MAMA Cares Program

Mama Cares - Jacy's Fundraiser

Program Description

MAMA Cares was formed in 2015 as a result of a benefit event to raise funds for Madison singer/songwriter,  Robert J. Conaway and his family, who faced steep medical bills after their son, Jacy Ray, became gravely ill. The event was a large success and the Conaway’s wished to help the Madison Area Music Association establish a fund that could help other musicians going through personal or family hardship. With some of  the proceeds from their fundraiser, the Conaways seeded the Mama Cares Jacy Ray Fund naming it after their son.

MAMA Cares has established criteria that, when met, can result in the disbursal of funds to help Madison-area musicians and their direct families in times of need. MAMA Cares is not an insurer and there are no members. No contractual arrangements shall arise from the consideration, and/or approval of a request for funding. Grants are intended to provide a measure of assistance, not to cover complete losses. Each application is considered by the MAMA Cares Committee, which makes recommendations to the MAMA Board of Directors for final approval.

Funding for MAMA Cares

Funding for MAMA Cares comes from these sources:

  • At least one annual event, conducted by MAMA, Inc., solely directed at providing funds for the program
  • Direct mail campaigns conducted by MAMA, Inc. with options to direct funds to MAMA Cares
  • A MAMA Cares PayPal account will be established to accept donations at any time from the general public
  • MAMA, Inc., at their discretion, may allocate a percentage of funds raised at other events not specifically designed for the MAMA Cares program to MAMA Cares
  • MAMA, Inc. may establish collection points at various businesses or other locations where donations could be made to a collection box
  • MAMA, Inc. could establish protocol with area businesses whereby a percentage of a business’ sales could be directed to MAMA Cares, or a specific add-on donation could be made by the purchaser
  • Members of the music community who decide to coordinate their own event(s) and who wish to donate a portion of the proceeds to MAMA Cares (MAMA, Inc. could provide promotional support for these events)
  • Any other method of funding approved by MAMA, Inc.

Application and Disbursal

MAMA, Inc. will make a downloadable form available on their website with which those who feel they meet the criteria can complete and submit to the organization for approval. This website section will also provide the information required for a prospective recipient to determine if they meet the criteria to qualify for a disbursal, as well as all the information needed to submit the request.

All requests will be reviewed by the MAMA Cares Committee, who make a recommendation to the MAMA Board of Directors for approval. Since requests could be of an urgent nature, MAMA, Inc. may carry out its decision making by proxy. Disbursement of funds will follow in a reasonable amount of time after the necessary review by the Committee and the Board.

All disbursement decisions will be subject to available MAMA Cares funds.

Disbursements from MAMA, Inc. through the MAMA Cares program, are considered gifts but each individual applicant should consult with their tax advisor.

MAMA Cares recognizes that individuals who may qualify may not wish to come forward. Persons interested in “nominating” someone to receive funds may therefore do so as long as the recipient is believed to meet the qualifications.


MAMA, Inc. reserves the right to make the final determination for approval on a case-by-case basis, as well as the determination of the amount to be disbursed. In the case of catastrophic events outside the parameters of basic qualification (including area), MAMA, Inc. reserves the right to make funds available without a request form.

In order to qualify, the applicant (or person “nominating the recipient) must go through the proper procedure of submitting a bona fide request form that is accurately and fully completed. MAMA Cares reserves the right to refuse any application.

Local Musician and their Direct Family: A “local musician” shall be defined by the same parameters as used by MAMA, Inc. for registration in its annual Madison Area Music Awards program. Those parameters are as follows:

                The eligibility requirements for the MAMAs require you to meet one of two eligibility requirements. You must have some members of your group living in Dane County or be based in Dane County. A good benchmark for this is having 50% of your band members or 2 of 5, 3 of 7, etc. Alternatively, if you play a significant amount of performances, around 50% of your gigs, in Dane County you are eligible. Registration is on the honor system, primarily. If a nominee comes into question, MAMA, Inc. will then verify that the artist or group is eligible.

“Direct Family” is defined as the qualifying musician and includes a child, and spouse.

The child can be your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child or adopted child.

The direct family members of a deceased person deemed to be a “local artist” will be eligible to apply.

MAMA, Inc. reserves the right to make a final determination of who is a local musician and who is determined to be direct family. MAMA, Inc. also reserves the right make distributions outside the definition of “local musician” in extreme cases, on a case-by-case review.

Hardship: Applicants must define the situation that leads them to request funds. MAMA Cares is not intended to supplement general financial hardship. The Jacy Ray Fund is intended to assist those suffering medical emergencies who are underinsured or not insured. Other Funds may be established in the future that address other hardships specifically. MAMA Cares recognizes the difficulty for musicians to maintain proper health insurance on restricted incomes. MAMA Cares also recognizes that verbal disclosure may be preferable over written disclosure and the application accommodates such requests.

Hardship will be determined on a case-by-case basis only after eligibility requirements are met and will include:

  • Medical emergencies which are under or non-insured. MAMA Cares may request substantiation of estimates for treatment and insurance statements as to non-covered amounts. Medical emergencies do not include treatment for alcoholism or other addiction, nor will they include psychiatric treatment.
  • Significant loss due to catastrophic events such as loss of home due to natural disaster.
  • Other instances as considered on a case-by-case basis.

Timeline and Submission

Applications must be made in a timely and reasonable fashion. Events occurring before the date that MAMA Cares was established do not qualify. Furthermore, requests that are made more than six months after the hardship event occurs will only be considered under extreme circumstances. MAMA reserves the right to reject any application that it feels does not meet the eligibility requirements. MAMA, Inc. reserves the right to make all final determinations in accepting any application.

Applications can be sent by snail mail or electronically.

Snail mail: MAMA Cares, c/o MAMA, Inc., PO Box 8754, Madison, WI 53708