Lessons Learned

As this project concludes, our Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque team has learned the following:

1. There is no substitute for authentic and passionate leadership.

In Harpers Ferry, a young mom simply wanted a Splash Park for her family. With tools and encouragement, she created a plan, presented to the city council, wrote a successful grant, and led her community to success.

2. Communities will embrace hard work when goals are clearly defined.

In Jackson County, partner after partner joined the effort to help third grade readers meet important benchmarks. The goal was as clear and clean as a chalkboard at Cardinal Elementary on the first day of school.

3. Progress is preceded by planning-—and that requires patience.

In Edgewood, the City and its leaders have a sharper focus and a specific plan for their dynamic future. But the trails are not built and the swimming pool is not fixed. Capital projects that shape communities forever are accomplished one meeting at a time. It is only with patience and persistence from planners that earthmoving for new projects gets started.

4. Investment in development staff pays back in new donors and new dollars.

At the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation, the Philanthropic Tools support through USDA created space and support for a talented staffer to develop and implement a plan to engage a whole community around investing in the preservation of a beautiful land.

5. Every community has assets to be celebrated and enhanced.

In Monticello, the Heart & Soul project lifted up a thousand reasons people love their town. Like a Ferris wheel ride at the Great Jones County Fair, the view of Monticello’s positive future, built on its assets, is wide and clear.

Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque leaders will now take a whole set of new Philanthropic Tools together with these timeless lessons to other self-determined places we serve.

Our continuing call is: How does the community win?