As Outstanding Philanthropic Organization 2015: Community Shares of Wisconsin Says Award Is for Each of Us Who Make a Difference

In the past week Community Shares of Wisconsin (CSW) not only received the 2015 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization award from the Madison Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). CSW also received the Community Partner Award from Friends of Wisconsin State Parks.

“It’s gratifying to be recognized by the community, and especially by one’s peers,” said CSW Executive Director Crystel Anders, to the crowd of over 300 at the AFP event. “It’s also satisfying to see an article in a philanthropy journal pointing out that advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement—actions that beautifully describe the work of our 67 member nonprofits—are among the best tools to create a more inclusive society. A more just, inclusive society is precisely what CSW has been working toward for nearly 45 years.

“As the oldest social action fund in the country, CSW is a vital force for change. But it seems to me that this award is really for the movement in which we all participate.  It is for each of us who makes the time to contribute, has the passion for change, is courageous and takes a stand, and believes that together we can make a difference,” she said.

Anders thanked not only the thousands of donors who give each year to CSW and its 67 member nonprofits, she recognized business partners such as Willy Street Co-op, The Isthmus, 105.5 Triple M, and Capitol Centre Market as playing a critical role in Community Shares’ success. Other funders thanked by Anders included Madison Community Foundation, Evjue Foundation, the Kailo Fund, the Katz Family Fund, and Magic Pebble Foundation. “They took a risk and invested in us as we created The Big Share™ and the Center for Change,” she noted.

The Big Share is CSW’s online 24-hour giving day, the first in the area, and a major success in raising $230,000 in its first year for Community Shares and its nonprofit members. This effort not only allowed CSW member nonprofits to raise much-needed funds to support their missions; CSW staff also worked closely with its members in trainings and 1:1 meetings to increase the nonprofits’ skills and knowledge of online fundraising and social media engagement.

The Center for Change is CSW’s office space—space for tenants as well as shared space for coworkers, small business owners, and consultants. Collaboration and a commitment to positive social and environmental change are common threads that connect all of the professionals at the Center.

In receiving the Community Partner Award from Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP), Anders noted that “our state parks are state treasures. And with greater need for volunteers to help protect and care for these parks, the nonprofit group FWSP plays a pivotal role. We are so pleased to have them as part of our cooperative of nonprofit members.”



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