Columbus Area Endowment (CAE)

Downtown Columbus

Photo: Ray Cunningham

"People want to give to their community, but are overwhelmed by requests.  Gifts to the Columbus Area Endowment (CAE), by businesses and residents, are professionally managed. Monies are distributed to Columbus nonprofit organizations by a decision of a diverse board of citizens, after a thorough review of grant applications." Alan Strohschein Former Co-President

The Columbus Area Endowment (CAE) was established in 2008 by a volunteer group of Columbus area citizens to create an enduring difference in the community and surrounding area.

The Columbus Area Endowment will enhance the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of the Columbus area and support the well-being and quality of life of its citizens through charitable grants. 

We provide donors the opportunity to build and to preserve assets for local charitable purposes. Donated funds are dedicated to the greater Columbus area.

How It Works

The CAE partners with the Madison Community Foundation which is a 501c(3) tax-exempt charity, to maximize security and earnings and to minimize administrative costs.

Gifts may be made in cash, securities, real estate, life insurance, and retirement funds. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

The funds are invested for long-term growth.  The principal is preserved while a portion of the value of the endowment (approximately 5%) is available annually for Columbus area charitable projects and programs.

The CAE is a simple way to fulfill multiple charitable interests.  Additional endowments can be created within the CAE to benefit specific charitable groups such as churches, schools, and parks.

How Your Gift Makes a Difference

  • Supports Columbus area charities
  • Creates an enduring legacy for the donor, the donor’s family, and the Columbus area
  • Keeps charitable donations local
  • Builds community spirit
  • Gives personal fulfillment
  • Preserves history
  • Improves local quality of life
  • Supports lifelong learning and education

Advisory Committee

Cailin Lueders, President
Robert Black, Vice-President
Henry St. Maurice, Secretary/Treasurer
Tania Black
Bryan Davis
Cindy Fesemyer
Angie Fogarty
Dale Gessler
Pam Kraus

MCF Contact

Melinda Heinritz, Strategic Partnerships Director
Madison Community Foundation
Phone: (888) 400-7643

Give to the Columbus Area Endowment

Give online to the Columbus Fund

What and How to Give

To set up Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), click here.

Mail a contribution to:
Madison Community Foundation
P.O. Box 5010
Madison, WI 53705-0010




Get Involved!

Give to CAE online
Other ways to give
Request more information


CAE Information

What's an Affiliate?
News and Events
CAE Advisory Committee Responsibilities

CAE Grantmaking

Grantmaking Guidelines
2015 CAE Grant Application
CAE Past Grants Awarded


CAE Component Funds

Columbus Area Endowment
CAE Passthrough Fund
Columbus Area Aquatic Center
Columbus School District Passthrough
Columbus School District Endowment
Columbus Fall River Rotary Fund
Conlin Family Fund
Parry F. Lueders Fund 
John & Mary Roche
   Grandchildren Red Balloon

Sharrow Family Fund


Columbus Links
City of Columbus Website