Dustin Courson Joins Foundation Board
Courson brings financial and volunteer expertise to the GCF board of directors
Dustin Courson has known about the Galesburg Community Foundation for years, both as a volunteer with local nonprofits and through his work advising clients as a certified public accountant at his firm, Courson & Associates, LLC.
But he really saw how GCF can impact a community when his hometown of Williamsfield wanted to build a playground at the local park.
When a small group of volunteers coordinating the project got the initial estimate for the cost of the project, Courson wasn’t sure if they could raise enough funds to complete the playground in the community of 550 residents. “We didn’t know if we’d be able to do it—at least all at once,” said Courson. By partnering with the Foundation, they received the advice and support to run a professional fundraising campaign that helped them raise $150,000 for the playground—more than Courson imagined possible.
The success of the playground project gave the community the confidence to look to the future of Williamsfield in an even bigger way by establishing of the Williamsfield Community Fund at the Galesburg Community Foundation. As an endowed fund, it will support critical community needs far into the future.
The community reached its $25,000 goal, which was matched by the Foundation. Courson is now looking to continue growing the fund. “We now have a few thousand dollars available for grantmaking but imagine decades down the road having potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. For a community of our size, that will have a huge impact.”
A way to grow the fund will be through estate gifts or planned gifts, which are contributions of assets like real estate, securities, life insurance, or cash that are arranged in the present and allocated at a future date. They not only offer tax benefits but benefit the community forever.
As a member of the board, Courson plans to use his financial expertise and experience as a volunteer to show others the benefits of partnering with the Foundation. “There are a lot of charitable people out there who give randomly, but if they were to use the Community Foundation, it would be more impactful,” said Courson. “To pool their funds with somebody who is giving to the same cause will have a larger impact for that particular segment of the nonprofit community.” Courson will fulfill the term of George Peterson, who served on the board from March of 2019 until his death in February. He joins fellow board members Dr. John McClean, David Erickson, Dr. Subbia Jagannathan, Lisa Gavin, Chad Long, Dr. Brian Plattner, Carol Shaw, Cynthia Stoerzbach, Dr. Adam Welty, and Jamie Yemm.