Community Foundation of Jackson County

Photo Credit: photo courtesy of

The Community Foundation of Jackson County, formerly the Maquoketa Area Foundation, was established in 1982 to help individuals throughout Jackson County make a positive impact on the communities they care about. 


The deadline for 2014 spring grant applications has passed.  Winners will be anounced in June. 

The Community Foundation of Jackson County is committed to supporting the needs of the communities throughout Jackson County. In order to do so, we rely on local nonprofit organizations and service groups to inform our board of the ongoing needs in their communities through our grant program. 

For More Information
Please direct your questions to Katie at or 563.652.4179.

Frequently Asked Questions

Grantmaking Guidelines/Policies

Non-501(c)(3) Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement

Example Application

Example Budget

Each entity is allowed to request funding only once per calendar year. Organizations do not need to have 501(c)3 status in order to apply. 

Funding Priorities
The Community Foundation of Jackson County funds projects benefiting people of the greater Jackson County area. We strive to fund programs having the greatest impact on a large number of individuals and areas of concern. We encourage the development of programs that fall within the parameters of our priorities.

Funding Priorities What We Do Not Fund
Community Development Annual/ Capital Campaigns
Diversity Individuals
Education Multiple Grants to the Same Project
Environment Operating Expenses
Family Development Religious Purposes
Fine Arts Political Organizations and Purposes
Health and Human Services  
Historical Projects  
Senior Citizen Programs  
Wellness Projects  
Youth Programs  

2013 Grants

Maqoketa Community Services Christmas Star Program $2,500
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library The Dolly Parton Imagination Library $3,300
Jackson County Conservation My Community, My Future $8,000
Project Concern, INC 211/Information & Referral $4,000
Maquoketa Area Family YMCA Livestrong at the Y $1,000
St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church Revitilize Preston Manna Center Appliances $1,000
Maquoketa Community Schools Cardinal Backpack Club $4,850
Ohnward Fine Arts Center Stage Platforms $1,000

2011 Grants

Andrew Benefited Fire District LIFEPACK defibrillator, firefighting gear $2,000
Andrew Community School High Interest Library Books $1,000
Andrew Volunteer Firemen, Inc. Fire gear and air masks $2,200
ARC/Maquoketa Area Family YMCA Capital pledge $16,665
Baldwin Volunteer Fire Dept. Fire station cement approach $3,000
Bellevue Arts Council Bellevue ArtStudio Workshops $2,000
Bellevue Community Schools K-1 Leveled Readers $600
Bellevue State Park Recycling Station $2,000
Bernard Rescue Unit Grain Rescue Equipment $1,000
Child Development/Sunshine Preschool Kitchen Renovation $2,400
Friends of Bellevue Public Library Children's Library Book Project $1,000
Friends of Jackson Co. Conservation Hurstville Interpretive Center Outdoor Classroom $3,500
Jackson Co. Coalition/YWCA DV/SA Direct services $2,500
Jackson Co. Area Food Pantries Food supplies $7,500
Jackson Co. Humane Society HVAC project $4,000
Jackson Co. Senior Center Adult Day Program Door Monitoring System $300
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept. National Night Out $1,000
Jackson Co. K-9 Unit New K-9 Officer $2,100
Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce Synchronist Software $3,200
Maquoketa Community Services Christmas Star Program $2,000
Maquoketa Firefighter Association Helmet replacement $1,000
Miles American Legion Handicap Accessibility $1,000
Ohnward Fine Arts Center Lighting Project $4,765
Operation New View Emergency needs $1,000
Philanthropy Board in Jackson Co. (PBnJ) Regrant funds for youth board $1,000
Preston Head Start Home activity bags, art supplies $800
Preston Volunteer Fire Dept. Voice Amplifiers $2,000
Prevent Child Abuse Jackson Co. Family Fun Fest $400
Sabula Ambulance Service LIFEPACK Defibrillator $2,500
Springbrook Fire & EMS Bunker Gear $2,500
UCC LEMF Local Emergency Mission Funds $1,000
Total grants awarded in 2011   $77,930


Show More
PBnJ (Philanthropy Board in Jackson Co.)

