Nonprofit Membership at CSW

Community Shares of Wisconsin (CSW) is a collaborative community of nonprofit member organizations that addresses social, economic, and environmental problems through grassroots activities, advocacy, research, and public education.  CSW provides its members access to fundraising opportunities, capacity building, networking opportunities with like-minded organizations, and more. 

Community Shares of Wisconsin commenced an organization-wide evaluation of our structure, policies and practices toward the goal of transformation toward prioritization of racial equity and inclusion. This evaluation led to a change in membership policies and bylaws that support the move toward inclusion of more individuals and organizations with marginalized identities and with under-resourced work.

In 2022, the CSW board approved bylaw and policy changes that require a clearly and publicly stated commitment to racial and social justice from new and continuing Community Shares member organizations and adapted membership requirements to make membership at CSW more accessible for groups who have the greatest alignment with our values.

New Member Recruitment at Community Shares of Wisconsin  CSW follows an intentional and formal new member recruitment process with final decisions made by the board of directors. Applicants follow a multi-step application process that can take 6-9 months. A public announcement will be made when new members are being recruited again. Please complete this form to be added to a mailing list to receive information about future member recruitment.

CSW Membership Policies , Approved by Board of Directors in November, 2022 

Qualification Requirements 

  1.  Have a demonstrated base of support from individuals and the community at-large including financial, in-kind and volunteer. 
  2. Make decisions about the use of funds received from CSW independent of any nationwide parent organization, or otherwise demonstrate that funds received from CSW will be used in support of program services in Wisconsin. 
  3. Demonstrate responsible management through a financial system with established mechanisms to assure ongoing and long-range programmatic and fiscal planning and evaluation. 
  4. Have been established for at least one (1) year prior to membership application to CSW. 
  5. Have an office located or be headquartered in Wisconsin. 
  6. Have a volunteer Board. 
  7. The organization has a clearly and publicly stated commitment to racial and social justice; will adhere to the nondiscrimination policy as set forth in Article II. L; will not inhibit or prohibit employees from organizing a union. 


Member Obligations 

  1.  Maintain the conditions specified in III. A.1. 
  2. Adhere to policies and obligations of CSW as set forth in these bylaws and other membership duties as established by the Board. 
  3. Submit a statement that funds received from CSW will be used for the organization’s stated purposes. 
  4. Provide CSW staff with copies of Articles of Incorporation, IRS Status, bylaws and necessary annual documentation if participating in workplace giving campaigns. 
  5. Provide financial support to CSW through membership dues and administrative assessments determined annually. 
  6. Participate in periodic reviews to assure compliance with these bylaws. 
  7. Provide the annual number of work hours as established by the CSW Board. 
  8. Designate an individual to serve on the CSW Board and to act as a liaison between CSW and the member organization. 
  9. Assure that a representative from the organization shall be an active member of at least one (1) CSW committee. 
  10. Treat each other in a respectful manner.