Strengthening Nonprofits TOGETHER.
NAMI Dubuque’s Community Impact Grant
As Britni Farber walks through her nonprofit’s new space in downtown Dubuque, she is beaming. Britni is the executive director of NAMI Dubuque, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and since it began in the 1990s, it has hopped between church basements and other informal community gathering spaces.
Today, NAMI is growing, bringing an array of brain health resources within reach of more Dubuque residents. That growth includes a new, permanent space on Main Street as well as new staff members to support its work. Recognizing the importance of brain health services to the region’s residents, the Community Foundation supported NAMI in 2022 with a $10,000 Community Impact Grant.
“When I got word that our grant application was in consideration, I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is such a big deal! They are recognizing our efforts!’” Britni says. “It is important to us to build a relationship with the Foundation, because its role is to support nonprofits in the community. This is a relationship I can see lasting forever.”
The Community Impact Grant program is designed to build the capacity of nonprofits that are addressing critical needs in the Dubuque region. Finalists receive coaching from Foundation staff that teaches them how to use data and storytelling to make effective in-person pitches to the grant committee.
For NAMI, building capacity means having the ability to recruit and train new program facilitators, launch an initiative to support veterans, expand offerings for families and children, and grow programs for young adults.
“It has been a blessing working for NAMI,” says David Lange, one of the nonprofit’s new staff members and a longtime client. “Every time I find myself helping other people, I know I’m helping myself in return.”
Whereas NAMI doesn’t provide clinical services, it offers an array of resources that can help people bridge gaps between brain health treatments.
“2020 was a turning point,” says Britni, who began her own relationship with NAMI in 2013 when she started attending support classes and ultimately joined the board. “The pandemic forced us to start reaching people in different ways. At the same time, brain health came to the forefront as a community issue, and we responded by saying, ‘We’re available — let us help you.’”
Now, in an open and welcoming new space, with new eager staff members, Britni and NAMI are more than ready to help the Dubuque region.
You can play a role.