Starting Early On Impacting Community
June 7, 2019
Ross and Megan Hannam believe in the power of strong communities. It is the feeling of support, neighbors helping neighbors, and a desire to make that place better for all people that Ross experienced growing up in St. Ansgar, Iowa, and Megan in Clear Lake, Iowa.
“I have seen the impacts a great community can have on a person’s well-being,” said Megan. “Looking back at my life, from childhood to today, it’s been the people around me who have shaped me the most. Whether it’s family, friends, or organizations, I have been surrounded by incredible people who have invested in me. I want to help others in this way and support our community and planned giving is just one small way to do that.”
Both Ross and Megan moved to Cedar Falls to attend the University of Northern Iowa in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Ross received a degree in Economics and played on the Panther football team, while Megan played on the UNI women’s basketball team and received a B.A. in Interior Design. Upon graduation, both stayed in the Cedar Valley to live and establish careers. Currently, Ross works with Deckworks Cedar Valley, and Megan is the owner of Hannam Design where she provides interior design, construction, and project management services.
“We just really felt like this was going to be our home, and we wanted to build our lives here,” said Ross. “And now, through the Community Foundation, we’ve decided we want to support this community in any way we can.”
As the couple prepared to write their Will, they learned that they could begin to impact their community now and leave a legacy for future generations through a donor advised fund with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.
The Hannams started the Ross and Megan Hannam Family Fund with the Community Foundation to accomplish their charitable goals. The couple also decided to become members of CFNEIA’s Legacy Society by making a gift through their Will to further strengthen their fund after they are gone.
“As we researched and learned about leaving a legacy, we thought, ‘Why wait? Why can’t we begin now?’ We wanted to support our current community and past communities,” said Megan. “We love that we can give to this community, but that’s also what we love about the Community Foundation. We can give to St. Ansgar, and we can give to Clear Lake, and we can impact those communities that shaped us when we were little too.”
The couple also understands that as their lives change, their charitable priorities may shift, and their donor advised fund can change with them.
“Just having the flexibility to customize our giving is important. We have certain interests now, but that may be different down the road, or maybe a project comes up that isn’t available right now,” said Ross. “So for us, it gives us a great opportunity to start building our fund and still have flexibility if we want to change our path.”
Megan and Ross are excited to support artistic and leisure service community projects that encourage community collaboration. They are eager to grow their fund and impact and learn more about their community.
“Our hope is that by beginning our fund at a relatively young age, we will be able to grow it over time and be able to not only have an impact during our lives but to have the ability to support the Cedar Valley long after we are gone,” said Ross.