Allamakee Forever leaders capture matching grant

Leaders of the Allamakee County Community Foundation are celebrating their strong future after completing the Small-town Dreams Initiative challenge grant.

Completing the fundraising challenge means that the Foundation board has raised $450,000 for the Allamakee Forever Fund. The fund is invested and will grow forever, providing annual grants to support the most important projects and programs in the county.

“Our vision for the Allamakee Forever Fund is to make grants for the best and brightest ideas,” says Brent Beyer, Foundation board chair. “We are grateful to the many donors who believe in Allamakee County’s future and have supported our Allamakee Forever Small-town Dreams campaign these past two years. Thanks to your generosity, we will be able to fund more grants for projects and programs in Harpers Ferry, Lansing, New Albin, Postville, Waterville and Waukon.”

As the board reached important campaign milestones, leaders used funds from an anonymous donor to make immediate grants supporting the needs of teachers and libraries in the county. The Jim and Margo Sweeney Family Endowment for Allamakee Forever provided an additional $3,000 for summer camps in Waukon. 

The Foundation awards grants through an annual cycle each winter – and yet, many needs are unmet. During its 2022 and 2023 grant cycles, 23 organizations received grants totaling $259,000. The Foundation received 40 requests for a total of $480,000 in that time. With its Small-town Dreams campaign complete, the Foundation will have an additional $20,000 for nonprofits and community projects. 

“This is not the end for this campaign,” says Executive Director Betty Steege, who advises donors and leaders throughout Allamakee County. “People in Allamakee will always be able to share annual gifts, memorials and legacy gifts knowing the funds are invested wisely and returned to the town they love.”

The Small-town Dreams Initiative is facilitated by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, of which the Allamakee County Community Foundation is an affiliate. The initiative is made possible thanks to an anonymous donor who grew up in a small town in Northeast Iowa and wants to support rural vitality. Any self-determined high-performing community in the seven counties served by Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is eligible to apply to participate. Senior Affiliate Advisor MJ Smith and Small-town Dreams Initiative Advisor Amanda Diers manage the initiative.

To learn more, contact Diers at or visit