The Capital Times has been involved in Dane County philanthropy throughout its history and The Evjue Foundation is the company’s largest philanthropic arm.
It was established by founder William T. Evjue in the 1960s to support causes that commanded his attention. When he died in 1970, his will established the William T. Evjue Charitable Trust and directed that all the proceeds from his controlling stock in The Capital Times Co. be deposited in that trust.
In turn, the trust was directed to turn those proceeds over to the Evjue Foundation to be distributed to worthy educational, cultural and charitable organizations in the newspaper’s circulation area. It was Evjue’s way of rewarding the communities that contributed to the newspaper’s success.
Since then, the foundation has made grants totaling more than $70 million to worthy causes, including the University of Wisconsin. In recent years, annual giving has ranged from $1.5 million to more than $2 million. In addition to dozens of modest grants to local nonprofits, the foundation has made major contributions to the Monona Terrace Convention Center for its construction, the Overture Center for its Great Performance Fund, Olbrich Gardens, UW’s Camp Randall Stadium, the Madison Children’s Museum, Access Community Health, Madison College and the Urban League of Greater Madison, to name a few.
Grants made by the foundation are determined by a board of 15 people, seven of whom represent the newspaper itself, eight from the community. The board meets twice each year, once in the spring and once in the fall, to make decisions on how the money provided by Evjue’s philanthropy will be distributed.