PBnJ is currently accepting membership applications for the 2014-2015 school year. Applications are available through guidance counselors at Maquoketa, Easton Valley, Bellevue, and Marquette Catholic High Schools. 

Who are we?

PBnJ (Philanthropy Board in Jackson County) is the youth board under the ISU Jackson County 4-H Extension office and the Community Foundation of Jackson County. They are dedicated to using volunteerism, grantmaking, and philanthropy to develop leadership skills, to act as positive youth role models, and to improve Jackson County. The PBnJ program gives young people a voice in the issues that affect them now, and the skills to confront the challenges they will face in the future.  The best way to learn generosity, gain leadership skills and value community service is by direct exposure and involvement. 

PBnJ Mission Statement

As youth leaders, our mission is to empower community members to pursue philanthropic qualities and leadership skills to ensure the quality of life of those in the community and others around them.


The PBnJ Youth Advisory Board strives to engage and empower young people throughout the community.  PBnJ grants provide youth-serving organizations with organizations with the opportunity to strengthen and grow their programs. Requests for funding through the PBnJ grant process should clearly demonstrate how:

  • The grant will be used to support the costs of youth programs and projects.
  • The program is designed to enhance the physical, mental, and/or emotional well being of young people.
  • The program will help youth learn and develop necessary life skills.
  • The program will provide opportunities for youth to participate in the execution of the project or program. This may be accomplished through leadership and service activities.
  • The program specifically addresses at least one of America’s 5 Promises:
  1. Caring Adults – ongoing, secure relationships with parents as well as formal and informal relationships with teachers, mentors, coaches, youth volunteers and neighbors.
  2. Safe Places – physical and emotional safety for all youth. All youth also need a healthy balance between structured, supervised activities and unstructured time.
  3. A Healthy Start – adequate nutrition, exercise and insurance paves the way for healthy bodies, healthy minds and smart habits for adulthood.
  4. Effective Education – all children need the intellectual development, motivation and skills that equip them for successful work and lifelong learning.
  5. Opportunities to Serve – present all children with numerous chances, opportunities and outlets to make a difference in their families, at school and in their communities

Preference is given to proposals that use one or more of the following approaches to:

  • improve quality of life for the most disadvantaged youth in our community
  • involve key constituencies in program creation and implementation
  • eliminate gaps and redundancies in services and systems
  • build on community strengths
  • lead to long-term, sustainable solutions
  • develop clear and measurable program results
  • increase system responsiveness by increasing efficiency, access and capacity to serve the community
  • support an open, growing and diverse community
  • increase equity and social justice
Show More
Give to Funds

CFJC Family of Funds

  • Andrew Education Fund and Endowment
  • AW Sunleaf Fund benefiting the Bellevue High School Band
  • Bellevue Education Fund and Endowment
  • Bellevue Public Library Endowment
  • Bellevue Safety Fund
  • Bernard Rescue Fund and Endowment Fund
  • Community Foundation of Jackson County Endowment 
  • Cornelius Family Endowment
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library Fund and Endowment
  • Friends of Jackson County Conservation Endowment
  • Jackson County 4-H Endowment
  • Jackson County Endowment Fund
  • Janssen Fund benefiting the Jackson Co. Historical Society
  • Little Bear Park
  • Maquoketa Area YMCA Endowment
  • Maquoketa Education Fund and Endowment
  • Mt. Hope Cemetery Fund
  • Mt. Hope Mausoleum Fund
  • Ohnward Fine Arts Center Endowment
  • PBnJ – Youth Philanthropy Board Fund
  • Preston Area Betterment Fund and Endowment
  • Preston Education Fund and Endowment
  • Preston Library Fund
  • Sacred Heart School Endowment
  • Youth Fine Arts Fund

