Madison Public Market Foundation announces major private funding partners

CUNA Mutual Group, Boardman Clark, Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation among others provide major investments in the construction of the Madison Public Market

The Madison Public Market Foundation is pleased to announce that over the course of the last few years, a variety of corporate and philanthropic leaders have provided gifts to the Madison Public Market’s construction project, providing significant impetus towards making Madison’s first public market a reality. Among the list of prominent contributors is CUNA Mutual Group, who along with the City of Madison, State of Wisconsin, and Dane County, has provided a lead gift to the project.

CUNA Mutual Group’s generous gift of $1.5 million, one of several donations by Madison-area companies and foundations, is made specifically towards the creation of a proposed food innovation facility. To be known as TruStage MarketReady Hall, the facility will be located within the Public Market. Recently, CUNA Mutual Group announced its plans to unify its businesses under the single, TruStage brand, in 2023.

“CUNA Mutual Group believes a brighter financial future should be accessible to all,” said Robert N. Trunzo, president and CEO of CUNA Mutual Group. “We’re excited to invest in this project and support an innovative facility that will help our community’s entrepreneurs access the critical space and equipment they need to create and maintain thriving businesses in Madison.”

Many entrepreneurs who dream of scaling up their businesses, such as food carts and catering services, face insurmountable barriers due to the high cost of commercial kitchen facilities. TruStage MarketReady Hall will provide affordable access to specialized commercial equipment and facilities, assisting entrepreneurs in taking their food-based business to the next level of production and success. One of the benefits of locating a shared commercial production kitchen within the Public Market is the community and entrepreneurial support that will be built into the facility. TruStage MarketReady Hall is an integral component of the proposed Madison Public Market, a vital public gathering place intended to support diverse, minority-owned businesses, create jobs and new businesses, while creating a vibrant, welcoming celebration of food and culture.

According to Karen Crossley, Madison Public Market Foundation Board President, the CUNA Mutual Group gift, in addition to a variety of other private investments, has offers a significant boost to the Market’s fundraising activity.  Importantly, it enables the Public Market to support entrepreneurs in an inclusive, community-based facility that will provide major impact for the growth of small and minority-owned businesses. “We are very excited that Madison Public Market has been a priority among philanthropic leaders and that CUNA Mutual Group sees the Market to be complementary to the company’s purpose to make brighter financial futures accessible to all. We are confident that TruStage MarketReady Hall will support a variety of regional and local entrepreneurs and startups, offering significant economic benefits to many companies and individuals.”

The Madison Public Market wishes to acknowledge the generous gifts of a variety of donors. Thanks to the support of the following contributors, and a total of 300 gifts to the Market from

individuals, companies, and foundations, the Madison Public Market Foundation has achieved its goal of raising $3 million in support. Major contributors to the project include lead gifts from City of Madison, State of Wisconsin, Dane County and CUNA Mutual Group, as well as:

$100,000 – $500,000

  • Boardman Clark
  • Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation
  • Anonymous Donor

$10,000 – $99,000

  • Madison Gas & Electric Foundation
  • Evjue Foundation
  • Heartland Credit Union
  • Old National Bank
  • Madison Community Foundation
  • American Family Insurance Company
  • Hooper Corporation
  • Dan and Natalie Erdman
  • Karen and Alan Crossley
  • Laura Heisler and Steve Goldstein
  • Willa Schlecht
  • Trey and Shelly Sprinkman
  • Sue Goldwomon

Community members who have not yet contributed are still welcome to give. The Madison Public Market Foundation has recently launched a finale funding campaign – Ready, Set, Market! – to raise a final $500,000 to set up our vendors for success, to create culturally rich community spaces and to ensure the Market thrives beginning on day one. Everyone who gives during this

brief campaign will be named on our “Global Table” donor wall at the Market. To donate, visit

About the Madison Public Market

The Madison Public Market is a collaboration between the City of Madison, which owns the former Fleet Services building at First Street and East Johnson Street, and the Madison Public Market Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization which will operate the Madison Public Market. The City is in the process of preparing construction bids to renovate the existing structure, a 1960s era industrial garage ideally designed and sized for the proposed Market activities. The Market is intended to be a cherished and inclusive community gathering space with food, art, music, and events that will bring an estimated 500,000 people together each year.

The Madison Public Market Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that will manage and operate the Market.

Market construction is expected to begin in late 2023. Completion is expected in early 2025. To learn more about the proposed Madison Public Market, visit