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Leading the Way for Vibrant Communities

November 12, 2020

Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa is making an impact now and will forever.

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA) is proud to be one of over 900 community foundations in the United States making tremendous impacts and providing a unique place for charitable people to become involved. Community Foundation Week, November 12 to 18, is a time to recognize the important role CFNEIA plays in fostering local collaboration and generosity to address community challenges. Even if you are not aware of CFNEIA, you've likely felt its impact.

CFNEIA is an independent, public nonprofit that connects resources from individual and institutional donors to local nonprofit organizations that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities. The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa has granted $100 million over its 64-year history and holds $120 million in assets. These numbers reflect CFNEIA’s ability to respond across its 20-county region, not only today, but for generations to come. In 1956, the vision of impacting the Cedar Valley forever was brought to life through the determination and generosity of community-minded leaders. Today, this vision continues to grow because of the ongoing support of those who care about their community.

As CFNEIA grows and community needs arise, our role as community leader continues to expandIn Marchthe Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa and other Cedar Valley funders quickly created a partnership that resulted in the establishment of the Black Hawk County COVID-19 Cooperative Disaster Response Fund at CFNEIA to support nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic. Through this fund, over $350,000 has been granted. Our affiliate partners also took lead in their communities, with 10 affiliate COVID-19 response funds being establishedgranting over $175,000 to nonprofits serving people impacted by the pandemic in their communities.

Then, in June, the Community Foundation raised its voice with others across the nation in calling for an end to systematic racism. Since then, the CFNEIA Racial Equity Fund has been established to help support those moving racial equity forward in our communities and we continue to examine how equity can be expanded across all our work to create vibrant communities for all people.

These new responses are in addition to our other community initiatives, including child care, the arts, workforce readiness, and nonprofit capacity building. Through active staff leadership roles, convening of partners, grantmaking, and community collaboration, CFNEIA is leading the way in addressing key community issues.

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa meets National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, meeting the highest standards in philanthropy for 15 years. As an accredited foundation, CFNEIA is able to carry out two important state legislated programs focused on increasing philanthropic activity to enhance the quality of life for Iowans, and act as the host foundation for 23 affiliate community foundations across Iowa, working with over 350 volunteers to make critical impacts in rural and urban areas.

The County Endowment Fund program annually distributes eight-tenths of one percent (0.8%) of the state’s commercial gaming tax revenue to be used for grantmaking and endowment building among qualified foundations, like CFNEIA, and affiliates associated with counties without a state-issued gaming license. In the 15-years of the program, over $107 million has been invested back into Iowa communities.

The Endow Iowa 25 Percent Tax Credit program has leveraged over $263 million in endowment gifts to support Iowa communities and charitable causes since 2004. The program has made nearly $62 million in tax credits available to Iowans who contribute to an endowed fund at an accredited community foundation in the state. Six million dollars in credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis annually, and while the 2020 credits have been exhausted, gifts may qualify for 2021 Endow Iowa tax credits.

As we enter the giving season, America’s generosity surges. Millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They’ll also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving—however they choose to give—will have the most impact. That’s why so many of them will choose to give to or through a community foundation.

A gift CFNEIA is an investment in the future of your community. We are “here for good” for everyone across our region. It is only because of incredible partnerships we are able to make meaningful impacts. I hope you’ll join us in recognizing the difference we can make together and consider giving to or through CFNEIA or one of our 23 affiliate foundations.