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American Family interns innovate for nonprofits

American Family Insurance interns partnered with 18 nonprofits in Dane County, Wisconsin this summer to brainstorm solutions for challenges their groups face. The interns then presented their ideas to a panel of judges and asked for financial support for the solutions as part of the third annual Share Tank Intern Challenge at American Family’s National headquarters. Sixty-nine interns participated in the event.

Throughout the challenge, American Family interns volunteered for a nonprofit and sought innovative ways to help an organization’s cause. Interns also built professional skills while experiencing American Family’s philanthropic culture firsthand.

The judges, American Family employees, chose a first and second place team to receive a donation from the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation.

The interns advocating for Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) – a nonprofit that focuses on improving the water quality of the Yahara Watershed in southern Wisconsin – won the competition and received a $5,000 check to continue CLA’s commitment to preserving waterways in Southern Wisconsin. The team members also won $500 to help pay for college expenses.

Share Tank winners

Specifically, the team developed a new web application called the Eco Yard Evaluation Tool to help Madison area residents understand how their actions impact the environment. Users visit CLA’s website to “score their yard” based on their current yard practices, compare their score to other yards and learn new ways to make their yard more environmentally friendly.

“We’re happy that CLA can further develop and implement a tool that they’ve been working on for years,” said Kylie Greenheck, a member of the winning Share Tank team. “Our group is grateful to participate in a project that will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the community and environment.” 

Middleton Outreach Ministries (MOM) was awarded second place and will receive a $5,000 donation from the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation. The team proposed that their investment start an endowment fund for MOM’s Stable Housing Program. The fund’s interest could help MOM provide housing assistance to six additional children and adults annually.Second place team

The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation awarded $1,000 to the remaining 16 nonprofits to recognize their work to improve Dane County and their support of Share Tank interns throughout the summer.

American Family has a long-standing history of philanthropy that has evolved into a strategic Corporate Social Responsibility effort encompassing community, environment and people.