COMMUNIT Y Spring 2019 Newsletter
New Investment Pool Offers Another Layer of Impact John Myers (right), Executive Director of Indian Creek Nature Center, meets with Jean Brenneman (center) and Laura Booth of the Community Foundation to discuss socially responsible investing.
“We’ve always helped donors make an impact in our local community, and now we can help them make an impact in the global community as well.”
In 2018, U.S. investors reached an impressive and inspirational benchmark: 25% of invested assets qualified as Socially Responsible Investments. It’s a growing trend for individuals, businesses and even universities to make investments that align with their moral and ethical perspectives. At $12 trillion—and growing rapidly—this is no small movement. Near the end of 2017, the Community Foundation joined the wave by transferring $1 million of unrestricted funds to a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Pool. ESG investing is a more targeted version of Socially Responsible Investing, as it considers a company’s stewardship of resources, shareholders and society. It’s important to note, however, that investments made in the ESG Pool are simply made with an additional layer of due diligence. Whereas traditional investments are made to minimize risk and maximize gains, ESG investments are made to do the same thing while simultaneously considering the ethical implications of those investments. Because we are a community foundation, this means that our assets have the power to do good twice. By making impactful investments, we can support ethical and responsible businesses around the world; by making grants from those invested funds, we can create positive change here at home. 2 Community
Having an ESG Pool at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation also makes it possible for local nonprofits to make global investments that support their vision. The Community Foundation houses over 100 agency funds, each belonging to a nonprofit that in turn can take annual distributions from that fund. Organizations now have the option of moving those funds into the ESG Pool. Earlier this year, Indian Creek Nature Center did just that, moving roughly 20% of its endowed general operations fund at the Community Foundation into the ESG Pool. “The idea of ESG investing was an exciting prospect to our board of trustees, who manage our endowed assets,” Indian Creek Nature Center Executive Director John Myers explains. John had been eyeing ESG investing for years, and when the option became available at the Community Foundation, he was excited to present the concept to his trustees. “The Community Foundation was very helpful with that, providing all the necessary information” John says. “To my surprise, this was nothing new to our trustees.” John was ready to explain why Indian Creek should move some of its endowment to the ESG Pool, but the trustees had a different question: what’s the best strategy for moving all of our endowment to the ESG Pool?
five years, and John knows other nonprofits will be right there with them. “Nonprofits should be leaders in driving social change,” he says. “We may be great at what we do, but if we’re not collectively focused on the greater good, then we’re missing something.” That collective focus is important to John, who envisions a future where the entirety of the nonprofit sector is committed to making socially responsible investments. Nonprofits with agency funds and individuals with endowed funds can transfer all or part of those funds to the ESG Pool. New funds created at the Community Foundation have the same option. “It adds another layer of impact,” says Michelle Beisker, Vice President of Development at the Community Foundation. Michelle points out that although it has always been easy to see how an endowment benefits a nonprofit, we can now see that endowment impacting the larger world. “We’ve always helped donors make an impact in our local community,” Michelle says, “and now we can help them make an impact in the global community as well.” For more information on the ESG Pool, contact our development team at 319-366-2862 or visit gcrcf.org.
Indeed, Indian Creek looks to have 100% of its endowed assets transferred to the ESG Pool within
2018 by the Numbers The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is proud to help donors and nonprofit organizations improve the quality of life in Linn County. Here is a preview of 2018 by the numbers:
$161.5 983 $10.9 MILLION 51
MILLION Total Assets
Total Number of Funds
Contributions in 2018
$11.8 512 93
MILLION Grants and Scholarships
Number of Nonprofits Funded in 2018
Number of Scholarships Funded in 2018
Number of New Funds in 2018
GRANT REQUESTS FROM THE FUNDS FOR THE COMMUNITY
$4.7 MILLION $2.5 MILLION $2.2 MILLION (Requested)
3 Spring 2019
Disaster Preparation in Non-Metro Linn County Communities As residents of Linn County, many of us are aware that disaster recovery is a long, expensive process that involves collaboration, generosity and resiliency. Long after media attention has faded, communities that have experienced floods, tornadoes or other natural disasters still face the challenges of recovery.
the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resilience, and Emergency Partnership (PPREP)—a group of community foundations that meet to share the tools and knowledge of disaster preparedness and recovery. PPREP is an initiative of the Funders’ Network, who has provided a grant for the Disaster Preparation Project.
based disaster response. Workshop topics will include raising recovery funds, identifying volunteers, and utilizing available relationships for quick and effective recovery. Qualifying communities can also apply for a grant of up to $1,000 from the Community Foundation for additional disaster planning and preparation.
To help our communities navigate the complex and trying process of disaster recovery, the Community Foundation recently launched the Disaster Preparation Project. The project aims to equip non-metro Linn County communities with the information, organizational connections and activation-ready fundraising plans needed to respond to disaster situations.
