2015 Highlights

Thanks to you, our generous donors and dedicated nonprofits and community members, Northeast Iowa is strong, thriving and vibrant. Read below or watch the video to learn about the incredible accomplishments your generosity made possible in 2015.


CFGD Ranked Top 100

Thanks to you, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque was ranked in the top 100 of 750 foundations nationwide in all three categories of The Foundation Center’s annual community foundation benchmarking report, including Most Active Grantmakers, Most Gifts per Capita, and Most Activity (total gift and grant transactions).

Reading Campaign Expansion

In March, the Foundation’s Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading was honored by the national campaign as one of 30 Pacesetter communities across the nation based on its measurable progress on student attendance outcomes. A generous gift from an anonymous donor is now expanding this Grade-Level Reading success to two rural communities: Dyersville and Jackson County.

Community Heart & Soul

A new partnership with the Orton Family Foundation has provided $120,000 in financial support for the Heart & Soul Midwest Network. The Community Foundation will establish this network of communities, foundations and partners that support and implement Orton’s innovative Heart & Soul community engagement process in Iowa and surrounding Midwest communities.

Nearly $2 Million in Endowment Payouts

Each year, endowment funds at the Foundation pay out five percent to local nonprofits. This year’s $1.8 million payout funded immediate needs for nonprofits like the Presentation Lantern Center, which relies on this sustainable source of income to serve adult immigrants striving to better their lives.

Network Map Strengthens Nonprofit Connections

Through in-depth interviews with Dubuque nonprofits, the Foundation’s Project HOPE initiative, in partnership with the United Way of the Dubuque Area Tri-States, developed a network map visualizing how local agencies connect to each other and those in need. The project has increased Project HOPE’s outreach to 150 service agencies, which are using the map to build partnerships with other organizations and to evaluate community needs.

Equity Profile Launched

In February, the Foundation’s Inclusive Dubuque initiative launched an equity profile process to discover how diverse groups are affected by various systems in the community. The complete profile, to be released later this year, will be shaped by local data, feedback from community members through dialogues and surveys, and input from focus area specialists.

$200,000 in Grants Support Children and Families

This year, the Theisen’s More for Your Community program made over $200,000 in grants to 143 nonprofits, bringing the corporate grant program’s six-year total to nearly $920,000. More for Your Community grants focus on meeting the most basic and urgent needs of children and families in 20 Theisen’s Home•Farm•Auto store communities throughout Iowa.

Energy-Saving Updates for Nonprofits

Nonprofits like the Bell Tower Theater are making their operations more efficient and sustainable thanks to nearly $368,000 in grants from the Foundation’s new Grants to Green program. Grants to Green will save $107,000 in annual utility costs while leveraging nearly $360,000 in match dollars from the grantees. 

Great Give Day Raises over $324,000

On Tuesday, May 5, the Community Foundation’s second annual Great Give Day—a 24-hour, online-only giving day—raised $324,308 for local nonprofits, including $36,860 in local corporate sponsorships and matches. The event drew more than 500 first-time donors to organizations and boosted nonprofits’ understanding of social media, email campaigns and online fundraising. 

Community Block Party

At the third annual Community Block Party, community members filled the Roshek Building lobby to support local nonprofits vying for votes with creative booths and costumes. The Foundation also used the occasion to award over $46,000 in Community Impact Grants to 10 local organizations.

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