Community Foundation endowment funds pay out over $3 million

Ernest Jackson understands the impact that endowment funds have on the community. Each year, the local business leader and community volunteer makes gifts to endowment funds that support nonprofits addressing critical issues like youth well-being and academic achievement.

“When I think about endowments, I think about sustainability,” Jackson says. “Endowments help organizations sustain their programs and their staff over a period of time, and that is key.”

This year, more than more than 800 endowment funds hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and its affiliate foundations will pay out $3.18 million to nonprofits in Dubuque, Allamakee, Clayton, Clinton, Delaware, Jackson and Jones Counties. 

Local generosity makes this year’s payout possible, and the Community Foundation is the steward of these gifts from community members. Endowment funds held by the Community Foundation are invested permanently, and the earnings from that investment provide annual funding to address the Dubuque region’s greatest needs for generations to come.

Ernest Jackson

“The Community Foundation is here for the Dubuque region forever, and the organizations receiving these payouts are our partners. They help us understand the needs of our communities and drive lasting change to ensure all people can thrive,” says Nancy Van Milligen, Foundation president and CEO. “Endowments provide a sustainable source of funding that allows organizations to realize their missions, embark on new initiatives to meet local needs, and do their best work to support communities.” 

Endowment distributions also support the Community Foundation’s grantmaking programs. This year, the Foundation will leverage endowment payouts to award grants through: 

  • Community Impact Grantswhich build the capacity of nonprofits through leadership development, strategic planning, network development, communications planning, evaluation planning, security, and diversity, equity and inclusion work.
  • Women’s Giving Circle, which supports the needs of women and children in Dubuque.
  • YAPPERS (Youth Area Philanthropists), which supports youth-serving agencies in Dubuque County to strengthen and grow their programs.
  • Grants for Tech, which supports the technical capacity of nonprofits.

Nonprofits aren’t the only beneficiaries of endowment funds. “There are also tax benefits to people who give to endowments, so they are great for everybody,” Jackson says. 

Gifts of $50 or more to an endowment fund hosted by the Community Foundation or one of its affiliates are eligible for the generous Endow Iowa 25% State Tax Credit.

To explore endowment funds that you can support, visit