*Scholarship funds are not listed

Show More

The Community Foundation of Jackson County was establisehd in 1982 as the Maquoketa Area Foundationto to help interested individuals make a positive impact on the community they cared about.  From a humble beginning consisting of $3,000 in donations, a 7-member volunteer board created this community trust, a nonprofit organization charged with accepting donations and bequests and making grants back to the community.  The Maquoketa Community Cupboard was the first grant recipient with a $500 grant.  The Harris Penrose family established the Foundation's first scholarship fund.  The Foundation's first large pledge was to the Maquoketa Public Library for an expansion and renovation project, in the amount of $150,000.  Today, the Foundation holds 60 subfunds and manages over $4 million dollars.  Of those assets, 90% is held in permanently endowed funds.

In 2006, the Maquoketa Area Foundation acquired National Standards accreditation. Its name changed to the Maquoketa Area Community Foundation, and later to the Community Foundation of Jackson County to reflect a commitment to a larger geographical area being served through the Foundation's grantmaking. In 2012, it joined the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque as an affiliate foundation.

Show More
Transfer of Wealth

Iowa Transfer of Wealth

Between the years of 2000-2049, Iowa can expect to see $531.7 billion transfer from one generation to the next through probate estates. In 2010 through 2019 alone, $74.43 billion is expected to pass to heirs.

Jackson County Transfer of Wealth

During years 2010-2019, $483 million is expected to transfer from one generation to the next through probate estates. Between 2000-2050, the estimated transfer is $3.2 billion.

Transfer of Wealth Jackson County State of Iowa
2010-2019 $ 483 million $ 74.43 billion
2000-2049 $ 3.2 billion $ 531.7 billion

If just five percent of the projected transfer could be invested between now and 2050 at the Community Foundation in an endowment, nearly $412 million would be secured forever. Figuring a five percent grant payout, an estimated $20.7 million could be available annually to improve the quality of life in our community and secure our future.

Show More

All 2014 scholarship deadlines have passed.  New applications will be posted in February of 2015.

How To Apply For A Scholarship

The Community Foundation of Jackson County administers many scholarship funds with various criteria.  The following information is intended to ensure you know what is required in order to be considered for each of the awards for which you qualify. 

All scholarship applications are available from the students' high school guidance office or online at the CFJC website:

Fill out each scholarship application completely. Failure to complete ALL sections will disqualify your application. You may qualify and apply for more than one scholarship.

You may qualify and apply for more than one scholarship.
You may deliver applications to the CFofJC office or your high school guidance office.

You must submit SEPARATE applications for each scholarship, in addition to SEPARATE copies of transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Be sure you include information that demonstrates how you match the criteria each scholarship seeks.

Be sure to include all materials requested.  This may include the following, along with letters of recommendation:


You may submit your application without copies of your transcripts, as long as transcripts have already been requested from your high school or college/university and are being sent to the Foundation. The Foundation office will match up your transcripts with your application, so long as they are received in a timely manner.

Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

This form form is required for scholarship awards based on documented financial need. Upon completion of the federal government form, send it to the address as indicated. (This is the form you fill out to qualify for all grants and/or loans.) You can submit this information online at

All CFJC scholarship applications must be received in the Community Foundation office or high school guidance office by April 1 at 4:00 pm. (NO EXCEPTIONS!) Applications postmarked April 1 will not be considered - please plan accordingly.

Scholarship Availability

Generous donations to the Community Foundation of Jackson County have made these scholarships possible. It is the intention of the Foundation to be able to offer all scholarships each year, however award amounts may vary each year.

Full And Part-Time Attendance

Unless otherwise noted, all scholarship amounts are based on full-time attendance with 12 or more credit hours per semester. You will be required to submit Verification of Enrollment for both semesters, which needs to reflect full or part-time enrollment.

