Civic Health of Wisconsin: Connectedness in Context

June 2020

In partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship and a coalition of nonpartisan Wisconsin organizations, the CommNS presents this inaugural report on Wisconsin’s civic health. The report is based on the 2019 Wisconsin Civic Health Index™, which measures residents’ civic engagement and community connectedness. These data are presented alongside Wisconsin demographic information, civics education standards, trends in local politics and news, and current civic health efforts.

Download the report


COVID-19 Effect on the Wisconsin Nonprofit Sector: Community and Topic Area Briefs

June 2020

This series of community and topic area briefs is part of a statewide effort to study the response of nonprofit organizations to the COVID-19 pandemic, sponsored by the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management and the UW-Whitewater Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies. This study aims to provide real-time data to government officials, foundations, and other decision-makers about the current socio-economic conditions facing nonprofits, and the need for immediate and long-term support to ensure the ongoing provision of critical services throughout Wisconsin. The hope is that, by understanding the pandemic’s effect on the nonprofit sector, we can also better understand the recovery process required afterward.

Visit the Helen Bader Institute to download the briefs

CommUnity Conversations on COVID-19 and the Third Sector

April 2020

These briefs summarize themes from a series of conversations that brought together nonprofit professionals and their allies to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on their work. This series was a partnership between the CommNS and UW-Extension Organizational and Leadership Development Program.

Youth-serving organizations

Community and basic needs organizations


Global partners

Environmental and Healthy Community Organizations

Preparing the Next Generation

Sustained Engagement for Racial Justice: Ideas and Resources for Ongoing Inquiry and Action for Social Change

Summer 2020

This document highlights resources for sustained racial justice work, developed by CommNS staff and collaborators. Topics covered include learning, self care and community care, exerting influence in our spheres, supporting organizations and change agents, taking action, and sustaining engagement.

Access the resource document