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Share Your Love of Community—Join Us in The Big Share

You’re invited to be a part of The Big Share™ on March 3rd, the area’s first online giving day, which supports 70 local nonprofits building a fair, just community and protecting our environment. A project of Community Shares of Wisconsin (CSW), The Big Share is a 24-hour fundraising event that relies heavily on social media sharing to expand our community of supporters.

“In one day we hope to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit our nonprofit member groups,” said Cheri Dubiel Buckner, CSW Associate Director.

Crystel Anders, CSW’s Executive Director, said, “A giving day like this can greatly expand the donor base for our member groups. Workplace giving has always been a key part of our fundraising. Now The Big Share allows us to reach out to new supporters: young donors who may prefer to connect with causes online, people working from home, and retirees who no longer have the chance to give through the workplace.”

Angela West Blank, Development Director at Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute (a CSW member group), said, “I love the idea of the Big Share—it fits in so well with what we do. While WLCVI brings people together to protect the Wisconsin places we love, The Big Share brings people together to support the incredible local nonprofits that improve our community.”

Sponsors of The Big Share include Madison Community Foundation, The Isthmus, 105.5 Triple M Radio, and KWOW-TV.

CSW and UW Partner to Offer Training
With CSW’s unique cooperative model for a fundraising federation, we are designing The Big Share to bolster the digital fundraisingand communications skills of nonprofit members through trainings and 1:1 assistance from UW students who specialize in social media.

We’re fortunate that the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication has a focus on community news and nonprofit communication—very few universities do. Through our partnership with them, we have talented interns helping our members.

One ofour interns, Kelly Daly, said, “As a college student I was struck by the impact of the CSW nonprofits—and how relevant they are to my generation. A lot of people might not get involved in supporting these groups because they don’t think it pertains to their life. But you can certainly find, among these 70 groups, one that speaks to your passion and does work that you value.”

Assistance from CSW staff and interns like Kelly makes a difference. “Without CSW’s help I never could have created our Facebook page or our donor landing page for Women in Transition,” said Kathy Lemke, Executive Director of this small nonprofit which provides housing and support to women with severe, persistent mental illness. “Now I see the viral potential of social media in alerting people about our work with women.

“The training will help us, I hope, reach our fundraising goal for The Big Share. I set a modest goal and will be so glad to have the added funds. But if we are really successful we might come closer to being able to get an air conditioning system that we badly need,” said Lemke.

How Can Our Co-op Supporters Help?
We are primarily counting on you to spread the word via social media (you can find Big Share information on Community Shares of Wisconsin’s Facebook page). This is an effective way to attract new donors who like what we—and our member groups—do. Second, consider making a gift (the minimum gift is $10).

If you decide to give, you don’t have to wait until March 3rd—you can pledge your gift online now at There you can choose to support all the groups with a gift to CSW, or you can click on the giving pages of any of our member groups to direct a gift. (Your credit or debit card will not be charged until March 3rd.)

“We have so many partners—like the Co-op—helping to ensure that the day is a success for us,” said Anders. “We are grateful to be in such a supportive community that values the work of nonprofits.”

Angela West Blank agreed, saying that this giving day “makes all of us ‘Big Share aware’ of the marvelous groups working for change in our community. It helps our supporters realize that we and they are a part of something bigger—and that we all share the responsibility and joy of making our community the best it can be.”

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