First Time! Community Impact Grants Hit $100,000

Nine nonprofits in the Dubuque region received funding to help address critical issues in the region

This past March, Caprice Jones (pictured above) and his colleagues at the Fountain of Youth Program launched the Partners in Change initiative to provide peer support for individuals working to get back on their feet and contribute to civic life after being incarcerated. The organization already has one success story to share, and now it’s looking to increase its support for other individuals.

“We’ve been working with one person who just transitioned out of a halfway house, and with this program’s support, he now has an apartment, a bank account, a car and a mentor from a local employer,” says Jones, the Fountain of Youth’s founder and executive director.

To grow this initiative, the Fountain of Youth applied for and received a Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque Community Impact Grant. It is one of nine local nonprofits receiving a total of $100,000 in funding through the grant program this year — the first time the grants have reached six figures.

“It’s fitting that we would reach this grantmaking milestone the same year the Community Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary,” says Mary Jo Jean-Francois, the Foundation’s vice president of impact. “Strengthening nonprofits has always been and continues to be a core part of our work. Each organization we funded this year is doing incredible work, and we are proud to support them and our community.”

The Community Impact Grants program builds the capacity of local nonprofits to make an impact by supporting training, collaboration, programming and operations. This year’s recipients are:

  • Dubuque Area Arts Collective: $5,000 for its Pre-Professional Mentorship Program, through which at-risk high school students collaborate with local industry professionals to build a portfolio of work with a music or visual arts focus and ultimately design, promote and execute their own arts experience.
  • Dubuque Rescue Mission: $15,000 for staffing and supplies necessary to keep its warming shelter open year-round, helping provide additional shelter for unhoused individuals.
  • Fountain of Youth Program: $15,000 to support its Partners in Change peer support program (described above), which provides previously incarcerated individuals with access to mentorship and wrap-around services after release, and its RealTalk weekly support group, which facilitates discussion and builds community.
  • Four Mounds Foundation: $15,000 for staffing and training to grow its HEART (Housing Education and Rehabilitation Training) Dubuque program, which connects graduates of its youth or adult construction programs with opportunities to modify the homes of local seniors so they can age in place.
  • NAMI Dubuque: $7,200 to enhance its capacity to fill gaps in brain health care by sustaining two AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer positions, increasing its outreach, and providing free educational opportunities.
  • Presentation Lantern Center: $8,900 to cover costs associated with hiring a third full-time staff member and increase the center’s capacity to meet the needs of Dubuque’s growing communities of immigrants and English language learners.
  • Seva Health: Center for Wellbeing: $10,000 for the Clayton County nonprofit’s Flourishing Families program, which provides integrative, family-centered brain health support services outside of clinical settings.
  • St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church: $8,900 to support its Almost Home shelter for homeless men with children, a growing population that is underserved by the traditional shelter model, which often focuses on men only or women with children.
  • St. Mark Youth Enrichment: $15,000 for Great Futures Start Together, a pilot program that will bring St. Mark’s after-school programs on-site to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dubuque with the goal of bridging transportation barriers and creating a smooth transition from school to other activities.

Community Impact Grants are open to nonprofits serving Dubuque, Clayton and Clinton counties. After narrowing down the pool of applicants in August, finalists were invited the make pitches to the grant committee. The Foundation offered free one-on-one coaching to finalists to help them strengthen their pitches and build skills to support all of their grant-seeking efforts.

This year, the Community Foundation received 29 applications totaling more than $333,000. As the Community Impact Endowment Fund grows, it pays out a greater amount each year to help address critical issues.

“Every request we received was for a worthy cause,” says Peter Supple, director of nonprofit relations for the Community Foundation. “This grant program is one of the ways we can help address an array of community issues, and through a number of other Foundation offerings, we can help close the funding gap and deepen our impact.”

To learn more about the Community Impact Grants program, visit

Questions about the Community Impact Grant program? Reach out.

Here for you. Gretchen Corcoran Grants Manager 563-588-2700