“The Funders’ Network grant creates several opportunities,” explains project manager Carrie Walker. “First, we’ll meet with leaders of each community to discuss holding a two-hour workshop. Communities can also apply for a grant to further their disaster planning and preparation.”
“This is about what happens when the area is deemed safe and the cameras are gone,” Carrie says. “If we have the connections and procedures in place, communities will be ready to face the challenges of recovery.”
The project was made possible through the Community Foundation’s participation in
Carrie is currently meeting with community leaders throughout the county to plan the workshops. These will provide training for leaders in creating community-
Information about the Disaster Preparation Project can be found at gcrcf.org/about/communityleadership.
New Board Members in 2019
DIANA LEDFORD President & CEO, ForeFold Ventures
President & CEO, Eastern Iowa Health Center
JONATHAN LANDON Attorney and Vice President, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, PLC
Chief Executive Officer, Tanager Place
This inaugural grant opportunity will be about learning. I am looking forward to the possibilities. Rachel Rockwell, a Program Officer at the Community Foundation, guides small groups during the recent planning session for the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund.
Addressing Youth Violence: New Team Member and Collaborative Grantmaking The Community Foundation is excited to announce the addition of Rachel Rockwell to our team. As a part-time Program Officer, Rachel will facilitate the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving (SET) Communities Fund grantmaking process. In late 2018 the Creating SET Communities Fund was established through a partnership between the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, and the Cedar Rapids Community School District. The fund aims to address inter-relational factors that lead to youth violence in the area, as identified by the 2017 SET Task Force report. Rachel’s work at the Community Foundation will focus on convening partners in identifying projects, assisting with project development and proposal submission, leading the grantmaking process and committee, and providing analysis and monitoring of funded projects. “Rachel’s experience precisely meets the needs of this community-convening work,” says Karla Twedt-Ball, Senior Vice President of Programs and Community Investment at the Community Foundation. “She has many established relationships with our partners and nonprofit organizations and we look forward to introducing her to many more.” The application deadline for the first grant cycle for the fund was on March 27. A total of $40,000 is available for programming offered in the summer of 2019 with the goal of funding 6-8 projects.
Funding is available to organizations and community groups with programming that cultivates, engages and connects with youth and young adults who are disproportionately exposed to violence in their homes, neighborhoods, and schools and who might not otherwise participate in summer programming. Priority will be given to applicants who involve youth in program design and integrate youth voice and choice throughout program delivery. Because this grant program is seeking innovative programming with a group of youth who can be challenging to connect with programs or services, the Community Foundation hosted a planning session on March 11 at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to help foster connections and collaborative efforts. “This inaugural grant opportunity will be about learning,” says Rachel. “It is designed to find innovative ideas, to test new models, and to explore what works and what doesn’t. I am looking forward to the possibilities.” The results of the summer grants will be used to inform future violence intervention efforts in the community. Successful applicants will be asked to share their learning and experiences to help guide future funding goals and priorities. Information about the grant opportunity including the application, guidelines, and funding priorities can be found at gcrcf.org/grants.
5 Spring 2019
President’s Fund Offers Quick Response for Nonprofits “It’s important for the Community Foundation to have a grant fund available which can be nimble in quickly responding to both urgent crises and community changes.” Because part of our mission at the Community Foundation is to strengthen nonprofits, we strive to provide a diverse range of grant opportunities. While all nonprofits face challenges, no two are exactly alike. To reflect that, we offer funding that can help a nonprofit with a variety of challenges or opportunities. Our competitive grants are made from permanently endowed funds entrusted to the Community Foundation by donors who want to ensure the future of our community during and beyond their lifetimes. The grants made by these funds support innovation, sustainability and capacity-building. One of these funds – called the President’s Fund – supports emergency expenses or emerging opportunities for nonprofits in Linn County. An emergency expense is a unique and unexpected circumstance that threatens the organization itself. Emerging opportunities include immediate need for a new program or an unexpected opportunity that is of broad community importance. “It’s important for the Community Foundation to have a grant fund available which can be nimble in quickly responding to both urgent crises and community changes,” says Rochelle Naylor, a Program Officer at the Community Foundation. Read on to learn about three area nonprofits that were able to respond to new opportunities and challenges through grants from the President’s Fund at the Community Foundation. For information on the President’s Fund, eligibility and application requirements, visit gcrcf.org/grants. 6 Community
Organization: March For Our Lives Iowa Grant Amount: $2,500 Local high school students organized this fun and informative event to encourage youth to engage in the political process.
Emerging Opportunity: Get Out the Vote Sometimes, tragedy connects people. It brings pain and sadness, but it can also bring us together and connect us to people around the world. We empathize with those who are suffering, and we want to help. When 17 people were killed in Parkland, Florida in February of 2018, teens around the country turned that desire to help into action. In Iowa, Olivia Kennedy, Kevin Drahos and Quintin Gay formed March For Our Lives (MFOL) Iowa to pursue an end to gun violence in schools. Still in high school themselves, they envisioned a future where their peers around the country felt safe every day. MFOL Iowa approaches gun violence by encouraging young people to get involved in the political process. “We’re completely nonpartisan,” explains Olivia Kennedy. “From the beginning, what we didn’t want to do was to tell people who they should vote for or what legislation they should support.” As a senior at Cedar Rapids Washington, Olivia laments that young voter turnout has declined in recent years. Forming in early 2018 gave the organization an obvious first challenge: getting young people to vote in the midterm elections. The midterms struggle to attract voters, especially young ones, who typically show up at a rate of less than 30% in Iowa. The group
decided an event was the best way to get their peers interested in voting. “We really wanted to have an event to engage the community,” explains Kevin Drahos. As their Get Out the Vote event came together, opportunities emerged for various speakers to share their thoughts and experiences on gun violence and voting. To bring everything together, MFOL Iowa applied for a grant from the President’s Fund. With funding, the organization made plans to host survivors of the shootings in Parkland, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada. Local high school bands provided entertainment, and Cedar Rapids City Council member Dale Todd spoke of the importance of engaging in the local political process. “We also petitioned Linn County to have a satellite voting location there,” Quintin Gay points out. “That really kept the emphasis on voting and voter registration.” While Hurricane Michael kept the Parkland student from attending, the event still reached plenty of local teens. Dozens registered to vote, and over 100 people cast ballots that day. Statewide, MFOL Iowa’s work in partnership with NextGen Iowa saw dramatic results, as some precincts reported young voter turnout three times higher than in 2014.
7 Spring 2019
Emergency Expenses: Preserving Coggon’s History Like all of us, nonprofits exist in an unpredictable world. It’s easy to recognize their funding needs as they try to provide services, but what happens when that process is interrupted? How do nonprofits address the unpredictable? For the Coggon Community Historical Society (CCHS), that unpredictability came in the form of a leaky roof, and it threatened the very existence of the organization. “We don’t have a huge amount of income,” explains Marilyn Millard, CCHS Secretary. “Fundraising is not always an easy thing to do for continued upkeep.” The leak was in the Clemons House—the first house built on Main Street in Coggon. The Clemons family built it as a hotel in 1887, and after being a nursing home for some time, the house fell into disrepair in the 1970’s. In 1981, with the house just weeks from being torn down, the CCHS formed in an effort to preserve the building and its history. The people of Coggon have a passion for preserving their history, and local donors helped the group purchase and restore the house. It began to function as a museum, as well as a meeting place for the CCHS. For
the last 38 years, donations of artifacts, documents and memorabilia have slowly filled the space. But in 2017 heavy rains threatened that collection. A wet summer turned into a wet fall, and water was getting into the Clemons House. “We had puddles on the floor,” Marilyn explains. “Water was dripping from the ceiling. We were desperately concerned by October.” Without funds to repair the roof, the CCHS faced the risk of losing not only their collection, but also their ability to continue the work of preserving local history. The roof wouldn’t make it through the winter, and neither would the Historical Society. Fortunately, the group was able to turn to the Community Foundation. “We applied for an emergency grant from the President’s Fund,” Marilyn says. “That $2,500 was a godsend. Within two weeks we had the work done and were set—no more leaks!” With the roof repaired, the CCHS was able to maintain its role in the community. The people in and around Coggon continue to look to the Historical Society for the preservation of the town’s 160-year history.
Organization: Coggon Community Historical Society Grant Amount: $2,500 When the roof of the Clemons House started leaking, the CCHS couldn’t afford to repair it. With this grant they were able to save the 130-year-old house and their organization.
Emerging Opportunity: Forum for Reducing Violence Organization: Tanager Place Grant Amount: $2,500 Nonprofit organizations An advocate for criminal justice reform and an award-winning documentary form when hardworking about gun violence made up this forum on collaborating to reduce violence. people who care about their community come together to address the On February 15, Adam Foss spoke to nearly 350 issues we face. The goal of community betterment people in Coe College’s Sinclair auditorium. The creates a lens through which they view the world, crowd was made up of middle school students, local keeping an eye open for opportunities to inspire, politicians, nonprofit leaders, college students and educate and impact those around them. law enforcement officers. A former prosecutor in “I saw Adam Foss in Boston, and his presentation just really spoke to me,” explains Okpara Rice. As the CEO of Tanager Place, Okpara works every day to improve the lives of kids. Foss spoke about criminal justice reform and preventing young people from falling into a life of violent crime. Okpara, thinking of the kids he sees every day at Tanager Place and recent violence in Cedar Rapids, filed it away as something that could benefit our community. Then Okpara was having a conversation with Joe McHale, who left the Kansas City Police Department to become Marion’s Police Chief. “He asked me if I’d seen this documentary, and he offered to put me in touch with the director.” The documentary, called Uncommon Allies, follows a mother who loses her son to violent crime, thereafter committing herself to working with police to end violence. “We started looking at ways we could put this together with various community partners and how we could get these people to our community,” he says. Part of that process was applying for a grant from the President’s Fund at the Community Foundation.
Boston, Mr. Foss explained how he now works with prosecutors to reform young offenders while keeping them out of the criminal justice system. He spoke with passion, often directly to the youngest members of the audience, who he called the civil rights leaders of the future. On February 23, Tanager Place hosted a public screening of Uncommon Allies. The documentary illustrates how open dialogues can restore trust and breed safety within a community. “The film really speaks to the power of what a community can accomplish together,” Okpara says. The screening was followed by a Q & A with director Jon Brick and Captain Tim Hernandez of the Kansas City Police Department. Okpara and Tanager Place were able to bring these important conversations to our community because of the President’s Fund and other community partners. “We want all kids to be successful,” Okpara explains, “and we really view it as our responsibility to use our stance in the community to start the conversation on how to make that happen.”
9 Spring 2019
Advisor Encourages Investing in Our Community When a client came to Ron Detweiler with a tax challenge, he jumped at the chance to get creative. As a CPA and financial advisor at Honkamp Krueger & Co, P.C., Ron helps his clients navigate the complex and ever-changing world of taxes and finance. This particular client, who prefers anonymity, expressed interest in making charitable giving a part of that plan, so Ron brought her to the Community Foundation. Given her love of animals, she knew she wanted to support the field of animal rescue and care. The Community Foundation was able to connect her to that cause. “I refer clients to the Community Foundation primarily because of their expertise,” Ron explains. With its unique position, the Community Foundation was able to help the client become the donor, establishing an endowed fund designated to the animal care sector. As the fund prepares to make distributions, the Community Foundation is able to educate the donor on local nonprofits, the services they provide, and what impact her gifts to them may have. This is a familiar story for Ron and other professional advisors who work with the Community Foundation. “With the changing landscape of tax legislation,” he explains, “it forces us to get more creative in what we do for clients. The Community Foundation is just always on the leading edge of whatever’s happening both locally and at the state level with tax credits.” This creativity and collaboration comes from a reality that is changing: while tax-deductible gifts have long been a part of financial planning, people are now taking more active roles in this giving. As they start to look for more impactful ways to give, these donors become philanthropists, investing in the communities they care about.
Ron Detweiler, Honkamp Krueger & Co, P.C.
Like any investment, there’s an expectation of return. Donors want to see change in their community and know they’ve made a difference. They also appreciate financial incentives. “There are people who are going to give whether they get a benefit or not, and that’s wonderful,” Ron points out, “but obviously my job, for somebody who has a propensity to give, is to find a way that they can give efficiently, and get a return on that giving so that they can give more.”
This ability to facilitate impactful and rewarding philanthropy is why Ron continues to send clients to the Community Foundation. He’s an active member of the community, sitting on several boards, and as a financial advisor he feels a responsibility to provide clients options when it comes to charitable giving. “I like to work with people who invest in the community,” he says, “and the Community Foundation is the first place to go to start that conversation.”
Nonprofit CFO’s Gather for Learning On February 21, the Nonprofit Network hosted a learning opportunity for 25 nonprofit Chief Financial Officers about accounting standards for revenue recognition including grants and contracts. The standards take effect at the end of 2019, however, nonprofits learned how to begin to implement required changes now. The program was presented by CliftonLarsonAllen.
Karla Twedt-Ball Recognized at Women of Influence Event The Community Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Programs and Community Investment, Karla Twedt-Ball, will be recognized at the Corridor Business Journal’s Women of Influence event on Thursday, April 4. Honorees are recognized because they have made a difference in the Corridor as role models and leaders in their fields and community.
IRS Regulations May Impact Federal Charitable Deductions Recently, the IRS has proposed regulations which, if implemented, could impact the federal deductibility of your Endow Iowa charitable gifts. Our tax advisors believe these regulations are unlikely to impact the tax returns of donors who choose the standard deduction, but could impact the returns of donors who choose to itemize. We recommend consulting with your tax professionals on this topic.
11 Spring 2019
324 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401-1841 319.366.2862 / gcrcf.org
Where charitable gifts multiply for community good.
Quarterly Investment Update
Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 2 – 3 p.m. Community Foundation To RSVP call 319.366.2862 or email email@example.com.
William Quarton Heritage Society Luncheon
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cedar Rapids Country Club Save the date! Invitations will be mailed in May.
Grant Deadline: June Cycle
Friday, June 15, 2019, 4:30 p.m. CST Visit www.gcrcf.org/grants for more information.
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