We are transforming our region through the generosity of our donors. This is our mission.
The Community Foundation began in 1964 as “The Davenport Area Foundation.” It was established by a small, dedicated group of community leaders including John Nagle and Bea Conrad. Their original vision was to pool the charitable resources of area philanthropists, living and deceased, into a single, great, and permanent trust, or endowment, for the betterment of the city of Davenport. Community leaders would then forever distribute the interest that the trust’s resources would accrue to fund such charitable purposes that would help improve the quality of life for everyone in the area.
We joined a strong movement that began in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. The very first community foundation in the country, the Cleveland Foundation, was born that year. Fifty years later, the Davenport Area Foundation was born. Now, more than 700 community foundations in the United States collectively manage more than $50 billion in assets and distribute more than $4.5 billion each year to support community needs. Moreover, the idea has grown: Some 1,700 community foundations now exist worldwide.
Fifty years after the Cleveland Foundation was established, the Davenport Area Foundation was born. And just one year later, in 1965, the Davenport Area Foundation made its very first grant, made possible by an estate gift from Bea Conrad. With that first grant, we began reshaping the way community members care for one another not just in our area, but throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois, and the country. The Foundation's initial grants supported organizations such as: the Davenport Public Library, the Bettendorf Public Library, and United Way.
In 1994, the Davenport Area Foundation became the “The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend.” Our new name reflected our growing regional community and our organization in both charitable giving and civic engagement.
Now, the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend (CFGRB) has more than 997 distinct charitable funds and has distributed more than $44 million in grants since 1964. With almost $120 million in assets, of which $99 million is permanently endowed, CFGRB can provide support to a broad range of community needs, nonprofit organizations and scholarships. Additionally, CFGRB has several geographical Affiliate Funds to promote rural philanthropy and give our rural neighbors opportunities to build their own endowments.
The grants, and the expertise of the foundation’s professional board and staff, have touched thousands of lives. These resources have invigorated our region’s community, youth, education, health care, arts/culture, neighborhoods, schools, economic development, and more.
Community Foundation donors know that when they give, they can shape the future right here at home, creating a cool, creative, prosperous regional community. And we know the possibilities are unlimited as we look ahead to the next 50 years.
To our donors, we say thank you for allowing us to be your partner on this journey.
If this is your first introduction to the Community Foundation, we invite you to explore, and to join us. Rooted in history and guided by our community’s vision, we are here to help you make a difference. And we have only just started.
Click here to read a sampling of the stories that shape our community.
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