Endowments inspire next generation of leaders


In 2003, Ann Wilson Grant started a scholarship in memory of her husband, Micheal. Twenty years later, the endowment fund in his name continues to award an annual scholarship to a local student. 

“When you lose a loved one, you want to memorialize them. It really helped me,” says Ann. “Each year, we knew people would be thinking of him – and we are always excited to find out who is receiving the scholarship because in a small town, we usually know the family. It’s astounding that our gift has been paying it forward for 20 years.” 

Micheal’s scholarship is part of Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars (MVDFS), one of many endowment funds held by the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County that pay out annually to support organizations’ missions and improve quality of life in local communities. MVDFS funds provide integral support for area youth, and have created a culture of gratitude in the community. In 2023, 210 scholarships were awarded through MVDFS.

“Our donors often come back and ask how much is left to give away. Because the scholarships are endowed with the Community Foundation, we can tell them, ‘More than you put in – plus, we’ve awarded the amount of your gift in scholarships,’” says MVDFS founder and president Keith Kramer. “People in our community have come together and know that paying it forward is the right thing to do.”

The Foundation holds funds for many nonprofits as well as individuals and families with charitable goals. In 2023, the Foundation’s family of funds paid out $180,000 to support community projects in Delaware County. Gifts to the Foundation’s family of endowments funds can be made anytime online at dbqfoundation.org/ffdc

“The Foundation connects donors with the greatest needs in our community,” says Amanda Diers, executive director. “We offer many opportunities to improve quality of life by addressing an array of local issues.” To learn more about how you can establish a fund or make a gift that impacts your community, contact Diers at 563-880-3816 or email ffdc@dbqfoundation.org.