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Ashley Community Endowment Fund

Make a one-time or recurring donation to benefit the Ashley community forever!

The Ashley Community Endowment Fund was established in 1983 to provide support for community projects and programs in the Ashley area. It provides a method of receiving donations and distributing grants to benefit projects or nonprofit organizations in the Ashley area. The Foundation is affiliated with the North Dakota Community Foundation, which is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under IRS code 501(c)(3) and North Dakota Law.

The Ashley Community Endowment Fund is managed locally by a group of volunteers whose main activities are building the fund and recommending grants annually. 


Dean Christianson, D.V.M.
315 1st Street SW
Ashley, ND 58413

Kara Geiger
Development Director, NDCF

Since the Ashley Community Endowment Fund’s inception in 1983 and the William E. Kretschmar Charitable Fund for Ashley in 2020, over $492,000 in 177 grants has been awarded. Recent grant awards are listed below.

Grants Awarded in 2022

  • Ashley JDA: 
    • $9,000 for job opportunities
    • $7,000 for American Legion Hall
  • Ashley Senior Citizens:  $7,000 for a new roof replacement
  • Ashley Medical Center:  $5,000 for Nursing Program
  • Ashley Public School:  $4,000 for phone updates
  • Ashley Ambulance Association:  $5,000 for an ambulance powerload system
  • Ashley Community Rodeo Club:  $5,000 for lights

Grants Awarded in 2021

  • Ashley JDA - $6,000 for Ashley American Legion Hall Improvements
  • Ashley JDA - $1,500 for Community Development
  • Ashley Medical Center - $7,000 for Nursing Program
  • Ashley Public School - $2,000 for Technology Updates
  • Ashley Ambulance Assoc. - $3,950 for Lucas Chest Compression System

Grants Awarded in 2020

  • Ashley Arts Council - $1,000 for Saving Our Heritage
  • Ashley Chamber of Commerce - $2,000 for Chamber Projects
  • Ashley Country Club - $2,000 for Pumphouse Upgrades
  • Ashley JDA - $2,000 for American Legion Hall
  • Ashley JDA - $3,500 for Job Opportunities
  • Ashley Medical Center - $3,000 for Lighting System Replacement
  • Ashley Public School - $2,000 for Technology Update
  • McIntosh County Historical Society - $4,000 for MCHS Museum Roof

Grants Awarded in 2019

  • Ashley JDA - $5,000 for American Legion Hall
  • Ashley JDA - $200 for Ashley 125th Celebration Scrapbook
  • Ashley JDA - $3,000 for Ashley Senior Center Exterior Painting
  • Ashley JDA - $5,500 for Current Maintenance & Future Business Opportunities
  • Ashley Medical Center - $3,500 for Nursing Program
  • Ashley Public School - $2,100 for Technology Upgrade

The Ashley Medical Center has received support for various projects and programs over the years from the Ashley Community Endowment Fund.

The playground at Lake Hoskins Campground was funded by a grant from the Ashley endowment fund.

Apply for a Grant from the Ashley Community Endowment Fund

  • Grants shall be awarded only to those organizations designated by the IRS Code as 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax exempt groups, or government agencies.
  • No grants will be awarded to individuals.
  • Grants shall be awarded to organizations within Ashley and surrounding communities, as determined by the Advisory Committee.
  • Grants to religious organizations will be limited to those activities which are non-denominational and serve the entire community.

Funding Priorities 
High Priority 

  • Projects or programs that benefit a greater number of residents
  • Requests that demonstrate applicant will seek or has secured other funding sources

Low Priority 

  • Requests for operating funds or day-to-day expenses
  • Requests for multiple-year funding

Deadline: April 1

To Apply:

We made it easy for you to apply online for a grant!

Step 1 - Review

Review the grant guidelines above to make sure your organization qualifies.

Step 2 - Register

Create an account on our Grants Portal. You will need your organization’s name, EIN, and executive officer's name. Be sure to write down your user name (email address) and password.

Step 3 – Complete Your Application

After registering or logging in, you will arrive at the application section. Click “Apply” to the right of the grant program to which you wish to apply. If you do not see your desired grant program on the list, contact our office. You will be able to save your application and return later to complete it.

Click here for more detailed instructions and tips for using our online grant system.

Plan Your Legacy

Making a lasting difference in our community or for future generations may be easier than you realize.  With very simple language in your will or trust, you can help the Ashley Community Endowment Fund (ACEF) continue to support important projects and programs in our area forever.

Gifts to ACEF are carefully invested by our partner foundation - the North Dakota Community Foundation - to generate a  permanent source of charitable income.

If you have children or other relatives, you can leave a portion of your estate to them and a percentage to ACEF. Doing so provides for your heirs while honoring your charitable values.


Brothers Russell and Dale Brown left gifts to Lisbon & Milnor, ND, in their estate plans.

Getting Started

1.  Download our free Estate Planning Guide - it contains helpful information and things to consider as you develop your own unique plan.

2.  Reach out to an Ashley Community Endowment Fund committee member to learn more about the charities and needs in our area.

3.  Consider discussing (confidentially) your vision with our NDCF gift planner Kara Geiger.  She has many years of experience helping donors create their charitable vision and better prepare for their discussions with financial planners. You can reach Kara at 701-222-8349 or you can email her at

4.  Contact your professional advisors (financial planner, attorney and/or accountant) and ask for help in establishing a charitable gift to our foundation.

5.  Make sure your will or living trust is up-to-date and reflects your charitable goals.

6.  Consider notifying the charitable organizations about the gift you plan to leave them.  They will appreciate your generosity and will want to know what you’d like them to do with your eventual gift if it isn't clear.


Language for Your Will or Living Trust

Susanne Mattheis wished to support several different charitable organizations in Bismarck after she passed. NDCF helped her craft a plan that accomplished her charitable goals and provided long-term support to the Public Library, Symphony Orchestra, and five other local entities.

If you would like to include the Ashley Community Endowment Fund in your will, here is some sample language to consider:

“I give and bequeath to the North Dakota Community Foundation (Tax ID Number 45-0336015), a qualified charitable organization under IRS 501(c)(3), located in Bismarck, North Dakota, ___________ (a percentage of the estate, specific dollar amount, or remainder of estate) for the Ashley Community Endowment Fund, a permanent component of the North Dakota Community Foundation.”

*  Be sure to contact your legal advisor.


There are many other ways to make a deferred gift to your community, including

  • Making NDCF (and your specific community fund) the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, IRA, 401K, or commercial annuity
  • Establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity with NDCF
  • Other more sophisticated tools, depending on your unique situation

To investigate options and learn more about how other North Dakotans have given back, visit our planned giving website at