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community SPRING 2015



COUPLE INTRODUCED TO NEW WAY OF GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITY DONORS: FRITZ AND GRETCHEN MELLBERG Fritz and Gretchen Mellberg have always believed strongly in giving generously to support those in need. “Our spiritual values motivate our giving,” said Mrs. Mellberg. “We feel very strongly that it is important to help one another. That’s the foundation of our decisions about giving.” Now retired, Rev. Mellberg was a United Church of Christ pastor for 40 years. Their modest income allowed the couple to support various charities in the past but when Mrs. Mellberg inherited money, the Mellbergs were moved to do more with it. “I never thought we would be able to do this, but because I inherited some money we suddenly found ourselves in a completely different bracket,” she said. “I thought, ‘This money is not for me. I didn’t earn this money; it was inherited.’ I wanted to do something with it that would do good in the world.” The Mellbergs were introduced and referred to the 2 COMMUNITY

Community Foundation by their attorney and professional advisor D.J. Smith, and in March of 2014 made their first gift to establish an endowed donor-advised fund. “We really liked the idea that what we gave would keep on giving long after we’ve left the planet,” said Mrs. Mellberg. “It’s something that continues to give. That had a great appeal to us.” Mr. Smith knew giving through the Foundation would be a good, flexible fit for the Mellbergs in meeting their estate planning goals. “My wife Abbie and I have a donor-advised fund with the Community Foundation and have seen first¬hand how well it is managed. So whenever I have clients like the Mellbergs who are charitably inclined, I tell them about our experience and put them in touch with the excellent staff at the Foundation,” said Mr. Smith. “The Mellbergs have a real passion for philanthropy,” he said. “By establishing a donor-advised fund, they


What is the investment philosophy of the Community Foundation?


True North Wealth Management Chair, Investment Committee

Our philosophy is to invest in a highly diversified global portfolio. The intent is to provide the best possible returns while mitigating risk. The portfolio is diversified to produce a better return, with less risk while investing in both public and private capital markets.

What are the goals and objectives of the portfolio? The long-term investment objective of the Community Foundation is to achieve a total return in excess of the sum of the distribution rate, the long-term inflation rate, and the aggregate costs of portfolio management. The goal is to achieve a return that allows the Community Foundation to make grants now while maintaining future granting power. can recommend annual gifts to organizations they support, and these gifts are held by the Foundation in perpetuity to enhance the quality of life in our area.” The Mellbergs were so impressed with working through the Community Foundation that halfway through the process they decided to double the amount they originally planned to give. “That was a family decision made in five seconds,” laughed Rev. Mellberg. “This doesn’t feel like it’s a one-time gift. It continues on and that’s a good feeling.” “It’s important to learn how to give,” added Rev. Mellberg. “In order to develop your full self you need to learn how to give generously. It may be a small amount but when you add it to what others have donated, it becomes significant. It’s just like financing a church. Everybody gives their little bit and it all adds up.”

How does the Community Foundation calculate spending? The current distribution rate is 4.5%. The distributable amount is calculated as the distribution rate multiplied by the average market value for the trailing twelve quarters ending on December 31. For more frequently asked questions regarding investment management, visit www.gcrcf.org/about/investmentmanagement.



IOWA VALLEY RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT Project: Building the Capacity of Regional Food Partners to Establish a Food Hub in the Corridor When the Cedar Rapids Blue Zone Food Subcommittee identified a food hub as an important piece to help grow the purchase of local food in the community, the Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development successfully applied to the Community Foundation for a grant to determine the economic feasibility for its food cooperative to serve as a regional food hub. This included a pilot project of a local wholesale produce partnership with Cedar Rapids Metro Hy-Vee stores. The pilot helped ten local farmers meet the product standardization and labelling requirements of grocery stores. The result was over $80,000 of product sold to eight Hy-Vee stores in Cedar Rapids and Marion. The Coop has plans to expand its wholesale enterprise to other local businesses.

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM OF IOWA Project: Ensuring Access to African American History The African American Museum of Iowa realized educational outreach was critically important to their sustainability and they needed to enhance their education offerings. They had spent several years building extensive partnerships in Cedar Rapids and across the state. Because of those efforts, last year the Museum’s Education Department was at capacity and quickly reaching a point of needing to turn away interested groups. The Museum proactively applied to the Community Foundation for a grant to assist with strategies to ensure access to educational programming, including hiring an Education Assistant. The result is an increase in educational outreach programming and partnerships, and the ability to meet the demand for education tours and workshop requests. COMMUNITY

CEDAR RAPIDS METRO YMCA Project: LIVESTRONG at the YMCA When the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA was selected by its national organization as a site for a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, a grant from the Lil’ Drug Store Products, Inc. DonorAdvised Fund at the Community Foundation helped to implement the program which served 176 participants in the first year. The program empowers adult cancer survivors to improve functional capacity and increase their quality of life through a fitness and strength program. Most participants indicated improvements in strength, balance and cardiovascular endurance; and nearly all participants indicated an improvement in their quality of life.

HIS HANDS FREE MEDICAL CLINIC Project: Dental Equipment His Hands Free Medical Clinic is a nonprofit ministry providing free medical, chiropractic and dental services in a downtown office along a bus route in Cedar Rapids. When the clinic added a dental program, they recognized a need for tools to offer a more comprehensive treatment plan for patients. A grant provided funding to purchase endodontic supplies to offer root canals and a surgical handpiece to perform extractions on-site. With these tools, the clinic has been able to provide better service to over 170 patients.


CEDAR RAPIDS METRO AREA COLLABORATES ON INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE GRADE LEVEL READING The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is collaborating with local school, city, business and nonprofit partners on a community initiative to increase the number of children reading proficiently by the end of third grade in the Cedar Rapids metro area. On March 12, 2015 over 100 community members gathered at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Cedar Rapids to discuss resources and challenges to improve grade level reading, and began to map a local initiative. Cedar Rapids joins a network of 167 communities nationwide, including seven other Iowa communities, that are participating in the effort called The Campaign for Grade Level Reading. The local initiative, recently named Reading into Success, is an opportunity for the nonprofits and schools in the metro area to learn from one another, identify more collaboration opportunities, and develop a broad, community-wide system that ultimately leads to reading success for all children. Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Yet nationwide, every year, more than 80 percent of lowincome children miss this crucial milestone. Locally, there is 6 COMMUNITY

a 21 percent gap with low-income students having a lower reading proficiency rate than their higher income peers. The goal of the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading is that by 2020, twelve or more states will have a 100% increase in the number of students from low-income homes reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Locally, Reading into Success is focusing on five aspects of a child’s life including kindergarten readiness, attendance, summer learning, every day reading, and health and wellbeing. To date, local partners include United Way of East Central Iowa; Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation; the Cedar Rapids Public Library; the five metro school districts including Cedar Rapids Community Schools, College Community Schools, Marion Independent Schools, LinnMar Community Schools and Xavier Catholic Schools; The Gazette Company; Grant Wood Area Education Agency; Rockwell Collins; and Diversity Focus. To get involved, contact readingintosuccess@uweci.org. To stay informed, visit the Reading into Success Facebook page.



PEGGY HARDESTY Community Volunteer



AEGON USA Investment Management, LLC


STAFF NEWS We are pleased to welcome two new team members at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. Judy Frank joins the Community Foundation as Receptionist; and Kathryn Stack joins the marketing and program teams as Content Associate.

GRANT TECHNICAL PRE-APPLICATION BRIEFING On January 15 and 16, 2015, over 30 nonprofit representatives attended the Grant Pre-Application Briefing offered by the Community Foundation to review funding opportunities for 2015 and to provide an overview of the application process. The Community Foundation also introduced a grant tutorial video, a resource on our website offering guidance and instruction for the online application process. The next grant deadline at the Community Foundation is Friday, June 12, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.


Receptionist 319.366.2862 judy.frank@gcrcf.org


Content Associate 319.774.2376 kathryn.stack@gcrcf.org

SPRING 2015 7

324 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401-1841 319.366.2862 / gcrcf.org

Where charitable gifts multiply for community good. Help us with our mailing list. Do we need to update your contact information? Are you receiving a duplicate? Do you have an e-mail or winter address to share? Do you wish to be removed from our mailing list? Please contact us at 319.366.2862 or info@gcrcf.org.



Wednesday, April 29, 2015 Individuals with Funds: 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Agencies: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Community Foundation Tim O’Donnell, of Fund Evaluation Group, will present an overview of our investment portfolio performance. Please RSVP to 319.366.2862 or judy.frank@gcrcf.org.

Friday, June 12, 2015, 4:30 p.m. Visit www.gcrcf.org for more information about available grants and how to apply. If you have questions, please contact us at 319.774.2370 or grants@gcrcf.org.



Thursday, May 28, 2015, 12- 1 p.m. Community Foundation Join us to learn how you can help your clients leave a legacy in our community. Please RSVP to 319.366.2862 or judy.frank@gcrcf.org.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cedar Rapids Country Club A celebration of philanthropy with William Quarton Heritage Society members. Invitations will be mailed in May.

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