COMMUNIT Y Summer 2019 Newsletter
Celebrating a Vision of Perpetual Support Dorothy and Darrell Fisher
For this to come to fruition in our lifetime, rather than after we’ve passed, means so much to us...
On June 11, the Community Foundation honored over 120 local philanthropists during a luncheon at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Attendees were all members of the William Quarton Heritage Society, named in honor of local radio and television pioneer Bill Quarton, who passed away in 2007 and left a powerful legacy. Members of the Society have made permanent gifts to the Community Foundation through the establishment of endowed funds or planned gifts. This year’s luncheon was hosted by Amy Lynch, Community Foundation Board Chair, and Les Garner, Community Foundation President & CEO. Besides celebrating the legacy of William Quarton Heritage Society members, the event also honored the philanthropic efforts of Darrell and Dorothy Fisher. The Fishers have been Society members since 2013, when they decided to include the Community Foundation in their will. “We have some close friends whose son-in-law passed away,” Dorothy explained. “He had four daughters, and we wanted to help make sure they could pay for college when the time came.”
The Fishers planned to leave part of their estate to the young women to help with college expenses. But when it came time for the oldest to graduate from high school, the Fishers were alive and well. They honored the promise they had made to themselves by providing financial assistance, and that rewarding experience sparked another idea. To ensure their legacy would support educational opportunities for students facing financial barriers, the Fishers used their required minimum IRA distributions to establish an endowed scholarship fund at the Community Foundation. “We hope to provide fifty percent of a student’s tuition for two years at Kirkwood Community College,” Darrell said. The fund supports students graduating from Marion and Prairie High Schools, the Fishers’ alma maters. “By identifying opportunities for them to give within their lifetime, as well as through their estate
plan, we’ve helped the Fishers realize a dream,” said Michelle Beisker, Senior Vice President of Development at the Community Foundation. “And by establishing an endowed fund, Darrell and Dorothy have built a legacy—one that will support students far into the future.” The Fishers take comfort in knowing their fund will provide scholarships in perpetuity, and each spring they are excited to meet the graduating seniors that will benefit from their gift. “For this to come to fruition in our lifetime, rather than after we’ve passed, means so much to us,” Darrell said. If you are interested in learning more about charitable giving, contact Michelle Beisker, Senior Vice President of Development, at email@example.com or 319-774-2362.
Darrell and Dorothy Fisher stand to be recognized at the William Quarton Heritage Society Luncheon on June 11.
Match Available for Donations to
The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is once again partnering with DonorsChoose.org to match donations to classroom projects in Linn County Schools. The match began on August 1, 2019. Last year, this effort supported 102 projects in 38 schools, reaching over 7,200 students. The Community Foundation has $25,000 available to match donations for the 2019-20 school year. For more information, visit gcrcf.org/teachersstudents or contact Rochelle Naylor, Program Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-774-2373.
3 Summer 2019
SET Fund Makes First Grants to Address Youth Violence When Cedar Rapids saw an increase in youth violence in 2015, community members and local leaders began a search for solutions. The Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities (SET) Task Force was formed by the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County and the Cedar Rapids Community School District to explore responses to gun violence and its root causes. The Task Force, made up of community leaders and subject matter experts, identified that addressing violence would require an intersectional approach. After nearly two years of investigation, exploration and conversation, the SET Task Force offered five recommendations on inclusive hiring practices, affordable housing, and community connection to law enforcement and other resources. The recommendations were part of a report that identified how these factors affect violence in a community.
In pursuit of the objectives outlined in the SET Task Force report, the three entities established a fund at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. The Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities (SET) Fund looks to address the inter-relational factors that lead to youth violence by providing grants to programs that approach systemic causes of economic, racial and academic disparities. This spring, the SET Fund made its first round of grants to eight local organizations including the African American Museum of Iowa, Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids, Eastern Iowa African Diaspora, Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, Jane Boyd Community House, Kids First Law Center, LBA Foundation and Tanager Place. Read on to learn about three of these projects and how they are helping to make Cedar Rapids a safer and more equitable community.
The SET Fund will make its second round of grants this fall. A total of $120,000 will be available, with the goal of funding 5-10 projects. The grant deadline is October 10, 2019. For more information, including eligibility and application requirements, visit gcrcf.org/grants.
Eastern Iowa Arts Academy
Building Connection Through Art It takes a village to raise a child. That’s the idea behind a summer mural project at Hoover Elementary School which aims to give kids a sense of community connectedness through art. The proverb is something we often say but rarely stop to consider. It reminds us that parenting requires help and support, but also that children are influenced by everyone around them. At home, in school, playing with their friends—all of these environments contribute to the person a child becomes. But what happens when the village isn’t there? For parents who come to Cedar Rapids as refugees, finding that nurturing environment for their children can be difficult. Linguistic and cultural differences can prevent economic stability at home, and they can also affect a child’s sense of belonging. When children are exposed to violence and don’t have skills or strategies to process their emotions, they may be more likely to engage in violent behavior themselves.
The It Takes a Village Mural Project looks to engage kids who are exposed to this risk. Nearly 80% of Hoover’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 36% are English Language Learners. The surrounding neighborhood has an unemployment rate of 12%, compared to 2% elsewhere. Studies show that children raised in the stress of poverty and acculturation are at higher risk of violent behavior. The Mural Project—a joint effort between Hoover and the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy—is using art to develop emotional awareness, empathy, self-control and conflict resolution skills in Hoover students and alumni. The programming, guided by an art therapist, uses the therapeutic process of self-expression and creativity to encourage emotional self-awareness in the students. At the center of the project is a mural in Hoover’s cafeteria. Spanning two walls, the colorful painting brings life to the school’s basement and depicts a vibrant African neighborhood. 5 Summer 2019
The mural, much like the program itself, was inspired by a children’s book call My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me by Maya Angelou. The book tells the story of Thandi, an Ndebele girl in South Africa, and the joys and challenges she faces growing up between two cultures. The Mural Project culminates in a student-planned celebration at the end of the summer. “The youth will decide who they want to invite to the celebration and how to reveal the new mural to the community,” said Rachel Rockwell, former Community School Coordinator for Hoover. Rachel pointed out that youth voice and choice are a major part of this and other SET-funded programs. “It’s important for young people to be heard,” she said. “We want to make sure they have the opportunity to succeed.”
Jane Boyd Community House
Inspiring Hope in Young People In response to the same violence that led to the creation of the SET Task Force, Jane Boyd Community House started a street outreach program in the area around McKinley Middle School. You Do Matter-CR builds community connections by offering a safe place where youth can gather, meet friends and interact with trauma-trained staff. “We sat down with a bunch of students, and what we found was that there was a sense of hopelessness in our community,” said DaMu Diaz-Doolin of Jane Boyd. “They had nowhere to go and nothing to do, so they latched on to the negative things that were going on in their neighborhood.” This summer, a new element has been built on the foundation of trust and empathy that You Do Matter-CR has established. The Jane Boyd Challenge Camp now offers activities and meals for at-risk youth who are not enrolled in formal programming. After four years of building the program and relationships with the community, Jane Boyd recognized an opportunity to expand its services. A grant from the SET Fund helped start the Youth Challenge Camp as an extension of You Do Matter-CR. “Now that we had them showing up, we wanted to offer them something more,” said Megan Isenberg, Jane Boyd’s Director. The Youth Challenge Camp added academic programming to address summer learning loss, but also social-emotional-behavioral programming to help build conflict resolution skills and a sense of security among the students.
Without summer programming, most of the area’s students would be disengaged or exposed to harmful behavior. “There’s violence, fighting and drugs,” said Neola Washington, who will start high school this fall. “Here we’ve learned a lot. We got better at listening and building teamwork.” Neola, who wants to be a professional model, points out that this makes her more prepared for returning to school than she would have been otherwise. “I would just be playing video games and watching TV,” said Chase Cunningham, a student at McKinley Middle School. This is a common trend among today’s youth, especially those trying to remove themselves from risky environments. While staying inside may be safer, those idle months contribute to the ‘summer slide,’ in which academic progress is lost. The Youth Challenge Camp offers curriculum modeled on Kids on Course University, which has seen positive results in keeping kids engaged and progressing. Challenge Camp staff also find ways to celebrate students’ success and encourage their hobbies to build confidence and hope, which in turn encourages them to stay invested in their futures. “When someone tells you that you have value, that stays with you,” said Neola. Camp staff are also on the lookout for where they can offer more than encouragement. “Sometimes you’re just playing a game with a kid and you find out they don’t have food at home,” DaMu said. Challenge Camp offers meals for participating students and works to connect families to other resources in the community. Through these efforts, Jane Boyd and partnering agencies are helping kids stay safe, healthy and hopeful about their futures.
Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids
Starting on the Path to Professional Success Think back to your first job. For many of us, it’s easy to remember our adolescent years with a tinge of nostalgia, forgetting all the stress that comes with new responsibilities. For teenagers, entering the workforce can be an intimidating experience full of unknowns. What is a job interview like? How do I manage income and expenses? How do I work toward my professional goals? This summer, a new program has worked to guide a group of local young people through those very questions. The Junior Staff Career Academy, run by the Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids, has helped ten local teens through their first steps into the professional world. The program started in June after identifying young people in Wellington Heights and Oakhill Jackson neighborhoods who could use a fresh start. Participants used their interests, hobbies and passions to identify potential career paths. Mentors from Toyota Financial Services and other local businesses served as career coaches, offering insights on how to pursue a chosen path. Each week, the students met for up to 12 hours to discuss everything from writing a resume to managing a checking account to building a personal brand. In order to gain a wide range of experiences, the group also went on several job shadows. Participants visited
the University of Iowa, the VA Hospital and other employers. “The experience was like nothing I’ve ever done,” said Natalie Turner, who is interested in medical profession. “I actually got to learn what it takes to get into that field.” Like Natalie, many of the students realized they didn’t know how to pursue the careers they were interested in, but their mentors offered plenty of insight. The program also goes beyond teaching and mentoring. Staff connected the youth to local employers so they could experience real interviews and hold real jobs—and earn real paychecks. “This really helps my long-term goal of going to Stanford to major in psychology,” said Lydia Cassell, who dreams of having her own psychiatric practice. Lydia now works for Pathways Behavioral Services, a substance abuse and mental health treatment center, where she is learning techniques, challenges and rewards of counseling. “The youth had the opportunity to learn about speaking, resume building, job applications and professionalism,” said Lori Ampey, Director of Programming and Outreach at the Boys and Girls Club. “It’s a great head start for our young people, getting them motivated for their future.”
7 Summer 2019
MICRO Loan: A Delicious Opportunity Blanche Vega will tell you that starting a business is hard. She will also tell you that she feels lucky to be able to take on such a challenge. Blanche moved here from the Philippines in 2013 to join her husband’s parents. She worked at the Whirlpool plant in Amana and also tried customer service, but her dream was always to start her own business. With her mother-in-law, who also has an entrepreneurial spirit, Blanche started making and selling traditional Filipino food at cultural festivals, including Cedar Rapids’ AsianFest. When people started asking where they were located, Blanche knew they had a shot at turning it into a business. “I started looking at locations, and when I came to NewBo they told me about the MICRO loan Program,” Blanche explains. NewBo City Market, which houses nearly thirty local vendors, acts as an incubator for these upstarts. MICRO connects entrepreneurs to mentors and experts to help them start and grow their businesses. A $10,000 loan through MICRO helped Blanche open the Pinoy Café last September. There, she and her mother-in-law team up to serve popular Filipino dishes like lumpia, halo-halo, pancit bihon and bubble tea.
With an interest rate of just 4%, the MICRO loan has helped Blanche get her business off the ground. It hasn’t been easy, but the Pinoy Café is seeing growth. “In January and February, with the bad weather keeping people away, I often wondered if I should just quit,” Blanche explains. But drawing inspiration from popular stories of entrepreneurship, Blanche stuck with it. This spring she even moved to a bigger stall at NewBo so she can expand the menu. “I know a lot of people want to start businesses but can’t,” she says. “It’s a privilege to be able to pursue this, and the MICRO loan helped so much with my startup expenses.” MICRO loans are available to anyone looking to start or grow a business within Cedar Rapids. Loans range from $1,000 to $10,000 to be paid back in up to three years. It is a City of Cedar Rapids program, administered by the East Central Iowa Council of Governments. Other partners include Cedar Rapids Public Library, SCORE, Kirkwood Small Business Development Center and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. If you or anyone you know may be interested in applying for a MICRO loan, please visit ecicog.org/micro for more information.
It’s a privilege to be able to pursue this, and the MICRO loan helped so much with my startup expenses. Blanche Vega stands at the counter in her business, Pinoy Cafe.
Guest Perspective: Amy Lynch, Board Chair
The Community Foundation Is Here for You For a long time, community foundations have filled a unique role in the philanthropic landscape. Donoradvised funds have allowed philanthropists to remain involved in their giving, and designated funds have provided income and security for countless nonprofits. In recent years, however, more and more financial institutions have established charitable arms and started offering donor-advised funds. This begs the question: what is the best philanthropic option for you? Because the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation serves as a trusted partner to both donors and nonprofits, they have gained a comprehensive knowledge of local philanthropy. Their Development and Grants teams use this knowledge to provide you with insights. When it comes to connecting you to organizations that support causes you care about, the Community Foundationâ€™s local expertise is unparalleled. The Community Foundation is also in a unique position to connect you to other donors. Often, we think of philanthropy as something to engage in as individuals, forgetting that there are others in our community who would also like to make a difference. The Community Foundation can leverage the ideas and resources of multiple donors to create the largest possible impact.
Once the Community Foundation has helped you set personalized philanthropic goals, their service to you is just beginning. Real-time information can help you see the results of your efforts and the progress toward your goals. Over time, the Community Foundation will also help identify trends in your giving, which is an insight many donors find surprising. For donors with more complex arrangements like estate planning or security contributions, the Community Foundation is able and willing to work with your professional advisor. In its 70-year history, the Community Foundation has handled nearly every kind of gift in partnership with dozens of area advisors. This has been possible because they keep your best interests in mind and have a passion for preserving your legacy. As a donor, you will also be able to take comfort in knowing that the Community Foundation will always be here. It is built on a pool of assets that is invested for long-term sustainability, and it continuously works to respond to changing community needs. Through a commitment to both you and the long-term success of our community, the Community Foundation provides philanthropic service you canâ€™t get anywhere else.
