Your gift helps Odyssey students and graduates with both their educational and personal expenses while they attend college. Additionally, your support makes possible Odyssey Junior, exciting whole families about education and their future, and Odyssey Beyond Bars, bringing transformative education to Wisconsin’s prisons. See below for our various funds so you can choose the one(s) you most want to support. All donations to the Odyssey Project are tax deductible.
Odyssey’s $1M Match Opportunity
After Pleasant Rowland’s $1 million challenge gift, Madison philanthropist Diane Ballweg offered her own $500,000 match.
So now, every dollar you give between May 1 and December 31 to the Odyssey Future Fund will be matched 2:1 – that means a $100 gift would have a $300 impact. Never before has there been an opportunity like this to secure Odyssey’s future. Won’t you join Pleasant and Diane in helping Odyssey families realize their educational dreams for decades to come? Please consider a donation to the Odyssey Future Fund by December 31, 2023, to help us change more lives!
This endowment fund supports Odyssey’s adults and youth academic programs, helping to ensure the program’s long-term sustainability.
How to donate:
- If you would like to mail your gift, please send a check made payable to UW Foundation and indicate the “Odyssey Future Fund” in the memo line. Mail to: UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807
- Click the blue button below to donate online through the UW Foundation website:
Friends of Odyssey Family Fund
This fund supports Odyssey Junior, tech access for students, helps families with basic living expenses and unanticipated emergencies, and funds Odyssey’s greatest needs. *This is also our most flexible fund!
Odyssey Project Fund
This fund supports academic programming, including tuition, textbooks, and other expenses associated with Onward Odyssey and the core Odyssey course.
Odyssey Beyond Bars Future Fund
This endowment fund supports the Odyssey Beyond Bars program, helping to ensure the program’s long-term sustainability.
Onward Odyssey Fund
This fund was created by Odyssey supporter Sharon Stark in remembrance of the life and legacy of her husband, Peter Livingston. This endowment fund helps Odyssey alumni and their families overcome barriers as they continue on in their educational journeys.
Craig Werner Odyssey Scholars Fund
This endowment fund support students enrolled in the Odyssey course, those continuing in college after Odyssey, children enrolled in Odyssey Junior, and students enrolled in Odyssey Beyond Bars.
If you would like to mail your gift, please send a check made payable to UW Foundation and indicate which fund you are supporting in the memo line:
US Bank Lockbox 78807
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807
To set up monthly donations to Odyssey, click on any of the links above to support the Odyssey Project Fund, the Friends of Odyssey Family Fund, the Odyssey Beyond Bars Fund, or the Odyssey Future Fund.
University of Wisconsin Foundation’s Tax ID number is: 39-0743975. Please be sure to specify which fund you would like your donation to be applied to for any gifts made to UW Foundation.
Other ways to support Odyssey
Interested in volunteering with the UW Odyssey Project?
There are many ways to volunteer with the Odyssey Project! If you are interested in volunteering with Odyssey, please fill out the form below.
Donate Part of a Meal
We serve meals to roughly 90 people each Wednesday night, September through May. Since the pandemic, we have switched to ordering class meals from licensed kitchens in order to ensure the safety of our students and their families. However, we continue to supplement these meals with fresh vegetables, fruits, drinks, etc. Items that we could use include: plastic containers to send home leftovers with our students, napkins, plastic forks/spoons, paper plates (the sturdier the better) and bowls, plastic cups (9 oz and 16 oz), Ziploc bags (sandwich and gallon), and paper towels. If you’d be interested in helping supply these add-ons for a Wednesday evening meal, please let us know! We also seek non-perishable snacks for tutoring nights.
Invite us to Speak to your Group
Odyssey depends on grassroots support! Volunteers can help us to spread the word by inviting us to speak to a business, church, service club, or group of friends. Whenever possible we invite an Odyssey student to attend and to share their own story.
Tutor Adult Students / Alumni
Odyssey hosts tutoring sessions on Monday and Tuesday evenings in the UW South Madison Partnership classroom but can sometimes make tutoring connections with students at other times. We seek tutors with skills in writing/ literacy, math, science, foreign language, and English as a Second Language.
Childcare/ Child Enrichment
Volunteers care for young children and work with older children (providing homework help, playing games, or doing crafts) on Tuesday evenings when parents attend tutoring at the UW South Madison Partnership classroom.
Fulfill wish lists
For Odyssey Junior (enrichment classes for the children of Odyssey students and alumni), we can use art supplies, puzzles, games, notebooks, children’s books, etc. We have compiled these items into one “Wish List” on Amazon. We also could use gift cards for families (gas cards, dept stores like Target, grocery stores) to use as prizes and for emergencies.
Host a Benefit
Odyssey supporters have hosted benefits in their homes and other community spaces, inviting friends to learn about our program, meet students, and support Odyssey. Program staff can help with invitations and other logistics.
Professional Services for Students
We can use pro bono services from attorneys, physicians/dentists, social workers, and others, to help students facing legal, medical, housing, and other challenges.
Volunteers can help to research a variety of topics including potential funders and programmatic ideas.
We can sometimes use help with typing, mailings, and other administrative tasks in our office at 2238 S. Park St.
Photography or Videography
Help to capture photographs and/or video, especially from the Odyssey and Odyssey Junior classrooms on Wednesday evenings at Villager Mall, 2238 S. Park St.
Donate via your IRA
Those who receive an IRA may satisfy their required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year and reduce their taxable income by donating to the UW Odyssey Project! Contact your IRA plan administrator for help setting this up. The IRA funds can be directly transferred to either the Odyssey Project Fund or the Friends of Odyssey Family Fund. Please make sure to specify which fund you would like to support when initiating this process. To make an IRA charitable rollover gift, contact your IRA custodian and request that an amount be transferred directly to the UW Odyssey Project. For support, please call Jenny Pressman at 608-287-8216, or contact your IRA plan administrator or financial advisor.
Join our mailing list
Use this form to join the UW Odyssey Project mailing list. Sign up to receive just emails, just print mailings, or both.