Delhi Public Library Endowment Helps Sustain Important Community Resource

An overwhelming amount of support from the community helped the Delhi Public Library relocate to a new space in 2015. Funding from the Delaware County Supervisors, along with fundraising efforts so successful that dollars remained after the move, inspired the library board of directors to turn to the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County (FFDC) to transform those gifts into a permanent funding source for the library.

“Instead of just buying new tables that are gone in a few years, we talked about how we could make this money work for us forever,” said Nancy Preussner, Delhi resident and FFDC donor connections coordinator. She assisted the library in creating an endowment fund through FFDC, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. Endowments are permanently invested funds that provide an annual distribution to help organizations sustain their missions — forever.

That means years of high-quality programming by the Delhi Public Library like its after-school programs, family parties, movie nights, classes and book clubs. It means years of access for children of all ages to computers and the internet. And it means a safe place for the youth of the Maquoketa Valley School District to learn, grow and spend time outside of school.

“Our main goal is to get people thinking of the library as a hub and a resource,” said Arlene Chappell, library director. For Delhi’s 472 residents, and those in surrounding cities without libraries like Ryan, Greeley and Masonville, the Delhi Public Library is an essential component of life in the community. Library patrons check out books, of course — but they also check out cake pans shaped like bears and bunnies, use computers to purchase airline tickets or print resumes, and gather with peers to participate in STEM activities or pottery classes.

Chappell and the library board are working hard to accomplish that goal. Their work with FFDC is a testament to the forward-thinking practices that guide them. They’ve received FFDC grants for a tech center that offers access to tablets and other digital devices, and for an ADA-compliant front door that makes the library more accessible. When the library started its endowment fund in 2018, FFDC contributed $2,500 through its Seeds for Success program to help meet the initial $10,000 goal.

As the library endowment grows, the annual distribution will make an increasing impact on the organization’s programming, books, staffing and building maintenance. Contributions to the fund are tax deductible and may qualify for the Endow Iowa 25% State Tax Credit. For more information or to make your gift, click here or contact Nancy Preussner at 563-920-5590 or

Press Contact

Jeff Danna
Communications Manager

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.