A Region that is Transformed

Sherry RistauBy Sherry Ristau, President and CEO

At the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, we see ourselves as part of a larger vision to enhance our communities. We believe we can contribute to making the region an even more attractive place for business leaders, entrepreneurs and families. This influences many of the decisions we make today, for tomorrow.

This year, we adopted a new mission: "to transform our region through the generosity of our donors." It has pushed us to be more purposeful in our relationships with our donors, our grant recipients, and the community leaders we partner with each day.

We chose to be a champion of the Q2030 Regional Action Plan, and have energetically invested our time, talent and financial resources into ensuring that it, too, transforms the community we live in. We started a new grant program, Q2030 Grants, which asks our community's nonprofits to think about—and act on—ways they can help to ensure our home is cool. And creative. And connected and prosperous.

The grant recipients have opened our eyes further to the great work happening in our community. With each grant we award, we learn how to be better. To live better. To care better.

As for the future, we fully expect to see significant transformation in one of the greatest issues surrounding poverty in this region—homelessness. To address this, CFGRB made our first Transformation Grants to the Quad Cities Housing Cluster and Opportunities Quad Cities, who provide financial assistance and mentorship for individuals needing a hand up. These organizations are raising the bar on how we address issues of poverty in our region. Together, their work demonstrates that transformation is possible if we are purposeful in building relationships and bridging partnerships.

No Quad Citizen will forget that construction is currently underway to connect Illinois and Iowa with a new bridge over the Mississippi River. It has been the catalyst for plenty of angst as we cross the river. But I have to say—when I think of that new bridge, I can't help but think what it means in the greater sense. Just as it is expected to create a viable lifeline among communities, we know our work—and the work of our donors—is a path toward a bright future for the Quad Cities.

It is my hope that as the new I-74 bridge begins to rise and our community grows, we will always be diligent to lay the building blocks for change in our region.

Philanthropy is a journey. So, too, is transformation. And it is an honor and privilege to go on this journey with you.

Read more essays from our Report to the Community by clicking here.


“When you get to the phase in your life when it’s time to return, the Community Foundation can help you return not only treasure, but also some of your time and talent to the community.”

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Children's Therapy Center has a nonprofit endowment at the Community Foundation to ensure their success for years to come.
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