Announcing the Downtown Madison Fund

August 17, 2020

Repair, Recovery and Revitalization of State Street

DOWNTOWN MADISON, WI – Madison’s Central Business Improvement District is pleased to announce the formation of the Downtown Madison Fund.
The purpose of this newly created Fund, a component fund at the Madison Community Foundation (MCF), is to promote the vitality of downtown and leverage opportunities within and immediately adjacent to Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (BID).

BID Board Chair Emily Mehl shared, “We are thrilled to work with the Madison Community Foundation to establish the Downtown Madison Fund. This fund is a vital step in moving forward to help our downtown become the place we all want it to be – safe, welcoming and diverse.”

Immediately following the days of civil unrest at the end of May, the community stepped up to support downtown business that had been damaged. Under the leadership of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, a GoFundMe campaign raised just under $200,000 to support the downtown businesses. These funds were distributed to approximately 60 businesses on State Street. However, there are more than 150 businesses on State Street, more than 75% of which have reported damage, loss, or looting.

The Downtown Madison Fund hopes to pick up where the Boys & Girls Club campaign left off and has set a fundraising goal of $300,000. You can make a donation here:

In addition to using the funds to support the downtown businesses damaged by civil unrest, the Fund administrators also carefully considered what might strengthen the downtown in the future. The Fund may be used for the following: building repairs, renovations, or updates; facade repairs; small business support/loans; job preservation; job creation and training; quality of life programs; beautification; preservation; public safety and health initiatives; welcoming and enhancement features; events; holiday lighting and branding; art creation and installations; community outreach and engagement; research, economic impact and other information studies; and partnership opportunities that strengthen downtown.

BID Executive Director Tiffany Kenney offered thanks to the individual donors who worked together to create this fund. “The BID and the downtown Madison community welcome the support of this new fund. There is a LOT of work to build State Street into the equitable, inclusive, economic engine we all want it to be. And before we can move forward, we must put things back together. A repair, recovery and revitalization plan will cost a lot of money. It is helpful to know there is support from the business and from the private sector to do this important work.”

Details about the grant making process will be forthcoming. Grants from the fund will be available to tax-exempt public charities to provide support to those businesses, property owners, and nonprofit organizations that are working to strengthen the central city.

Distributions from the Fund will be advised by the BID’s Executive Committee.

The Downtown Madison Fund is a component fund of the Madison Community Foundation , a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) community trust.

A financial statement of the Madison Community Foundation disclosing assets, liabilities, fund balances, revenue and expenses for the preceding fiscal year is available at and will be provided to any person upon request.

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