Since 1995, Melva has been actively managing the Martin Bucksbaum Family Foundation, and is currently a Director of the Robert I. Goldman Foundation.
In 1996, Melva and her family endowed a chair in the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University: Martin Bucksbaum Professorship in Urban Planning and Design. Melva also endowed the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.
In 2000, Melva and her children inaugurated the Bucksbaum Award, which is given to an artist of distinction and promise selected from those artists represented in the Whitney Biennial. It was conceived to support an artist for a 2-year residency culminating in an exhibition of his/her work at the Whitney.
Since 2003 every year Melva and her husband, Raymond Learsy, were listed by Art News as one of the top 200 collectors in the world.
In 2004, Melva and her daughter, Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan, gave to the Des Moines Art Center two major outdoor installation sculptures to be placed on loan to the City of Des Moines. The sculptures are by Joel Shapiro and Sally Pettus.