DRA Announces First Round of Mission Grant Recipients for 2023, Awards $250,000 to Local Organizations

During today’s regularly scheduled, monthly board meeting, the DRA announced that three local organizations will receive funding as a part of the organization's Mission Grant funding process in 2023. The three organizations receiving funding include:

Travel Dubuque

  • Award: $100,000
  • Project: Dubuque/Orlando Trade Mission
  • Overview: The Dubuque/Orlando Trade Mission is an opportunity for Dubuque to showcase itself as a community to businesses and residents of Orlando, Florida. This mission will allow Dubuque and Orlando to utilize the Avelo air service offered at Dubuque Regional Airport. The plan is to invite leaders from both communities to come together during a three-day mission trip to Orlando, with goal being to host events that will showcase all the opportunities available in Dubuque and demonstrate how the community is a place to visit, as well as a viable place to expand or start a business.

United Way of Greater Dubuque/Tri-States

  • Award: $75,000 per year, renewable up to three years
  • Project: Community Impact on Poverty
  • Overview: United Way’s mission is to connect people and resources to advance the health, education and income of those in need in the community. United Way’s brand promise is to bring community partners together to reduce and prevent poverty on a scale no one can accomplish alone. The Community Impact on Poverty program assists in bringing nonprofit partners together to make a collective impact in the areas of greatest need in the community. The short-term goals of the United Way will help meet the immediate needs of people in the tri-state region. This then helps set the stage to meet the long-term goal of preventing and reducing poverty and, in turn, creating a community where people can have their family’s needs meet, feel supported and thrive.

Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

  • Award: $75,000 per year, renewable up to three years
  • Project: Arts & Crafts Room
  • Overview: The mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is to strengthen communities and inspire giving. A strong community is one where all people are valued, residents can access the resources they need and can participate fully in civic life. With these funds, the foundation would like to invest in their ability to write grants and raise additional funds to support their work and the work of local nonprofits by hiring (or contracting with) a dedicated staff person to research and write grants applications, as well as complete often rigorous follow-up reporting.

Mission Grant awards, which are designed to fund large, capacity-building projects that tie into the DRA's overall mission, range from $75,000 to $250,000 and are intended to help fund programs and initiatives designed to enhance population growth, retention and/or tourism in the Dubuque area. Recipients of the funds should also be able to demonstrate their overall impact on the community and show there is sustainability beyond any initial funding.

“It is always exciting to see how projects the DRA chooses to fund each year take shape and end-up having an impact on the community,” Kathy Buhr, Director of Strategic Philanthropy & Schmitt Island Development at DRA. "As an organization, we have a long history of giving back to the community, so we are pleased to be able to invest in the important efforts of these three, worthy organizations.”

“We are proud of our continued philanthropy and firmly committed to being at the forefront of supporting efforts that not only have a positive impact on growth and change in Dubuque, but also the tri-state area," continued Buhr.

DRA is the non-profit entity that owns and operates Q Casino and is the co-licensee for Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque. Since 1985, the DRA has awarded 5,000-plus grants – totaling more than $52 million – to over 1,500 organizations in the tri-state area (Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois). DRA’s commitment to the community is made possible by proceeds that come from both Q Casino and the Diamond Jo Casino – both of which attract tens of thousands of visitors to Dubuque each year from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and beyond.

For more information on the 2023 Core Grant and Mission Grant recipients and other DRA-related news, including exciting new development plans for Schmitt Island, you can visit


About the DRA

The DRA, through its gaming and entertainment facilities provides for social, economic and community betterment and lessens the burden of Dubuque city and area government, while contributing to the growth and viability of Dubuque area tourism.

The organization has been a vital part of the community since its inception in 1985 and is operated by a volunteer board comprised of 21 directors who work together to guide operations of Q Casino. The DRA holds the license for casino-gaming operations of Q Casino and is also the co-licensee for the Diamond Jo Casino, both of which are located in Dubuque. For more information on DRA and its community-minded mission, visit