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community WINTER 2017



Event highlights good people doing good work at nonprofits The fifth annual Celebration of Community event was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 4 – 6 p.m. at NewBo City Market. The theme of the program was Good Work & Good People. Over 30 people were recognized in a display and videos for the good work they are doing at nonprofit organizations in Linn County. “There are over 350 charitable nonprofit organizations in Linn County,” said Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “At the heart of each one is someone who cares deeply about its mission, its clients, and its impact. Nonprofits rely on community engagement to fulfill their missions. We were pleased to recognize these outstanding people in our community and thank them for their service.” Two nonprofit excellence awards were also presented to nonprofit professionals who go above and beyond to support the mission of their organizations. The Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award recognizes the leadership and accomplishments of the chief executive officer of a Linn County nonprofit organization who offers exceptional leadership and creates a lasting impact on their organization and the community. This award was


presented to Shannon Ramsay, Founding President & CEO, Trees Forever. The Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award recognizes a nonprofit staff member who has gone “above and beyond” in their support of the organization’s mission and has greatly enhanced the overall effectiveness of the organization through his/her work. This award was presented to Tara Richards, Director of Community Engagement, Brucemore, Inc. In addition to an award, each recipient received a $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation designated for staff development at the honoree’s organization.

Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award

Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award

Shannon Ramsay Founding President & CEO Trees Forever

Tara Richards Director of Community Engagement Brucemore, Inc.

Nearly 30 years ago, Shannon identified a need in our community and established a new nonprofit named Trees Forever. The goal was to assure a greener, healthier and more vibrant place for our children and grandchildren. Today, the organization connects people to the environment through the planting of trees, prairie, and other natural areas.

Tara is the Director of Community Engagement at Brucemore, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for all events, tours, and programs, as well as human resources and a tourismcentered retail store.

To date, the organization has helped plant more than 3 million trees and shrubs throughout Iowa and Illinois. Each year, on average, over 7,000 volunteers give generously of their time and talents for the mission of Trees Forever. Shannon is a passionate leader and mentor that “leads from the front” of the organization. She created a sustainable business model and has been able to evolve and adapt it through the years. Her commitment and use of collaboration has helped strengthen the broad support and work of Trees Forever. Shannon is a tireless advocate and champion for trees and for groups working to support green space in their community. She serves on the boards of local and national environmental organizations, and regularly speaks with elected officials to make a difference for the environment. Her efforts have contributed to an improved quality of life for millions of residents in rural and urban areas across the Midwest.

She has built relationships with nonprofit cultural organizations, businesses, contractors, vendors, lighting designers, artists, actors, and musicians. Everyone appreciates the strong management and support that Tara provides. Tara has a great sensitivity to historic preservation, yet welcomes the challenge of hosting programs within the framework of a private, historic “home.” She is committed to making sure Brucemore continues to make an impact on the community for generations to come. During her tenure, the number of visitors to the Brucemore estate has risen by more than 40% and has drawn people from across the country and around the world. Constantly behind-the-scenes, Tara promotes, manages, and serves as a resource to staff and vendors. She is the driver behind every experience for every visitor to the estate though many never meet her. Linn County is stronger because of her creative management and dedication.

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Good People Over 30 “Good People” were recognized at the event for their contributions to Linn County nonprofit organizations. They are volunteers, donors or employees that are making a positive impact by being involved and giving back to our community. Lori Ampey & Jenny Emerson, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cedar Rapids Clipper Windpower, LLC Employees, Aging Services, Inc. Dr. Stephanie Cooper, Eastern Iowa Health Center Tom Ekland, Tanager Place Brooke Fitzgerald, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Dawn Gifford, Quilts of Valor Foundation Kari Harford, Goodwill of the Heartland Celeste Jaquis, House of Hope Harriet Kalinsky, Cedar Rapids Public Library Scott Koepke, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development Renae Koth, Foundation 2 Mary Krivit, JDRF Carrie Kriz, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Jamie Kuehl, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Rachel Morris, Marion Cares Natasha Murdock, The Dream Factory, Inc. of Iowa Akwi Nji, The Hook Amanda Pins, Alzheimer’s Association Cathy Piper, His Hands Free Clinic Susan Reeve, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Bob Reitz, Cedar Rapids Community Schools Foundation George Rickey, Eastern Iowa Honor Flight Masemo Ruharuka, Catherine McAuley Center Timothy Salis, Willis Dady Homeless Services Hassan Selim, Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids Jill Sindt, Heritage Area Agency on Aging Linda Smith, Community Health Free Clinic Andy Streit, Make-A-Wish Iowa Ann Thompson, Waypoint Dr. Chris Tyler, March of Dimes Elizabeth Wilson, Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio Mike and Esther Wilson, United Way of East Central Iowa Group Facilitators and Child Care Leads, Young Parents Network Go to gcrcf.org/celebration-community/ to learn about their good work and contributions to our community.


