Leaving It Better:

That’s the legacy that motivates us. That’s the mission that guides us.

The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation was established as a family foundation in 1993 by the late Claude W. Ahrens. Mr. Ahrens enjoyed a long, successful business career in the playground and agricultural manufacturing fields and desired to return some of the fruits of his labor, particularly to his native Grinnell, Iowa area, with specific support to his special interest in parks and recreation. Claude W. Ahrens has truly set a philanthropic example to all.

The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation continues its active commitment to improving the quality of life for our Grinnell community. We are dedicated to providing innovative charitable programs and support to local community projects and needs.

We are a unique and innovative family foundation striving to help meet the needs of Grinnell and its neighboring communities through ongoing support and resources by maintaining and perpetuating an endowment. Our purpose is to provide improved and enhanced quality of life for present and future generations with interest in the areas of parks & recreation, education, and health with our collaborative partners.
To enhance the quality of life for future generations in the Grinnell community and its neighboring communities.
Collaboration, Compassion, Innovation, Integrity, Respect, and Wellness.

Latest News

24 Watertower Square apartments becoming new homes

November 23, 2015

Twelve of the 26 apartments in the Mayflower Community’s new Watertower Square have welcomed residents in the past month, and nine more apartments will have residents by January. Residents of three other apartments […]

  • Attendance Awareness - Governor Sept 2015

Governor Signs Proclamation for Attendance Awareness Month

September 29, 2015

On September 4, representatives from five Iowa Campaign for Grade Level Reading communities convened at the State Capitol for the signing of a special proclamation by Governor Terry Branstad in honor of Attendance […]

  • 2015 "Leave It Better Than You Found It" Award Grinnell Area Arts Council

2015 “LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT” AWARD TO GRINNELL AREA ARTS COUNCIL

August 27, 2015

The Grinnell Area Arts Council (GAAC) is the 2015 recipient of the “Leave It Better Than You Found It” award from the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation (CDAF).

The arts council oversees programming […]

  • 1999_NRPA_Claude_and_bust

“LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT” Nominations Open

July 1, 2015

Nominations are open for the 2015 “Leave It Better Than You Found It” awards from the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. All Grinnell area nonprofit, social, civic, fraternal, and community groups making […]

Celebrating 20 Years

Strategic Plan 2014-2016

Click here to download the Strategic Plan 2014-2016.