Melissa Lipska

Director of Philanthropy

“I 100% knew I wanted to have social impact with my work, but I didn’t know how I could do that in my career. I think I found a good match here at the Foundation.”

Family, psychology, fundraising and teaching – Melissa Lipska’s life is made up of many seemingly disparate parts. One thing, though, connects everything is her love for community and her passion for making a difference in people’s lives.

As the Community Foundation’s director of philanthropy, Melissa builds relationships with people like her who want to have a positive impact on the place and the people they love. By connecting donors with community issues, she helps people across the seven-county region build charitable giving strategies that fit their lives – and the community’s needs.

“I love being involved in this work and the giving back to my region of the world,” she says.

Melissa was born in Davenport and grew up on an organic dairy farm near Dickeyville, Wisconsin. After high school, she studied psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and then found herself in a development position at the school.

Still wanting to pursue psychology, she got her master’s degree in counseling, and she spent six years of her career working in Milwaukee and Madison, including a development role at Journey Mental Health Center, which combined her passions for psychology and fundraising.

Outside of her work at the Community Foundation – but very much related to the Foundation’s work –  Melissa is a part-time adjunct instructor at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, teaching online courses in nonprofit leadership.

Plus, she is a cardio enthusiast, spending her free time at a fitness studio and practicing kickboxing, yoga and dance.

She, her husband and two children live just across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, but Dubuque is always in her heart – both of her parents were born and raised in the Dubuque area and she has lots of family still calling it home. 

Fun Fact

Q. What was your first job?

A. I was a tour guide at the Dickeyville Grotto.

Melissa Lipska Director of Philanthropy 563-588-2700