Making Greater Madison a Better Place
The idea was to take a successful civic engagement program – Leadership Greater Madison (LGM) – and build on the knowledge, enthusiasm and relationships formed through participation in the organization. Once the alumni of LGM resolved they wanted to use their experience gained in LGM to make a difference in the community, the concept of CAT Team projects was developed. Professionals who had completed LGM would form teams and volunteer their time and expertise to help not-for-profits in need. This was a unique way in which talented civic leaders could build upon their LGM experience and remain engaged in community.
CAT (Community Action Team) projects can be as comprehensive as engaging with a not-for-profit in need to help create a business plan or marketing plan over a six month period, or as brief as spending a day helping Habitat for Humanity make a difference in a Dane County community. Either way, the idea behind the CAT team projects is to harness the abilities, knowledge and desire to serve demonstrated by Leadership Greater Madison graduates in a focused effort to make Greater Madison a better place to live and work.
Past CAT Team Projects
Below are just a couple of examples of successful CAT Team projects
Financial Education Center
The Financial Education Center specifically sought the LGMAA’s assistance in promoting its services – assisting residents of Dane County in gaining the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to better manage their personal finances through courses, one-on-one coaching and small group workshops. LGMAA’s CAT Team assisted the FEC by suggesting simple tools to conduct market research, drafting a marketing plan, proposing a repositioning of the organization by suggesting alternate taglines and emphasizing services to promote, and recommending several low-budget methods to promote their services.
“Our experience with the LGMAA team was outstanding,” said Deb Neubauer, Administrator of the FEC. “The level of expertise, professionalism and feedback that this group provided has paved the way for the Financial Education Center to meet and exceed its outreach goals. It was wonderful working with the team. Our sincere appreciation goes out to the team and to the LGM Alumni Association for initiating this program.”
For a YWCA team project, the LGMAA used their professional expertise and talents to assist the organization in creating a mentoring program for staff with a goal of supporting professional development interests and increasing staff longevity and a special emphasis on staff of color. The LGMAA CAT Team collaborated with the YWCA to determine an appropriate mentoring program to meet the YWCA’s goals and assisted in drafting mentoring program materials, providing guidelines for effective mentoring, suggesting topics for mentor meetings, drafting mentoring logs, and drafting mentoring feedback forms for participants in the program.
The project was more valuable thanks to the input and support of The Business Forum, which assisted the two organizations in their efforts.
“We had a wonderful experience working with our LGMAA CAT team,” shares Colleen Butler, YWCA Racial Justice and Outreach Director. “They provided us with a thoughtful product that was well informed by their professional expertise. We greatly appreciated their partnership and their commitment to assisting us in achieving our goals. It was clear that they cared about our organization and the work that we do in the community, and their personal dedication to both the YWCA and the Madison community was inspiring. We feel very lucky to have had this opportunity.”