American Family pledges record-breaking $1 million-plus to United Way of Dane County

Madison, Wis. —United Way of Dane County announced it has reached its goal, projecting to raise $16,475,000 to improve the community through the Agenda for Change.

"As a community, we are ending family homelessness, ensuring academic achievement, and so much more," said Rich Lynch, Campaign Chair and President of J.H. Findorff and Son Inc., "Your contribution to the United Way Campaign ensures that everyone in our community has a chance to succeed."

Lynch kicked off this year’s campaign at the end of August with the announcement of a challenging goal. The community responded with more than 38,000 individual and 1,100 corporate donations.

More than 800 local philanthropists including community and business leaders, attended the Celebration at the Monona Terrace. The focus was on achievement of the overall goal, and special attention was paid to a phenomenal effort by Madison-based American Family Insurance. Donations to United Way from employees, agents, retirees and corporate contributions exceeded one million dollars. It's the first time a company in Dane County has reached that mark. United Way President and CEO Leslie Ann Howard applauded American Family Insurance and the many other companies that helped reach the final goal, "Congratulations to all organizations for this incredible achievement. The impact of all contributions is important and creates meaningful and lasting change in Dane County." Those local organizations were also recognized for their exemplary campaigns.

Also announced at Celebration, the winner of the MINI Cooper Sweepstakes. Harold W. Ripp from US Bank won a 2011 MINI from MINI of Madison. Ripp was one of more than 10 thousand people who were automatically entered by making a first-time donation of at least $25 or increasing their donation over last year by at least $25. The Sweepstakes was made possible by Zimbrick, Inc., J.H. Findorff and Son Inc., M3 Insurance, and WPS Health Insurance.

United Way makes use of annual donations to create lasting solutions and measurable results in the community through the Agenda for Change.

"We couldnt have done it without your help and commitment to reaching our goals," said Lynch, "We're projected to raise more money than last year, but we still need your support to make sure we hit that number. By uniting the efforts of 103 agency partners, 264 programs, more than 38,000 donors and 178,000 volunteers, we are making real, measurable progress in creating change in Dane County. Together, we are achieving the impossible."

Our community's Agenda for Change

United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is creating real, long-lasting solutions through the Agenda for Change, the seven goals identified by the community as most critical.


(Companies with 100 or More Employees)

Community Impact Award:

Recognizes organizations for having the largest total giving to the campaign.

  1. American Family Insurance
  2. Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods
    UFCW Local 538 and Teamsters Local 695
  3. Alliant Energy
    IBEW Local 965
  4. CUNA Mutual Group
  5. WPS Health Insurance
    UFCW Local 1473
  6. Community Growth Award:

    Recognizes organizations that have the largest percent increase in the number of new donors.

    1. Suttle Straus, Inc.
    2. Edgewood High School
    3. Sheraton Hotel Madison

    Community Chest Award:

    Recognizes organizations that generate the largest percentage increase in employee giving.

    1. CDW
    2. Sheraton Hotel Madison
    3. Coating Place, Inc.

    Employee Engagement Award:

    Recognizes organizations with the highest percentage of participation in their employee campaign.

    1. Johnson Bank
    2. Zimbrick, Inc.
    3. Strand Associates, Inc.
    4. Employee Leadership Award:

      Recognizes companies that have the largest average gift per employee.

      1. Employee Benefits Corporation
      2. Foley & Lardner, LLP
      3. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

      Red Feather Award

      Recognizes organizations that have the largest dollar increases in their employee campaigns.

      1. American Family Insurance
      2. University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation
      3. American Girl

      Innovation Award:

      Celebrates one organization's commitment to raising awareness and resources during campaign. Past winners have found ways to increase participation, retention and the undesignated support that helps us advance the Agenda for Change. They make leadership giving a priority, and for these inventive organizations, the Campaign Best Practices are just a starting point.

      City of Fitchburg

      Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 344th on the Fortune 500 list. Web:; Facebook:; Twitter: