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New Grants Announced at Celebration of Community

November 5, 2021

Click here to view the program recording on Facebook.

Over 250 people attended the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa’s annual Celebration of Community event on Friday, November 5, at the Diamond Event Center in Cedar Falls. The Foundation celebrated its 65-year anniversary and awarded new grants totaling $215,000.

“The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa is incredibly grateful for the generosity and vision of our partners who have made it possible for us to celebrate this milestone,” said Kaye Englin, CFNEIA president and CEO. “We celebrate because we get to be part of an amazing community where people come together to ensure everyone has an equitable opportunity to flourish.”  

Since 1956, CFNEIA has granted over $107 million to organizations across its 20-county region and holds assets totaling over $138 million. The organization also announced details of its new strategic plan. The plan puts a lens of advancing racial equity on all four key areas of focus which include community leadership, transformational grantmaking, growing assets for impact and strengthening its organizational capacity. The Community Foundation also emphasized its current community initiative areas which are childcare, the arts, workforce readiness and nonprofit capacity building.

“As many did in 2020, CFNEIA took a close look at itself and committed to using its position to advance racial equity,” said Englin. “We’ve made some forward progress but know we have a lot of learning left to do. Moving ahead in our long history, racial equity will be a guiding value and part of who we are as a community convener, collaborator and leader.” 

The mission fulfillment grants totaling $215,00 were awarded to four organizations including 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium, Cedar Valley Kids Child Care Center, One Cedar Valley and Prairie Springs Recreational Trail Association. 

24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium received a $50,000 grant to support capacity building efforts. The Waterloo-based organization was launched in 2020 with an aim of increasing personal and professional development, stimulating the creation of wealth and financial empowerment and building networks of influence with navigational support for Black professionals. 

Cedar Valley Kids Child Care Center, a new nonprofit providing childcare solutions to families in the Cedar Valley, received a $100,000 grant to assist in raising funds for a new childcare campus. The new campus is to be located at North Crossing in Waterloo and will provide affordable, quality childcare to approximately 230 students. The grant will be leveraged as matching dollars for donors to the project’s capital campaign. 

A $35,000 grant was awarded to One Cedar Valley, another new nonprofit in the Cedar Valley, for capacity building. The organization is working to break down barriers to employment, connect individuals to community resources and champion equitable hiring practices.  

CFNEIA also awarded a $30,000 grant to Prairie Springs Recreational Trail Association, a recreational trail in Howard County making an economic impact on two counties in the Foundation’s region. The trail is part of a regional collaboration to connect multiple trails in northeast Iowa.

Celebration of Community is an annual event of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. CFNEIA was established in 1956 in Waterloo and has since grown to serve 20 Iowa counties, partnering with 23 affiliate community foundations to create local impacts. CFNEIA is a nationally accredited community foundation, employing 13 staff, and engaging over 325 volunteers, to help people support the causes they care about and collaborate with nonprofits to enrich communities in its region.

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