Paying It Forward in 2022

By Douglas Hanson


The worldwide pandemic has upturned all our lives in the past two years. What was once routine became difficult or even impossible. Activities like work, entertainment, and travel have all been significantly altered by the impacts of the disease. Icelandic Roots has been affected as well. Our in-person engagement with friends and members had to be reduced and our travel was largely curtailed. We hope to resume more personal outreach later this year.


Fortunately, since 2013, we have had an online presence and began using Zoom technology in 2014. Through the years, we have added more and more online education and opportunities. In 2020 and 2021, we continued our mission and expanded even further with more varied activities. Our members and friends have enthusiastically responded with record attendance at our webinars, Tuesday Tips, Samtal Hour, and other online presentations.


As many of you know, a key element of the Icelandic Roots mission is “paying it forward” by awarding culture and heritage grants to deserving Icelandic heritage organizations and individuals interested in learning more about Icelandic culture, history, and language.



We are an all-volunteer, nonprofit, public charity, and most of our revenue is used to support charitable causes such as heritage grants and individual scholarships.

As you can see from the included graph, we have awarded grants totaling approximately 114 thousand U.S. dollars over the past eight years. (scholarships have been noticeably reduced due to the pandemic)


Icelandic Roots' philanthropy to deserving organizations and students in the United States, Canada, and Iceland has only been possible through the generous contributions and memberships from you, our members, and friends.


Some recent recipients of Icelandic Roots grants include Historic Markerville (AB), the Riishús Restoration Project (Bordeyri, Iceland), Trinity Community Lutheran Church (WA), the Icelandic Connection (MB), Society of Preservation of Minnesota (MN), Icelandic River Heritage Sites (MB), Logberg-Heimskringla Newspaper (MB), Vikur Cemetery Preservation (ND), the Leif Eriksson Icelandic Club (AB), and the Icelandic National League of the United States, among others. See the complete list HERE.


To date, our most extensive grant program has been working with the Snorri Foundation in Iceland to support Snorri cultural exchange programs. Although the pandemic has halted these programs for two years, we have continued our financial support for the Snorri Foundation as it plans for 2022 activities. We also helped fund a Snorri West program in Iceland in 2021 and plan to offer generous Snorri scholarships for North American participants when exchange visits resume.

We are always looking for new ways to preserve our Icelandic heritage.


Do you know of any nonprofit organizations which could benefit from financial support for a particular project related to the Icelandic Roots mission? If so, please ask them to send their idea to us. Contact Us.

We sincerely appreciate the generous financial support we have received from our many friends and are honored to be entrusted with the stewardship of those resources.


To make a general or dedicated donation for a specific cause, here is the LINK.


Thank you. Takk Fyrir.



Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.