Changing perspectives. Changing lives.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County is a nonprofit that empowers children to reach their full potential by creating and supporting strong and enduring one-on-one mentoring relationships throughout Madison and Dane County. We use research-based methods that have been refined and strengthened for over 50 years locally (and 100 years of operation nationally.)

Our team of professionals strives to meet the individual needs of every child by providing them with a caring, trusting adult. Through mentorship, we can help Littles where they are now, while also building them up for what's ahead. Through community-based programming, and with the help of our supporters and volunteers, we're proud to serve Madison and Dane County's youth.

We operate under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. BBBS of Dane County fills gaps by providing long-term, consistent mentoring between adult volunteers (Bigs) and children (Littles), ages 6 through 18. The positive relationships we help facilitate throughout Dane County have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

Through concrete data collected, we know that Littles who participate in our program demonstrate increased educational success, engage in fewer risky behaviors, and have greater socio-emotional competency. (These social-emotional skills and behavioral changes are crucial for the long-term development of our Littles.) Mentoring helps young people feel connected and committed to their community, and the long-term effects of the Big/Little relationship ripple into countless areas of a child's life.



  • Child Safety and Youth Protection - We seek to maximize the physical and emotional safety of all participants in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ programs.
  • Outcomes - We seek to drive positive outcomes for youth.
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice - We draw on external mentoring research, network data, and empirical evidence, as well as consultation from external and internal experts to identify practices that lead to quality programs.
  • Equity - We are intentional about the youth we serve and the volunteers we engage in order to meet the critical needs in the communities served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County.


All youth achieve their full potential.


To clear the path to a child’s biggest possible future.


Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.



When children and teens have the influence of a caring adult, they are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and focus on academics. Today's youth face a variety of challenges, and being matched with a Big can help them navigate these challenges and reach their potential.

You can help youth in the Dane County community by donating, becoming a Big, or partnering with us.


By partnering with parents/guardians/caregivers, volunteers, and others in the Madison community we are accountable for each child in our program achieving:

• Higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships

• Avoidance of risky behaviors

• Educational success