that the impact of The Big Share will continue to reverberate for years to come.
Community Shares of Wisconsin advances organizations throughout Wisconsin that are leading efforts to protect our civil rights and build a safe and sustainable future where everyone can thrive.
Together we transform our community.
Volunteer Profile: Dennis Dushek
Dennis Dushek stepped in as a volunteer to help with software transition projects that came about as a result of CSW’s strategic planning process. He has put in many hours to help us develop more efficient and streamlined project management systems.
We are very grateful to have a volunteer with such extensive software development experience. Dennis has a master’s degree in physics and worked as both a geophysicist and software developer in Texas for 19 years. After returning to Wisconsin, he spent 25 years in software development and as a business systems analyst focusing on process optimization, database reporting, and data analysis before retiring a few years ago.
Thank you, Dennis! Your expertise has been invaluable.
Scott Haumersen’s Decades of Support
Scott Haumersen first became involved with CSW over 30 years ago when, through his work at Wegner CPAs, he helped with the merger between Aid to Wisconsin Organizations and Madison Sustaining Fund, the two organizations that combined to form Community Shares of Wisconsin.
Scott has supported CSW through workplace giving for many years, and when The Big Share began in 2015, he saw an opportunity to do even more. He started a Match Minute where every donation over the course of one minute is matched up to a certain amount. In 2023, he matched $6,000 in donations!
Scott is now retiring after 42 years at Wegner CPAs, but his support of local nonprofits is just getting started. “I’m not going anywhere and plan to continue to support Community Shares and other grassroots organizations with even more of my time.”
Thank you, Scott! Your decades of support are truly appreciated.
2023: A Year of Continued Reflection and Transition
For Community Shares of Wisconsin, this year has continued a period of reflection and transition. Coming on the heels of a global pandemic and our recent 50th anniversary, we exist in a unique moment to reimagine our structure and operations to enhance our ability to achieve our mission.
We spent much of the year working with Elevate Together, a local consulting group, to refine our focus through a strategic planning process. Emerging from this project are three key themes for areas of emphasis: People Operations & Workplace Culture, Board Governance, and Racial Justice & Inclusion.
We are on our way to completing our first plan focused on staff optimization. In our work to transform our organization internally, we first prioritized salaries and benefits to make sure staff are fairly compensated and have benefits that prioritize their wellness. In 2023 we focused on shoring up our systems and processes to ensure all staff are in roles that are the best fit for them and that all are supported to do their best work. We will complete this project in the first quarter of 2024.
Our next two plans are focused on the board and membership and will help us continue to refine ourselves as a membership-based organization focused on the mission of justice. We will take some time to evaluate our board and committee structures. As we have grown and added more member nonprofits, the efficacy of our board structure has been called into question. I’m looking forward to finding ways to ensure our operations while maintaining our values and history. Finally, we have put a lot of work into our racial justice initiative and want to ensure that focus continues through the development of a standing committee whose role will be prioritized in the same way as all other permanent, standing committees.
Thank you for continuing with us on this journey. We are strongest when we all work together to transform our community.
Save the Date
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Make change happen
Support your favorite member nonprofits through online giving
How You Can Give
If you want to support us, you can make an online gift, mail a check, donate via workplace giving, or give through The Big Share® on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. You can also donate through our partner businesses by saying “yes” to the Community CHIP® Program at the Willy Street Co-op and “yes” to the Community Round Up Program at Capitol Centre Market.