Thank You Letters

Scholarship recipients will be provided with the name & address of donors or families who helped make the scholarship funds possible. It is expected that the students thank those donors & families. You may wish to express the following:

Your appreciation for the award
How the award will assist you
Your education and career goals

Tips For Success

Follow all instructions with care.  Pay attention to the required information and supporting documentation needs.  If letters of recommendation are requested, include them with your application.  If they are NOT requested, do not include them.  The will not be considered unless specifically requested.
Make sure the information you provide explains your interest in the academic program you have chosen and why you believe you are uniquely qualified to receive the scholarship.
If you have unique experiences which meet specific scholarship criteria, be sure to include that information in  your essays.
Outline your short and long-range career plans and include a brief personal outline of your background in the essays.
Include recent honors or awards received (academic, professional, civic, etc.) and involvement in community groups/organizations.

Applicants are responsible for providing correct and complete information. MACF will not contact the applicant to request additional information, should the application materials be incomplete.

Frequently Asked Questions

To Be Considered For More Than One Scholarship, Do I Need To Fill Out Multiple Applications?

Yes. You must submit an original application for each scholarship applied for. Be sure to request copies of all additional materials, as well. For college transcripts which require a fee be paid per transcript, we will accept one original copy and will make copies for you. Please request these transcripts early.

Who Selects Scholarship Recipients?

Special committees made up of volunteers are formed to review & evaluate scholarship applications. The committees meet in April to make recommendations based on scholarship criteria. All identifying applicant information is obscured so applicant identities are not known by our volunteer evaluators.

When Are Awards Announced?

For most of the scholarships, recipient selection is completed by late May. High School seniors will receive their notification at the high school awards ceremonies. Current college students, adults and non-traditional students will receive notification in June. Notices to those students will be sent in the mail.

How Is Financial Need Determined?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is required for all scholarships based on financial need. Upon completion of the government form, send it to the address as indicated. (This is the form you must complete to qualify for grants and loans.) After you have completed the FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) which contains an amount called the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the information you must submit with your scholarship application, in order to be considered for need-based scholarships.

Are Transcripts And Letters Of Recommendation Needed?

Transcripts are required of all scholarship applications. If you have completed your GED or received a high school diploma through an alternative program, please submit proof of completion along with your completed application.

Letters of recommendation are only required of those scholarships which request them. If they are required, it will be noted in the Scholarship Guidelines and on the Scholarship Application. Please do not include letters of recommendation unless they are requested. Excess materials are removed from applications for which they are not requested, so they will not aid your application.

How Do I Claim My Scholarship Award?

Scholarship funds will be paid directly to the college, university or trade school the student is attending. The institution is instructed that these funds should not reduce funding already awarded to the student. In order for scholarship funds to be paid out, the student must request the school send Verification of Enrollment be sent to the Community Foundation office. This may be requested of the Registrar, the Financial Aid office or other office at your school.

Verification of Enrollment must indicate if the student is registered for the Fall & Spring semesters and must show enrollment on a full or part-time basis.

If I Am Awarded A Scholarship, How Long Will I Receive Funding?

Schools are instructed to split the award equally between the fall & spring semesters. Once the current academic year has concluded, your funding will cease. Some scholarships are awarded to students in their second or subsequent years. This is noted in their descriptions (ex. 'seniors or successors'). You will need to re-apply for these scholarships on a yearly basis.

Show More
Stories of Givers, Grants and Leaders

Scott Warren and the YMCA, working together for good, for ever

Scott Warren, the executive director of the Maquoketa Area YMCA talks about what it's like to work with the Foundation and explains how the YMCA has benefited from the strong partnership.

Mary Jo Gothard "Together We Can Do Great Things"

Mary Jo Gothard, Executive Director for the Community Foundation of Jackson County, comes from a family with long-standing ties to Jackson County.  Listen as she shares her story and explains how "together we can do great things."

Show More
120 1/2 S Main St
Maquoketa, IA 52060

Mary Jo Gothard
Title Executive Director
Board of Directors
  • Valerie Horst
  • Loras Herrig
  • Nancy Johnson
  • Steve Kahler
  • Chris Nissen
  • Darwin Schipper
  • Lucy Zeimet