Due to declining membership, low meeting attendance, and chronic issues with filling board and committee vacancies in recent years, we have made the difficult decision to dissolve the Madison Civics Club. The Madison Civics Club was initiated in 1912 by five brave women working to educate the public about women’s potential right to vote. Our history included bringing to Madison some of the most influential speakers of their time.
On August 23, 2023, the MCC Board voted to dissolve and approved a potential list of recipients of our remaining funds. On November 9, 2023, the Board approved the following distribution of our funds.
We are happy to say that we will still have a legacy with our funds ($57,000) at the Madison Community Foundation (MCF). Three organizations will receive an ongoing annual distribution and the letter they receive with each distribution will state the funds are from the Madison Civics Club Endowment Funds. They are the League of Women Voters-Voter Service Project, United Way of Dane County-By Youth/For Youth Project, and the Civic Health of Wisconsin Initiative. These three groups will receive approximately $800/year in the future depending on the MCF investment performance.
In addition, the following organizations will support the civic engagement mission of the Madison Civics Club well into the future and will receive one-time funding:
Legislative Semester - $8,000 (combined with a matching grant of $8000 from the Schlecht Family Foundation)
Wisconsin Civic Learning Coalition - $2,000
Madison Public Schools Foundation Karen C. Ragatz Teacher Support Endowment Fund - $7,000
Madison Public Schools Foundation Advocacy Programs - $3,000
Badgers Vote - $5,000
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - $5,000
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism - $5,000
Our subcommittee of three board members researched carefully the above organizations; we believe their missions align well with the Madison Civics Club mission. In accordance with the Madison Civics Club bylaws, funds need to be distributed to 501 (c)3 entities; we have complied with that requirement.
We appreciate the input and suggestions from many current and former members. Civic engagement has always been at the heart of our mission. In the 1990’s that mission began to include our youth when we honored students doing good civic work in their schools and communities. That emphasis on future voters and their intersection with our democracy grew stronger each year from that first attempt to include students in our mission in 1992-93.
On Behalf of the full MCC Board,
Trish Iaccarino, LuAnn Quella, and Barbara Arnold
Co-Chairs Joy Cardin, Jennifer Fagan
Past Chair Julie Fagan
Secretary Jill Jokela
Web Trish Iaccarino
Treasurer LuAnn Quella
Assistant Treasurer Jennifer Fagan
Hospitality Co-Chairs Judy Cardin, Greg Iaccarino
Youth Grants Kristi Williams, Barbara Arnold
Founded in 1912 by five women incensed that Wisconsin denied women the vote, Madison Civics Club has brought thought-provoking international, national, and local speakers to Madison. See our centennial history.
Since our centennial, venue and speaker fees increased, and the pandemic required virtual meetings. Madison Civics Club adapted. See our recent programs and speakers.
In 2004, Madison Civics Club expanded its mission, financially supporting youth civic engagement. The club gained 501(c)(3) status, providing grants to youth-led organizations with a civic purpose. See our awardees.
If you have questions about the future of Madison Civics Club, please use the form below to contact us.