Community Giving

Rick and Sandy Paulsen

Fund Name: Rick and Sandy Paulsen Family Fund
Fund Established: March 12, 2013
Community Foundation(s): Alexandria Area

For Rick and Sandy Paulsen, giving back starts close to home. The couple’s charitable giving has grown out of the connections they have made professionally and personally since moving from southern Minnesota to Alexandria in 1981.

Some of their favorite local charities have included Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum and Gardens (where Rick has served as treasurer), United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties, Habitat for Humanity, Lakes Area Humane Society and Calvary Lutheran Church.

The couple recently created a donor advised fund with the Alexandria Community Foundation to make the most of the advantages of giving appreciated securities.

“We found the Alexandria Area Community Foundation to be a convenient organization to work with and the fund will help ensure our giving can continue into the future, Rick said.

While starting locally, the Paulsens’ giving doesn’t end there. Other favorite causes include Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, World Vision and the Rotary Foundation. Sandy also plans to travel to Guatemala on a service trip with Rotary and Common Hope.

“It’s about helping people out and making a difference in people’s lives. And, that’s personally satisfying,” said Sandy about their philanthropy and her service as vice president of the Douglas County Hospital Auxiliary.

Their giving also goes beyond helping just people. Sandy is moved by the work the Humane Society performs, and Rick has a passion for wildlife habitat preservation and restoration. He is a loyal supporter of Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl and Pheasants Forever, and he serves as the treasurer of the Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust.

The Paulsens restored some of their own land to wetlands and natural prairie and established a permanent conservation easement to preserve it for generations to come.

“People have to give from the heart,” Rick said. “When you make a donation and know the charity will be a good steward, you should feel good.”