Van Milligen Appointed as Board Chair for the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities

Nancy Van Milligen (Photo)

The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities has announced that Nancy Van Milligen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, will serve a two-year term as chair of its board of directors.

The Funders’ Network is a membership organization that helps grantmakers across North America advance strategies to create fair, prosperous, and sustainable regions and communities that offer everyone the chance for a good life. The Network believes that the suite of tools available to funders―investing, grantmaking, collaborating, convening, facilitating, and more―uniquely position them to lead the movement for smarter policies and practices that benefit both places and people.
“The Funders’ Network has always had the advantage of having strong, skilled grantmakers serving as board chair, and Nancy continues that tradition,” said Ben Starrett, executive director of the Funders’ Network. “We welcome her leadership, energy, and expertise, particularly in regards to community foundations, which more and more are becoming an influential force in the field of philanthropy.”

Van Milligen previously served as vice chair on Funders’ Network board. She also serves on its River Partnership, which bolsters the capacity and impact of community foundations to improve the environmental, economic, and cultural vitality of communities along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Van Milligen joined the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque as its first president/CEO in 2003. Since then, she has helped to grow the Foundation’s charitable funds from $750,000 to more than $50 million. Under her leadership, the Foundation led Dubuque’s Envision 2010 initiative, which brought together citizens and organizations to create and implement 10 great community ideas by 2010. The Foundation has since successfully applied this framework to improve outcomes for children and youth through the Every Child/Every Promise and the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiatives; to address poverty and unemployment issues through Project HOPE; and to create green and healthy housing through Dubuque’s Green and Healthy Home Initiative. For more information, visit

About the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities The Funders’ Network exists to inspire, strengthen, and expand funding and philanthropic leadership that yield environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous regions and communities. The vision of the Funders' Network is to be the leading resource in philanthropy for interdisciplinary and transformative thinking and action that gives all people the opportunity to live in more environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous regions and communities.

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About Us
Founded in 2002, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque strengthens communities and inspires giving. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout Northeast Iowa by serving donors, making grants to local nonprofit organizations, and providing community leadership through convening and collaboration. Guided by the values of integrity, equity and inclusion, collaboration, excellence and innovation, we seek to ensure a vibrant and inclusive Greater Dubuque region with resources and opportunity for all.