Profiles of Impact: Marsha and Don Pedersen


"It's amazing how something small can become something great," says Marsha Pedersen. "It blossoms from people caring about something."

Marsha and Don Pedersen are long-time residents of the Quad Cities. Both have taken on a variety of roles in the community. Among them, Marsha was instrumental in the creation of the Holiday Pops concert during the Quad City Arts Festival of Trees.

It was during these activities that she first experienced the profound impact that small acts of generosity can have. While raising money for underprivileged families to attend the Holiday Pops concert, Marsha 
realized that it doesn't take much to make an impact.

"Having someone care, even in a small way, can transform a life," she says. 

After retiring, Marsha and Don wanted to find additional ways to give back to the community they cared so much about. They turned to the Community Foundation and established a Charitable Giving Fund and an Endowment to help support their favorite charities and non-profit organizations. These include the Quad City Symphony, First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, Scott County Family Y, and the Marriage and Family Counseling Services of Rock Island. 

The Pedersens joined the Community Foundations's Legacy Society in 2008--a distinguished group of donors who include the Foundation in their estate plans. Don and Marsha believe there should be more members in the Legacy Society. They also believe there has never been a more important time to keep philanthropy alive.

"In times like these, it can be really tough," Don says. "So many people need help."

Just as in her early days with the Holiday Pops, Marsha knows that any size gift can have a tremendous impact. 

"Everyone can do this," she says. "It doesn't matter where you are on the scale."

The good works created by Don and Marsha, and all of the donors who are part of the Foundation, will grow over time into something more and more significant.

Click here to learn more about how you can start your own fund.

Melanie JonesDonors