What is Community Shares?

What We Do

What We Do

Community Shares of Wisconsin represents many people, many dreams, and one community. As a member nonprofit-directed organization, we bring donors and nonprofits together to address social, economic, and environmental issues.

  • We represent our nonprofit groups in over 120 workplace giving campaigns.
  • We work in partnership with the Willy Street Co-op’s three locations to raise funds through the Community CHIP program, where owners may add a 1% donation on their grocery bills.
  • We host The Big Share online giving day every year on the first Tuesday in March.
  • We provide leadership development and fundraising and social media communications training.
  • We offer low-cost office space and access to shared technology and resources.
  • We offer a shared 401K plan to member nonprofits.
boardman staff photo

Workplace Giving

The largest portion of our funds are raised through workplace giving campaigns. Employees can make tax-deductible donations to local charities through their payroll contributions. This process is not only easy and efficient, it allows a company and its employees to work together to benefit the community.

The campaign is “donor driven,” meaning donors may direct their donations to their chosen Community Shares member groups which receive 100% of those gifts.

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The Big SHare

The Big Share is an online day of giving hosted by Community Shares of Wisconsin for 70 local nonprofits dedicated to building an equitable and just community and protecting our environment. During this annual event member nonprofits and their supporters work to promote online giving with announcements and happenings.  

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disability rights wi Big Share prize check
community chip willy street co-op

Community CHIP®

The Community CHIP® program is a fundraising program in partnership with Willy Street Co-op’s three locations. Simply say “yes” when asked if you’d like to CHIP at the Co-op, and the cashier will add a 1% donation to your purchase. That’s only 30 cents for a $30 bag of groceries. The Co-op collects the money and sends 100% of the contributions to Community Shares to distribute equitably among its member nonprofits.

Because the Community CHIP program is a part of Community Shares, all CHIP contributions are tax deductible.

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Backyard Hero Program

Each month Community Shares of Wisconsin and our sponsors, Isthmus, 105.5 Triple M Radio, and Budget Signs and Specialties, recognize two outstanding volunteers who have given their time to our member groups and to our community. These volunteers are seldom in the news but are always on the front lines of critical issues that make our community a better place to live.

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backyard hero congratulations

Change-Maker Awards Celebration

Each year Community Shares of Wisconsin honors three Change-Makers and 24 Backyard Heroes who work to advance social and environmental justice in communities throughout Wisconsin. These local award winners are nominated by our member nonprofits that work on the front lines of issues important to you – from housing rights to safe, clean drinking water.

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Inspiring Voices Program

Once a year Community Shares highlights two small or emerging groups, projects, or organizations for the Inspiring Voices Program. Community Shares developed Inspiring Voices in 2016 with an acknowledgment that, as a largely white-led organization, few of the nonprofits represented in our membership are led by people of color or emerge from the communities most impacted by systemic racism.

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inspiring voices program
Capitol Centre Photo from street

Round Up

Shoppers in downtown Madison can “Round Up” their grocery total to support Community Shares of Wisconsin and our member organizations when they buy their groceries at Capitol Centre Market! To do this, simply click the “Round Up” button at check-out and your total will be rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the difference donated to Community Shares of Wisconsin. Capitol Centre Market is at the corner of Broom and Mifflin Streets in downtown Madison. 

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We invite you to take a look at our annual reports found below. They provide specific information from each year of fundraising. The reports offer:
  • An overview of that year’s news
  • Examples of our member groups’ achievements
  • Financial information such as the amount of money distributed to our member nonprofits
View our most recent report: 2022 Annual Report

What Our Supporters Say

“People are not only able to raise their voice and call out the realities they see, but people have venues to get involved and create the change that is needed.”

Mario García Sierra

Sustain Dane

“Nothing brings me greater joy than when a woman makes the decision to begin the healing process. The healing process looks different for each woman. Some of them heal by going through therapy, some use art and others choose to empower others by telling their story. By telling their story, these women take stigma off and gain control back of their lives.”

Nestic Morris

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault