Madison guaranteed income program receives $300K in additional funding from local donors

state capitol dome

MADISON, Wis. — A citywide pilot program to provide residents a guaranteed income as a means to decrease poverty is getting some extra support from local donors.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway announced Monday that a group of local donors have given more than $300,000 to the city’s Guaranteed Income Pilot, on top of funding the city is already getting. Thanks to recent donations, the city’s pilot program now has a total budget of  $900,000.

“I would like to thank the generous donors who are willing to work with the City of Madison to innovate on a guaranteed income project that will lift up Madison families and provide proof of concept for a national program,” Rhodes-Conway said. This pilot is part of a larger effort to convince the federal government to tackle national poverty through direct income payments to those in need.”

The program provides direct cash payments to residents with no strings attached and no work requirements. Supporters of the initiative say guaranteed income is meant to supplement rather than replace existing social safety nets.

UW Health, CUNA Mutual Group, TASC,  Dan and Patti Rashke Family Foundation, American Family Insurance, Alliant Energy Foundation, and Give Back Foundation all donated to help support Madison’s upcoming pilot.

Madison’s pilot program is part of a larger coalition led by mayors nationwide to decrease poverty with direct payments. The group, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, received $15 million funding for the program in 2020 from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Details about how Madison’s program will operate are yet to be released, but are expected “soon,” according to city officials. Seven cities nationwide are running similar pilot programs.