United Way of Dane County 2-1-1

United Way of Dane County 2-1-1 Logo

Basic Information

Address: 2059 Atwood Avenue Madison, WI 53704
Phone Number: 211
Director: Rachel Gundacker

Action Shots

* There are currently no photos associated with this listing.

Additional Information

Causes Served: Education, Poverty, Health, Community Convening
Population Served: low income, south central Wisconsin residents
Ages for Volunteer: 18+
Hours of Service: 4/week
Minimum Hours Required: 4/week, one year commitment
Days of Service: M,T,W,Th,F
Mission Statement:

MISSION OF UNITED WAY 2-1-1: Every hour of every day, hundreds of people need essential human services - they are looking for training, employment, food pantries, help for an aging parent, addiction prevention programs, affordable housing options, support groups, and more. 2-1-1 is the service that connects people with resources that can fulfill their needs. 2-1-1 also works closely with many of the social service agencies in the area and maintains a database of over 1,500 agencies.

Program History:

United Way 2-1-1 defines Information and Referral as a primary channel of information about accessing human services in the local community. It is a vital communication link between giving and getting help by way of a trained mediator. In this capacity, 2-1-1 is able to provide local residents with information regarding the services and function of the community human service network.

In the 1960s various government agencies and area non-profits began to offer more extensive social programs. Residents also sought new ways to both give and receive help within the Madison community. The surge of local outreach and support programs resulted in an intricate network of specialized agencies and services. By the late 60s, this extensive network of human services programs proved too complex to navigate without assistance. It soon became clear that a new agency was needed to help Dane County residents access the services they needed.

This led to the creation of “INFO”, a small call center housed in the Social Security Administration and funded by the State of Wisconsin became cohesive Information and Referral agency in Dane County. By dialing 246-HELP, Dane County residents could access assistance on issues ranging from where to get a hot meal in Madison to how to seek help with paying overdue rent.

In 1974, INFO moved to the City/County building where it was placed under the administration of the Madison Public Library. As joint funders with the State, the library approached United Way of Dane County for financial and managerial assistance in 1982. In 1983, INFO became First Call For Help and the financial contributors included United Madison Community Foundation, Attic Angel Association and United Way of Dane County.

The 90s brought crucial Information and Referral advancements on the national level. In 1997, the Georgia Public Service Commission assigned the 2-1-1 telephone number to the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s Information and Referral service, establishing the Atlanta area as the first region to use a three-digit number to offer information & referral for human services.

After months of preparing for an official launch of the revamped United Way 2-1-1 service in Dane County, 2-1-1 became a usable telephone code available on June 11, 2002. First Call For Help officially became United Way 2-1-1 and has enjoyed almost a 100 percent call volume increase within only its first two years.

Due to the easy-to-remember telephone number, increased efforts in advertising and highly skilled and trained volunteer and staff specialists providing 24-hour phone coverage, United Way 2-1-1 is able to serve the community better than ever before. 2-1-1 also works closely with many of the social service agencies in the area and maintains a database of over 1,600 agencies.


Shifts are 4 hours in duration, 1 shift per week Monday-Friday from 8am-12pm, 12pm-4pm or 1pm-5pm

Additional Information:

The Volunteer CIRS is a skilled individual who helps people in need get connected to resources that can assist them.

What You'll Do: Provide meaningful and immediate assistance to community members in need as a volunteer information and referral specialist with 2-1-1!

Benefits: Obtain clear oral communication and human services related skills, experience working with diverse populations, and opportunities to network with local agencies.