Mary Junge Aligns Investments with Values

Published: June 21, 2022 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:

For Mary Junge and her late husband Dave, it was never too difficult to set philanthropic goals. As farmers, small business owners, and stewards of the land, they were eager to help those who might be following in their footsteps.

Mary and Dave started giving through the Community Foundation in 2005. Since 1979, the couple had been operating their agricultural technology company, Junge Control, and they were ready to get more serious about giving back to the community. As they planned their estate, they discovered the Community Foundation was an ideal match for their desire to make long-term gifts.

Through a donor-advised fund, the Junges were able to coordinate their giving to causes they already cared about—like small business incubation, education, and food security.

“We were very fortunate to be able to run a small business for most of our lives,” Mary said. “So there’s a special place in my heart for organizations that support small businesses.”

In 2018, after nearly 40 years, the Junges were ready to sell that business.

“We decided the Community Foundation would be part of our exit plan and that this would be the time to make what was for us a substantial contribution,” Mary said. “This community played a vital role in helping establish and grow our business. This was a good time for us to give back.”

Dave passed away in 2019, but the Mary and David Junge Fund continues to support the causes and organizations they were both passionate about. In 2021, Mary moved a portion of the fund to the Community Foundation’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Pool to further align their philanthropy with their values.

ESG investments—in addition to traditional financial analysis—are made with consideration for their societal impact. It is important to note that these investments prioritize growth and security just as much as other investments, but simply add another layer of due diligence.

In 2017, the Community Foundation committed $1 million of unrestricted funds to ESG investments. Since then, the ESG Pool has grown to $11.6 million through additional unrestricted fund commitments and new and existing fundholder contributions. In 2021, the Pool welcomed more than 20 new funds, including the Mary and David Junge Fund.

“The environmental aspect of ESG is especially meaningful to me,” Mary said. “I manage the family farm, where we have always been very conscious of preserving the soil for future generations. The soil is on loan to us to maintain and use resourcefully.”

Always thoughtful in her investing—in regards to both impact and returns—Mary found the decision to move funds in to the ESG Pool rather easy.

Now semi-retired, Mary is able to make gifts of her time as well. For the past six years, she has served on various Community Foundation committees, and she joined the Board of Directors at the beginning of this year. She appreciates being able to give back to the community in a variety of ways.

“The Community Foundation was such a catalyst and vital part of our community recovering both from the flood of 2008 and the derecho,” Mary said. “I’m not sure I would have realized that had I not been actively involved in the organization for the past 7 years. They go about their work quietly and impactfully.”

To learn more about the Community Foundation’s investment management, click here.

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