About the Community Foundation

Since 1993, the DeKalb County Community Foundation has successfully partnered with philanthropists to benefit organizations and communities throughout DeKalb County. Managing over $60 million in charitable assets and distributing over $3.5 million a year in grants and scholarships, we connect people who care with causes that matter and strive to enhance the quality of life in DeKalb County, IL.

The Foundation operates out of the historic Sycamore Train Depot located at 475 DeKalb Avenue in Sycamore, IL. We are a small team of professionals who love our community and love what we do. Who we are and what we represent are clearly defined in our mission, vision, and core values.

View our current Annual Report and Report to the Community >

Our Mission

To enhance the quality of life in DeKalb County, IL, by addressing community needs and expanding, managing, and distributing philanthropic resources.

Our Vision

To be a philanthropic leader throughout DeKalb County as we partner to build strong communities for all.

Our Core Commitments

In our work we commit ourselves to:

  • Collaboration – by encouraging, contributing to, and leading effective partnerships in support of our vision and mission
  • Diversity – by valuing the full range of human and/or organizational differences and similarities
  • Equity – by practicing fairness and impartiality with regard to the utilization of practices, policies and systems as well as access to the distribution of resources and opportunities
  • Humility – by reaching the vision of the Foundation in the original, humble spirit of generosity and by putting community above self
  • Inclusion – by engaging a diverse population across a wide range of dimensions in achieving our organizational mission
  • Integrity – by demonstrating strong moral and ethical principles in growing, managing, and distributing charitable funds
  • Legacy – by recognizing past challenges and accomplishments as well as seeking, learning, and implementing new approaches to effective community philanthropy for the future
  • Optimism – through our belief in the greatness of DeKalb County and the power of working together to make even greater things happen
  • Respect – for our donors, grantees, collaborators, and community at all times

Our Roles & Services

  • Endowments & Donor Services - We help connect people who care with causes that matter by providing donors with a broad variety of interests a flexible and cost effective vehicle for carrying out their charitable objectives, regardless of the size of their donation.
  • Stewardship - The Community Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and oversees the investment and management of charitable funds for individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and corporate donors. Although these monies are pooled for investment purposes, each of the component Funds within the Foundation retains its unique identity and charitable intent as specified by the donor.
  • Grantmaking - We distribute over $3.5 million every year in support of Arts & Culture, Community Development, Education, Environment & Animal Welfare, Health & Human Services, and Nonprofit Capacity Building through seven different grantmaking mechanisms/programs.
  • Community Initiatives - The DeKalb County Community Foundation helps to identify community needs and partners with others through our grantmaking and community leadership resources to bring about positive change and solve problems.

We are committed to excellence in fulfilling our mission!

For questions or to discuss your charitable interests in the community, please contact Executive Director Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or dan@dekalbccf.org.

Confidentiality Policy > Gift Acceptance Policy > Whistleblower Policy & Procedures >

Our Tagline

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Slogan


In 2018, the Community Foundation celebrated 25 years of philanthropy. Our goal was to celebrate, thank, and give back to the community. Visit the 25th Anniversary web page to see how we celebrated!