Endowment funds distribute $4.4 million

Above: The Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is one of hundreds of nonprofits that hold endowment funds with the Community Foundation. (CC BY 2.0)

Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Director Jenna Hirtz knows first-hand the impact endowment funds have on the community. Each year, she sees her organization’s endowment, hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, pay out to cover an array of daily expenses, such as electricity bills for water features, gas for maintenance equipment, materials for garden beds, and seeds for planting.

Our endowment with the Community Foundation is essential for yearly stability and future prosperity,” Hirtz says. “I see it as an active retirement account for our organization. We all know how critical it is to have a personal retirement account set aside to help you get through day-to-day life in the future. An endowment is similar: We have the comfort of knowing we have the resources to get us through our day-to-day expenses, and it will be there for us for many years to come thanks to the generosity of our donors.”

More organizations like Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens are poised to receive their own endowment payouts this spring. The Community Foundation, along with its eight affiliate foundations in Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, Jackson, Jones, and Clinton Counties, as well as the Dyersville community, announced a $4.4 million payout from more than 800 endowment funds this year. 

Local generosity makes this possible. Endowment funds held by the Community Foundation are invested permanently, and the earnings from that investment provide annual funding to address our region’s greatest needs for generations to come. 

“The Community Foundation is here for the Dubuque region now and 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.” 

The Community Foundation also has its own endowment funds, and it leverages payouts to award grants through: 

  • Community Impact Grantswhich build nonprofit capacity and leadership.
  • Women’s Giving Circle, which supports the basic 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.

Gifts of all sizes make a difference, and people who give $50 or more to an endowment fund at the Community Foundation are eligible for the generous Endow Iowa 25% state tax credit. To make your gift to an endowment fund, visit dbqfoundation.org/give.