Memorial Funds

Patty Manuel, Jones County resident (pictured)

Honor your loved one with a memorial endowment fund

When a loved one passes away, many families and friends wish to create a lasting legacy in honor of his or her life. Making the decision of which charity or charities should receive donations can be daunting during this time of loss. A memorial endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque gives you time to consider how best to represent your loved one’s passions and interests.

What is a memorial endowment?

An endowment fund is subject to a requirement that the principal be maintained intact and invested to create a source of income for an organization. When you create a memorial endowment, you are establishing a permanent fund to accept gifts made in your loved one's memory. The annual payout from that fund will then support a nonprofit or cause of your choice forever.

How does it work?

When the endowment reaches a balance of $10,000, you and/or your family may direct the annual payout to community causes or tax-exempt nonprofits. Examples include places of worship, public libraries, schools, human services organizations and fine arts organizations. You many also designate a special community interest area for your endowment, such as services for disadvantaged youth, the visual arts or transportation for seniors.

Will I know who made gifts in memory of my loved one?

Yes. The Community Foundation provides a list of names and addresses of individuals and families who have made a gift to the memorial endowment. The Community Foundation also acknowledges gifts by sending a thank you to the donor on your behalf. All gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law, and may be eligible for the Endow Iowa 25% state tax credit. You may choose to also send a separate personal thank you for the gifts or provide a personal thank you for the Community Foundation to enclose with its mailing.

How do I establish a memorial fund?

  1. Contact the Community Foundation at 563-588-2700 or by email at to talk with someone about establishing a memorial endowment.
  2. Think about and select the name of your endowment. The endowment name can be used to direct gifts in the loved one’s obituary, i.e., “Please direct memorials to the Jane Smith Memorial Endowment at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, 700 Locust St., Suite 195, Dubuque, IA 52001.”
  3. Name a family representative or representatives who will decide how the annual endowment payout is to be directed.

Other ways to remember your loved one

If your loved one was passionate about a local cause or nonprofit organization, you could also invite friends and family to contribute to a specific nonprofit’s endowment fund. Gifts to a nonprofit endowment build a lasting source of income to sustain an organization’s good work forever. Visit our Giving Center to explore all our nonprofit endowment funds that can accept your gifts online, as well as by cash or check.