Diane Nielsen Gossard Memorial Fund

Gossard_Diane Nielsen (461 x 600)

“We didn’t really know going into it what we wanted the fund to do,” Dale Stevenson says about the fund she established following her mother’s death. “The Community Foundation was new, and we were still trying to figure it out. That’s why we set up the fund with broad parameters.”

Diane Nielsen Gossard raised her daughters—Dale and Jil—in Greencastle, Indiana and later moved to Orlando, Florida pursuing her real estate career where she bought homes, often for renovation, then sold them.

 “Mom worked hard, and living in a large city made it difficult to get involved in community activities, something she did a lot when we lived in Greencastle,” Dale said. “Her life centered on her family. She was the biggest fan of anything she loved—her daughters, the Chicago Cubs and Bears, her friends—she was always positive and encouraging.”

And, she loved her visits to Dale’s home in Quincy.

“We walked through Quincy’s neighborhoods with its beautiful older homes. She was always sizing up their possibilities. She loved Quincy—loved the people—and had planned to spend more time here with our family.”

Unfortunately, those plans changed when Diane was diagnosed with cancer. Dale said that she and her mother had several months to talk during the illness. Diane wanted Dale and Jil, who lived in Florida, to do something that was important to them. They did. Dale set up the advised fund at the Community Foundation; Jil did a memorial fund in Orlando.

As a donor-advised fund, Dale has the opportunity to recommend grant recipients to the Community Foundation each year.

“Our first few recommendations were for Make-a-Wish because it does good work, and we felt good about that,” Dale says. As the years pass, she realizes that her charitable interests may change, so the fund allows her flexibility to make varied charitable recommendations.

The fund also offers a continued connection to her mom.

“On Mother’s Day, her birthday, and other special occasions, our gift to ourselves is to make a donation to Mom’s fund. It helps to have something positive to do for an otherwise tough day,” Dale says. “I hope in the future that my kids can be more involved in our recommendations about the fund’s grant to help keep Mom in their lives.”


Anyone can make a gift to any fund at any time to help it grow. To make a gift to the Diane Nielsen Gossard Memorial Fund, please click here.