Frequently Asked Questions


Why do we need a New Building?

Goodman Community Center serves a wide range of community members of all ages, and it has seen exponential growth since 2008.

  • Use of our Fritz Food Pantry has increased by 50% over the past four years. 
  • We have kids who steal food because there isn’t always food at home. 
  • 80% of our youth are of color and 80% qualify for free and reduced lunch. 
  • Parents from low-income families tell us they’d love for their kids to be in sports, but costs, schedules and locations are all barriers that make it really hard to do.  
  • At any time, 10% of our seniors are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 
  • 80% of families qualify for childcare scholarships.

Who will We serve?

The majority of our programs focus on helping young people get off to a good start, or get back on track. But, as boomers are retiring, our older adult program is growing and we count the patrons of our food pantry as important guests, too. 

  • 103 children receive 2,400 hours of Early Childhood Education programming annually
  • 230 children receive 800 hours of Elementary After-School programming annually
  • 472 youth received 5,198 hours of Middle and High School programming in 2016
  • 387 girls at 7 sites received 1,452 hours of Girls Inc. programming in 2016
  • 690 older adults received 2,338 hours of programming in 2016
  • 6,500 households used the pantry in 2016
  • 3,600 families received Thanksgiving Baskets in 2016 — that’s about 14,400 individuals

How will we Budget?

We have a three-year strategic plan in place and we're checking off milestones. Our five-year financial forecast is in place to build resiliency towards political and economic changes.

We're financially stable now and planning ahead for the for the increased operations expenses of our additional building. We have annual audits done, and the past two years there have been no findings.

Goodman has diverse revenue resources including government grants, private projects, donor contributions, and user fees. We have loyal donors and regularly welcome new donors.


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Goodman alumni profiles

Derek JOhnson

"I grew up in a family that was rich, but we didn't have much money. So, I ate up every opportunity the Center gave me."

Growing up, Derek found positive male role models at Goodman who inspired him to strive for more. He is now the Director of Admissions at Edgewood College, a Goodman mentor for other children, and serves on the Goodman board. Derek believes that by helping Goodman, he can help more young people.


What will we do with the space?

  • Prepare more teens for employment, career and college.
    • Make graduation a starting point, not the end. Everyone talks about job creators, we want to be employee creators.
  • Make youth a priority.
    • With 27,000 square feet dedicated to middle and high school students, we're tripling the space and the possibilities that will enable them to create more secure futures.
  • Open doors for more youth to imagine and realize greater possibilities for their lives.
    • Give youth hands-on experiences that open their world to STEM careers and the arts, and get them engaged with their community.
  • Get kids into quality after-school and early childhood education programs - and off waiting lists.
    • Every program has waiting lists with frantic parents needing enriching out-of-school time for their kids.
  • Reduce disparities.
    • Madison and Dane County are confronted with the most extreme racial disparities in the country. The longer kids are in Goodman programs, the more likely they are to graduate because they learn they have the right to expect more from their community - and themselves.
  • Build community with double the space for events and activities.
    • In listening sessions, people asked for more space to gather as a community.
  • Keep up with an increasing need for food.
    • Our pantry use has gone up 40% in the past year. A larger food pantry will help us feed more people.
  • Take care of our older adults so they have room to grow, be connected - and feel needed.
    • Our reconfigured Ironworks building will have more spaces that flex for varied uses, so there will be space for added activities.
  • Make getting or staying fit easier.
    • Our fitness center will move to the gym and become a 24/7 facility. Plus, with added classrooms, our gym will be more open for community activities.

Goodman alumni profiles

Erica young

"The thing I enjoyed the most was it gave me interesting things to do. It exposed me to activities I never would have been exposed to in my neighborhood."

Erica's parents enrolled her at Goodman to broaden her horizons at a time where they couldn't afford much. Now, she has worked at the state attorney general's office and as a criminal investigator. Pursuing a law degree next, Erica hopes to improve Wisconsin's social equity.

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How do you measure success?

Every Goodman program has a logic model, a tool that defines who the program serves, the short and long-term outcomes they are working toward, and the strategies they’ll use to achieve them. And, every program’s logic model has goals that integrate the three building blocks that help create secure lives — learning, health and life skills. 

The 3 building blocks of Goodman programs — for people 3 to 103:

  1. Academics & Lifelong Learning
  2. Life Skills Leadership & Community Engagement,
  3. Healthy Nutrition, Fitness & Habits