Jo Daviess County: Innovating to Grow Resources

Band plays at Great Galena Brewing Co.

Community members gathered on May 12, 2016, to celebrate the unveiling of Major Daviess Summer Ale. Proceeds from this unique collaboration between a nonprofit and a for-profit business will benefit local conservation efforts.

On May 12, 2016, 100 community members filled the doors of the Galena Brewing Company for the unveiling of Major Daviess Summer Ale.

While this might sound like an ordinary story from a small town brewery, the introduction of the orange-zest infused Hefeweizen was actually a unique collaboration between a nonprofit and a for-profit business, and an important step forward for the community. The event was the brainchild of the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF).

“This beer brings new people to the table and we hope this will help us connect to the millennial generation that we have a hard time connecting with,” says Christie Trifone-Simon, JDCF director of development. “It’s just a really creative way to not only fundraise but to get them excited about the work that we’re doing.”

Honoring Jo Daviess County namesake General Joseph Hamilton Daviess, this beer’s ingredients and production were donated by the Galena Brewing Company in Galena, Illinois. The proceeds from the sale of the beer will provide operating support for JDCF.

“Great taste for a great cause,” says Trifone-Simon. “We selected the name because we service all of Jo Daviess County, and he’s a historical figure, so it really complemented a lot of the local and tourist interests.”

This type of inventive community collaboration has become the new normal for the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation since starting Philanthropic Tools in 2014.

“We live in a very rural community so resources are limited and we have many other nonprofits that need support too,” says Trifone-Simon. “So to have such a limited base to work from, it’s really important that we work together and I think that’s really the motivation behind the grant: to help us all work together to make our community stronger.”

What happened?

  • Learned how to listen to members and supporters and shifted its approach to reach them

  • Grew endowment by more than $70,000

  • Hired new development staff

  • Established a planned giving program and made connections with three future legacy donors to set the stage for growth of the JDCF endowment fund

  • Shared knowledge and experience with local nonprofits, civic organizations, and city governments

  • Engaged board members in strategic planning

  • Cultivated new relationships and leaders