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Creating equity. Building opportunity. For all Madison public school students. 

Our Belief

All students deserve an equal chance to thrive.

High-quality public education should open up possibilities to all students. That’s why we work on behalf of the Madison Metropolitan School District and its teachers. We’re here to ensure our schools continue to progress through new programs and experiences that create an equitable, promising future for our students and the community.

We take our role of financial stewardship seriously. We approach our decision-making with the utmost responsibility and respect for the generosity of community gifts and partnerships.

Our Mission

The Foundation raises private funds, develops community partnerships and advocates for Madison’s public schools, students and teachers.

Our Vision

In part, through our mission and commitment, Madison will have excellent, well-funded public schools in which learning is celebrated and all students graduate ready for college, career and community involvement.

Meet Our Staff

A team dedicated to delivering on our promise.

With a depth and breadth of experience, coupled with a deep passion for the power of public education, our staff works tirelessly to ensure any gift you make has a direct impact on students’ lives.


Create a career with local impact.

Looking to drive progress right here, in Madison? That’s what we do. Join our team and become part of something selfless: Creating amazing opportunities for students throughout Madison that they’ll carry into their future.

“At 6AM Marketing, we want to help change the world for students right here in Madison. We know we can do that by exposing them to ideas and experiences that we care to share with them.”

Wayne Harris, CEO, 6AM Marketing, Adopt-a-School partner

Our History

Two-plus decades supporting public schools

The Foundation’s Organizing Committee


We thank the following visionaries who worked through the summer of 2000 to establish the Madison Public Schools Foundation: Alice Benn, Joann Elder, Mary Gulbrandsen, Don Hafeman, Carroll Heideman, Virginia Henderson, Howard Landsman, Elaine Lohr, Don McCloskey, John Matthews, John Olson, Art Rainwater, Doug Ritchie, and Len Rush.

The Foundation is Established

The Foundation is Established

Madison Public Schools Foundation is created, becoming an independent, private nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining and extending the excellence of Madison’s public schools.

First Endowment Funds Created for all Madison Public Schools

First Endowment Funds Created for all Madison Public Schools

Our first campaign to create endowment funds for all Madison public schools kicks-off. John Taylor provided $5,000 matching grants to schools that raise $5,000 for their endowment funds. As of 2021, the school endowments were valued at $3.6 million and have awarded $9 million in grants.

Adopt-a-School Program Launches

Adopt-a-School Program Launches

Adopt-a-School, our program that makes it easy for local organizations and businesses to support individual Madison public schools, kicked off. Since then, we’ve had 100-plus program partners who have invested more than $5.5 million in financial and in-kind gifts, along with 100,000-plus volunteer hours. Group Health Cooperative and Leopold Elementary was the first Adopt-a-School partnership, and it remains active today.

Foundation for the Future Awards 21 Grants to Teachers

Foundation for the Future Awards 21 Grants to Teachers

From 2015-2018, our Foundation for the Future initiative awarded more than 20 grants that totaled $262,139 to Madison Metropolitan School District teachers. The funds allowed them to purchase supplies and tools needed in their classrooms.

Teacher Support Network Launches as Pilot Program

Teacher Support Network Launches as Pilot Program

Our Teacher Support Network, which now serves all Madison public schools, launched at three schools, with the goal being to eliminate the the $500 average that district teachers spend on out-of-pocket school supplies. Today, we continue this mission, working toward covering these additional costs for all our teachers.

Paving the Way for a Historic Referendum

Paving the Way for a Historic Referendum

Our advocacy team worked tirelessly on the Vote Yes 2 Invest campaign that led to a historic and overwhelming passage of a much-needed $350 million referendum package for Madison Metropolitan School District.

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary

As we turned two decades old, we launched Act Now 2 Invest, a 501c4 advocacy coalition focused on Wisconsin’s education and economic success.

Community Report

See our impact. Track our progress.

While our mission is grand, progress must be constant. Our community report sheds light on our top initiatives and gives you a clear view into how we’re improving opportunity for all students through programs, projects and advocacy.

Latest News

See What We’re Up To

  • Alumni: Antonio Cruz-Rodriguez

    Born in Mexico, Antonio Cruz-Rodriguez moved to the United States with his family when he was just a few years old. The Cruz-Rodriguez family settled on the east side of Madison, where Antonio’s educational journey began. He attended Lapham Elementary for 4K, then moved to Hawthorne Elementary, and later to Sandburg Elementary due to new…

  • Alumni: Scott Swanson

    Scott Swanson’s deep connection to the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) reflects his family’s long-standing history with the district. Growing up on the far east side of Madison, Scott attended Kennedy Elementary, Whitehorse Middle, and La Follette High School, graduating in 2002. His journey through MMSD was profoundly influenced by his parents, Paul and Ruth,…

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