Allamakee Forever Fund will capture $100,000 in matching grant challenge

Allamakee County Community Foundation Board ... Left to right - Front row: Erin Iverson, Sheryl Evanson, Betsy Whitlach, Brent Beyer; Back row: Allamakee County Community Foundation Coordinator Betty Steege, Jarrod Olson, Diana Johnson, Krista Rasque, Nick Erickson. Not pictured: Pat Cota.

The Allamakee County Community Foundation (ACCF) Board is celebrating a milestone in its campaign to raise $450,000 toward a permanent endowment that will help address local needs for years to come. Thanks to gifts from board members and community leaders, and the support of an anonymous donor, over $225,000 has been raised for the Allamakee Forever Endowment Fund.

The initiative will help the Foundation build its endowment and provide an annual payout that will help address emerging needs and opportunities in communities across Allamakee County.

“The Forever Fund presents an opportunity for each of us to invest in the Foundation and thus the success of our communities,” says Betty Steege, foundation coordinator. “As an endowment, it will continue growing forever, and the flexible dollars it will provide can help address critical and emerging needs.”

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque has launched the Small-town Dreams Initiative in eight communities across its seven-county affiliate region, which includes Allamakee County. In partnership with an anonymous donor, the initiative has been structured to provide a cash match both for endowment-building and immediate local grantmaking.

The donor awarded $10,000 to the Foundation at the $225,000 fundraising milestone for immediate grantmaking. Based on its understanding of local needs, the ACCF made grants to help teachers across the county meet urgent needs, such as classroom supplies, learning activities and PBIS (positive behavioral intervention and support).

An additional $10,000 will be granted out to the community when the next campaign milestone is reached, and $5,000 more will become available when fundraising is complete. These awards supplement the Foundation’s annual competitive grant cycle, which awards around $100,000 annually. Grant applications are often double what’s available to award, so many of these worthy requests from local nonprofits go unmet. Building the Allamakee Forever fund will allow the Foundation to meet more of these needs.

“With the resources currently available, we have leveraged our strengths to make a lasting difference in Allamakee County,” says Steege. “We’ve partnered with caring community members to remove barriers to brain health resources. With support from the Foundation and a generous community partner, Vision To Learn has provided nearly 500 eye exams and given free glasses to 450 students. And in the last decade, we’ve granted over $200,000 to public safety, fire and EMS departments for equipment and training.

“If such solutions are possible with limited resources, imagine what we can do with funding that provides the flexibility to sustain our work forever.”

To learn more about how to establish a fund or make a gift to the Allamakee Forever Endowment, contact Steege at 563-586-2046.

The Allamakee County Community Foundation was formed in 2005 as an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The founding members of the organization had a vision to ensure that the local community’s charitable programs were supported - now, and in the future. The Foundation works with many individuals, families, businesses and organizations to establish endowment funds that will provide grant awards for years to come. Learn more about the Allamakee County Community Foundation at