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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF GREATER DUBUQUE. In 1998-99, Dubuque was the largest city in Iowa without a community foundation. Performing legal work gratis, John C. O'CONNOR helped select and convince community leaders to serve on the board of directors and solicited funds that allowed the foundation to operate. One of the founding directors, O'Connor served as chair for five years and in 2014 served as Vice Chair of the Foundation. (1)

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque was incorporated in October 2001 and went public in October 2002. The Community Foundation office opened its doors in the Dubuque Building on February 1, 2003, and Nancy VAN MILLIGEN was named as president/CEO. (2)

The Community Foundation with United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States in 2014 teamed up to create a local network of nonprofits. The Networking Mapping Project identified nonprofit organizations that worked on the same programs in order to facilitate collaboration. The Foundation and United Way representatives would interview participating nonprofits to gather data to guide future efforts. (3) In 2014 the philanthropic organization had assets of $58 million. Since its beginning, the foundation had provided $21 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and had helped introduce such initiatives as EVERY CHILD/EVERY PROMISE. (4)

In 2015 the Community Foundation endowment funds paid out $1.8 million to nonprofits, and the second annual Great Give Day raised nearly $325,000 in just 24 hours. (5) In reminding the community of the organization's work in the community, President and CEO of the Foundation, pointed to just 2014 with such examples as:

                  a. 250 students returning to school to complete their high school education through
                      Re-engage Dubuque, a program supported by Project Hope, a Foundation project
                  b. hundreds of children were involved in high-quality summer academies led by
                     EVERY CHILD/EVERY PROMISE and the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading,
                     both Foundation initiatives
                  c. over 1,000 Dubuque residents helped create an equitable community through their
                     participation in the equity profile process led by Inclusive Dubuque, facilitated
                     by the Foundation
                  d. 280 workers received free training and 94% were employed through the Opportunity
                     Dubuque program supported by Project Hope (6)

See: http://www.dbqfoundation.org/



1. Hogstrom, Erik. "O'Connor 'A Catalyst,' " Telegraph Herald, January 1, 2015, p. 1

2. Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. Website: http://www.dbqfoundation.org/about-us/our-history

3. "Community Foundation, United Way Joining Forces," Telegraph Herald, December 5, 2014, p. 3

4. Hogstrom, Eric, "Foundation's Assets Reach Nearly $58 Million," Telegraph Herald, October 3 2014, p. 5

5. "Giving Matters," December 16, 2015

6. Van Milligen, Nancy, "Community Foundations Push Boundaries to Make a Difference," Telegraph Herald, November 8, 2015, p. 21