Endowment has already surpassed $22K

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

What started as a $10,000 gift from the Restore McGregor 2017 Tornado Fund has grown into a balance of $22,786 for the new Alexander McGregor Endowment.

The fund, which was established through the Clayton County Foundation for the Future, was launched at a gathering over the summer where four founding members announced gifts of $1,000 or more to build the endowment. An anonymous donor also gave $5,000—marking an exciting start to a new chapter in McGregor history.

Named in honor of the city’s founder, “the Alexander McGregor Endowment is a commitment to long-term planning, collective vision and sustainability,” shared Cathy Denning, who serves on the committee that will advise the endowment fund. “It calls us to re-imagine the future and reconsider the possibilities for McGregor.”

“The Alexander McGregor Endowment will support opportunities for growth and renewal in McGregor through awards to nonprofits doing work that makes McGregor a thriving, vibrant community,” said Emily Sadewasser, coordinator for the Clayton County Foundation for the Future.

Dollars invested in endowed funds become a permanent source of funding, providing annual distributions based off the endowment’s income for generations to come. Residents of McGregor will benefit from Alexander McGregor Endowment distributions as the committee grants those annual payouts to charitable public programs for the betterment of McGregor.

As people consider end-of-the-year giving, or start planning for 2020, Denning noted that donations to the fund are “truly gifts that will keep on giving in perpetuity. Every dollar donated helps grow the fund, and, the larger the fund, the more income that’s available for grants.”

Denning said the advisory committee anticipates January through March 2021 to be the first grant application window. Grants will then be awarded in May or June 2021.

“I’d like to see a goal of $50,000 [in the fund],” she said. “Then there could be $2,500 granted every year. If you start sticking that into the town, you’ll see a lot of improvements.”

To be eligible for funding, an organization or program must provide services within McGregor; be a nonprofit 501(c)3, public institution or charitable organization; and operate in a manner that no applicable anti-discrimination laws are violated. Denning said examples of groups who could apply include Boy or Girl Scout troops, Friends Helping Friends, the Turner Park Committee and religious organizations for non-sectarian purposes.

Grants will support the renewal, growth and sustainability of McGregor. When considering applications, the endowment committee will determine if the project supports at least one of the fund’s priorities:

• improving economic well-being or quality of life

• improving educational opportunities

• addressing community capital improvements

• maintaining and improving  the health of McGregor residents

• promoting McGregor tourism and recreation

• supporting historic preservation

• encouraging sustainability

“Now,” said Denning, “organizations have a whole year to start thinking outside the box and trying to fit a project into one of those categories.”

Donations to the Alexander McGregor Endowment are accepted on an ongoing basis at dbqfoundation.org/mcgregor. Thanks to an affiliation with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, gifts of $50 or more to endowed funds at the Clayton County Foundation for the Future may qualify for the Endow Iowa 25 Percent State Tax Credit. Various gift types qualify for the tax credit, including charitable IRA rollovers, gifts of grain, gifts of stock and cash gifts. 

To make a lasting impact in the community, contact Sadewasser at ccff@dbqfoundation.org or (563) 880-6044. People may also reach out to Denning or her fellow endowment committee members, Dan Bickel, Joan Burns or Duane Boelman.

“We hope people determine this will be a good place for their donation,” Denning said.

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