Nonprofits with Endowed Funds Offer Year-End Giving Options Endowed funds help to sustain an organization’s mission. An endowment provides organizations with general operating support, stability during cyclical variances in income, and financial support for areas of high importance to the organization. The Community Foundation holds over 100 endowed funds for local nonprofit organizations. These funds provide a year-end giving option for donors. Gifts to these endowed funds are eligible to receive the Endow Iowa tax credit. Nonprofits with endowed funds at the Community Foundation: African American Museum of Iowa Aging Services Amana Arts Guild American Gothic House Anamosa Community Hospital Foundation Anna Purna Ghosh Foundation ASAC Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center Brucemore Camp Courageous of Iowa Catherine McAuley Center Catholic Worker House Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Cedar Rapids Noon Lions Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation Cedar Rapids School District Foundation Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity Cedar Valley Humane Society Coe College Community Health Free Clinic Community Theatre Building Corporation Discovery Living Eastern Iowa Arts Academy

Ecumenical Community Center Foundation First Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids Four Oaks Family & Children’s Services Gems of Hope Harmony Hawks Barbershop Chorus Hawkeye Area Council, Boy Scouts of America HD Youth Center Heritage Area Agency on Aging His Hands Free Medical Clinic Holy Family School System, Cedar Rapids Horizons - A Family Service Alliance Indian Creek Nature Center Iowa Abortion Access Fund Iowa Choral Directors Association Iowa Legal Aid Foundation Iowa Women Lead Change Jane Boyd Community House Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa Junior League of Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School Choral League Kids First Law Center Kirkwood Community College Foundation League of Women Voters Linn County

Legion Arts Linn-Mar School Foundation Lisbon Community School District Foundation Lutheran Services in Iowa Marion Public Library Marion Senior Living Community Matthew 25 Mercy Medical Center Foundation Meth-Wick Community Metro Catholic Outreach Metro Youth Football Miracles in Motion Mount Mercy University Mount Vernon Fire Department Mount Vernon Community School District Foundation National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Oak Hill Cemetery Association Old Creamery Theatre Orchestra Iowa Paul Engle Association for Community Arts Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, Cedar Rapids Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Prospect Meadows Red Cedar Chamber Music Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids Southeast Linn Community Center

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cedar Rapids St. Joseph Church, Marion St. Luke’s Health Care Foundation St. Paul’s UMC Foundation, Cedar Rapids St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids Summit Schools Foundation Systems Unlimited, Inc. Tanager Place The Arc of East Central Iowa The Ceramics Center The History Center Theatre Cedar Rapids Trees Forever United Nations Association, Linn County Chapter United Way of East Central Iowa Waypoint Services for Women, Children and Families Westminster Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids Willis Dady Emergency Shelter Xavier High School Foundation YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Area Young Parents Network

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how to support an endowment fund benefiting a nonprofit you care about.

Gifts to Classroom Projects Matched From August - October, 2017, the Community Foundation provided a 1:1 match for contributions to Linn County public school projects on DonorsChoose.org. The Community Foundation distributed $25,000 from its Fund for Educational Excellence. It supported 82 projects benefitting 6,040 Linn County students. For more information about how to support education, visit gcrcf.org. WINTER 2017


LBA coaches help us believe in ourselves, set goals, and take the steps necessary to achieve them. – Roosevelt Middle School students

A Program Fund grant and multiple grants from competitive donor-advised funds have helped Leaders Believers Achievers (LBA) Foundation’s work in 2017.The LBA Foundation provides programming to inspire hope in youth.Their programming aids students in developing leadership skills, belief in themselves, and a commitment to achievement. Andreas Williams, Maraja Gibson and Aerionna Thomas are all 8th graders at Roosevelt Middle School who credit the LBA Foundation with helping them grow as people and as athletes. “I was interested because it could help me improve in my athletics, but also in other areas,” says Maraja Gibson. “The coaches focus on a lot more than sports. We get homework help, cooking classes, dance classes and help setting life goals.” “This program taught me how to be a leader on and off the basketball court,” explains Andreas Williams. “I’ve matured a lot thanks to them, and I’ve learned to better control my attitude and anger.”

The people at Kids First are really good at listening and helping me feel better. – Kids First client Kids First Law Center received a Program Fund grant in 2016 and multiple grants from competitive donor-advised funds in 2017 to support their efforts in Linn County. Kids First gives children a voice in divorce and custody conflicts by providing focused legal representation and services for kids. 6 COMMUNITY

Reading into Success: Chapter 3 On October 3, 2017, community members gathered at Longfellow Elementary School in Marion to celebrate the first two years of the Reading into Success initiative and to share ideas for its future. Reading into Success is a local collaboration to ensure that children read proficiently by the end of third grade to create a foundation for success. For more information or to get involved, visit www.readingintosuccess.org.

Endow Iowa Impact Shared with Linn County Legislators On October 26, 2017, the Community Foundation hosted a breakfast for Linn County legislators. Information about the work of community foundations was shared, including examples of the impact of Endow Iowa tax credits on giving and grantmaking.

Federal Reserve Bank Shares City Data Tool

Free Learning Opportunities Offered for Nonprofit Professionals

Community members gathered on November 1, 2017 for a demonstration by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago of a new Peer City Identification Tool. The tool is a data comparison and visualization instrument that can help policymakers and organizers to understand a city’s challenges and trends in the context of its peer cities.

In 2014, the Nonprofit Network, a program at the Community Foundation to support and strengthen nonprofits through learning and peer engagement, launched its Nonprofit KnowHow learning series. To date, 17 free Nonprofit Know-How trainings have occurred with a variety of topics. Pictured above, Akwi Nji, Director of Communications at Cedar Rapids Community Schools & Executive Director of The Hook, led a training about storytelling on October 10, 2017. A session for nonprofit administrative support staff also occurred on November 2, 2017.


Quarterly Investment Update

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 2 – 3 p.m. To RSVP, call 319.366.2862 or e-mail info@gcrcf.org.

February Grant Deadline

February 15, 2018, 4:30 p.m. CST Visit gcrcf.org for information about available grants and how to apply.

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

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2017 Winter Community Newsletter  

2017 Winter Community Newsletter  

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