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About the Wishek Area Community Foundation

The Wishek Area Community Foundation was established in 2016 by a group of community-minded residents who wanted to improve the quality of life in Wishek, now and forever. 

The Foundation provides a method of receiving donations and distributing grants to benefit projects or nonprofit organizations in the Wishek area. It 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 Wishek Area Community Foundation is managed locally by a group of volunteers whose main activities are building the fund and recommending grants annually. Grants from the fund will benefit a wide variety of nonprofit and community projects and programs.

Advisory Committee

Debra Dohn, Chair
Brenda Dohn
Brooke Kosiak
Perry Turner


Wishek Area Community Foundation
C/O Debra Dohn
PO Box 531
Wishek ND 58495


Kara Geiger
Development Director, NDCF



Residents Start Pool Renovation and Permanent Endowment Funds For Wishek

Wishek, ND – A group of local residents recently established two new funds that will improve the quality of life in Wishek, now and forever.  Donations to the Wishek Pool Renovation Fund will be used to address the immediate renovation needs of the pool.  The second fund – the Wishek Area Community Foundation -  is a permanent endowment fund that will provide grant dollars every year for a variety of projects in Wishek.

“Wishek is a great place to live, but we have to re-invest in our community to keep it strong,” said Debra Dohn, one of the supporters of the funds. 

Community members are working with the Wishek Park Board to identify, prioritize, and estimate costs for several needed projects at the pool. 

“Our pool is so important to the kids and families here in town,” said Katie Pinke, another member of the group.  “But it needs some repairs and updates so it can continue to be an entertainment option for our residents.”

The group has also established an endowment fund for Wishek through the North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF), providing a mechanism for citizens to support their community for many years. 

“We want to provide a more permanent way to support projects and programs in Wishek,” said Dohn. “The pool fund is to help with an immediate need, but the Wishek Area Community Foundation is really for the long-term quality of life of our community.”

An endowment fund is a permanent, flexible, general purpose charitable fund.  Earnings from the fund are given as grants to support projects and programs that improve the quality of life in the area. The gifts to the Fund are invested and provide annual income forever.

Sixty-two North Dakota communities of all sizes have established community endowment funds through NDCF, including Pembina, Larimore, Casselton, Anamoose, Minot, Killdeer, Mott, Bismarck, Strasburg, and Ellendale.  Some of the community endowment funds give out over $20,000 in grants to local organizations every year for a variety of projects and programs in their area.

“We are hoping the fund will grow over time,” said Dohn.  “We want our friends and neighbors to know that this fund has been set up and that it is a great way to provide support to organizations in Wishek forever.”

An advisory committee made up of local residents will lead fundraising efforts for both funds.  Donations to the pool fund will be used for the identified projects.

Once the Wishek Area Community Foundation fund is large enough, the advisory committee will accept grant applications and determine grant awards.  Initial advisory committee members include Debra Dohn, Brenda Dohn, Brooke Kosiak, Katie Pinke, and Perry Turner.  NDCF provides professional management of the fund as well as administrative support to the local committees. 

“An endowment fund is like having a permanent savings account for your community,” said Kevin Dvorak, President & CEO of NDCF.  “You may not know what your community will need in 10 or 20 years, but if you establish and contribute to an endowment fund, you will have resources available to address whatever needs may exist.”

Examples of grants from other community endowment funds include new football uniforms for their school team, furnace repairs at the Senior Citizens Center, a summer theatre program for area kids, shelving for their local museum, new medical equipment for their clinic, and specialized turnout gear for the rural fire department volunteers. 

“The endowment funds don’t replace other fundraising and special projects,” said Dvorak, “they support the needs of the community as they change over time.  Communities with endowment funds focus on improving the quality of life in their town which can enhance business attraction, employee recruitment and retention, and help to keep growing families as residents.”

Donations to the two funds can be made at any time, by mailing a check to NDCF, PO Box 387, Bismarck ND 58502-0387 or by donating online at  Donors are asked to indicate which fund they are donating to by writing either “Wishek Pool Renovation Fund” or “Wishek Area Community Foundation” on the memo line of the check or on the “Fund Name” line on the webpage. 

Because NDCF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of state and federal law.  In addition, the Wishek Area Community Foundation is considered a qualified ND endowment fund so individuals that give over $5,000 and businesses that give any amount may qualify for the generous 40% ND income tax credit.

For more information about the new funds, go to or contact Debra Dohn at 701-321-1662 or at 

We are not yet accepting grant applications. When the first grant round opens, we will notify the community through the local newspaper.

Other Funds Serving the Wishek Area

Wishek Pool Renovation Fund

Established in 2016, this fund will collect tax-deductible donations that will be used to fund the renovation of the Wishek swimming pool and pool house.