Treasury Announces New Rules on Charitable Contribution Deductions The Department of the Treasury recently finalized regulations requiring state tax credits to be subtracted from the federal charitable contribution deduction. This may affect gifts made to endowed funds at the Community Foundation which qualified for the Endow Iowa Tax Credit. Please consult your tax advisor on the effect of this change on your personal tax return. 9 Summer 2019
Linn County Rural Communities Develop Disaster Plans As all eastern Iowans know, when disaster strikes, prompt response is critical. But when it comes to planning for the unthinkable, there are obvious challenges. A new opportunity through the Community Foundation, called the Disaster Preparation Project, has worked to facilitate such planning in communities throughout Linn County. Because Cedar Rapids experienced—and recovered from—a flood in 2008, the Community Foundation was invited to participate in the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resilience, and Emergency Partnership (PPREP). Through this group of Midwestern community foundations, which meets regularly to share and discuss strategies for disaster preparedness and recovery, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation received a grant to implement the new project. The grant is supported by PPREP, a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. Earlier this year, project manager Carrie Walker met with community leaders from non-metro communities to hear their questions, concerns and priorities surrounding disaster preparedness. Participants had the option of exploring those issues in a workshop. On August 8, four northern Linn County communities came together for a workshop in Walker, Iowa. The
group worked through disaster scenarios, discussed existing and desired resources, and identified ways to build resilience. Shelley Annis, City Administrator for Central City, identified several key takeaways from the workshop. “Have a plan,” she said. “Even if it’s just going to collect dust, have a plan and be ready to use it.” Communities can now apply for a $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation to develop a plan or build their preparedness in other ways. Central City plans to improve electrical infrastructure so generators can be connected to essential facilities in the event of power loss. The community of Walker is hoping to purchase weather radios for government buildings and local businesses. Walker City Clerk Connie Helms left the workshop feeling inspired. “It’s about the people,” she said. “Not just rebuilding the town, but serving people as individuals.” Connie and other community leaders also discussed ways that small communities could aid one another. For more information in the Disaster Preparation Project, visit gcrcf.org/about/community-leadership.
Community members from Walker, Central City, Alburnett and Coggon came together for a workshop in Walker, Iowa.
New Events Will Replace Celebration of Community Event For the last six years, the Community Foundation has hosted an annual Celebration of Community event, which has evolved to serve two purposes. First, it is an opportunity to recognize nonprofit professionals and the outstanding work they do; second, it is a chance to educate and inform attendees about the many programs, efforts and challenges in our community. Going forward, the Community Foundation will approach these goals with separate events. The Nonprofit Network will host the Nonprofit Party at the Museum, a new annual event for nonprofit professionals, on Thursday, November 7, 2019, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. This year’s Party is at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and the location will change each year. “This event is all about nonprofit staff,” said Carrie Walker, Nonprofit Network Manager. “It will be a chance for them to relax and socialize—it’s a way for us to say thank you for the incredible work they do.” At the Party, the Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award and the Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award will honor two nonprofit professionals who have made an exceptional impact on our community. Nominations
New Staff Drew Morton Multimedia Design Specialist
Drew Morton has joined the Community Foundation’s marketing team as Multimedia Design Specialist. He began this role on July 23, 2019.
Paula Lange Controller
Paula Lange has joined the Community Foundation’s finance team as Controller. She began this role on August 12, 2019.
for both awards are due on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. In an effort to continue to provide educational and informative opportunities, the Community Foundation has also launched a new Community Learning Series. These events, which will take place 2-3 times per year, will be an opportunity for donors, nonprofit staff and community members to learn, discuss and collaborate. The topic, format and location of the Series will vary to allow for diverse perspectives and approaches. “The Community Learning Series gives us flexibility,” said Karla Twedt-Ball, Senior Vice President, Programs and Community Investment at the Community Foundation. “We can respond as challenges arise in our community, and we can take advantage of opportunities that emerge.” The Series kicked off in May with one such emerging opportunity. Susan Longworth of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago presented her research on economic inclusion in smaller Midwestern cities, which included Cedar Rapids. The next Community Learning Series event will be held this fall.
STAFF NEWS Promotions & Recognition Michelle Beisker
Michelle Beisker has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Development to continue to offer leadership and strategy for asset development, including increased efforts in Family Philanthropy.
Emmylou Ball has been promoted to a new Systems Analyst position to ensure the quality and accuracy of the database system.
Senior Vice President of Development
Laura Booth Becomes Certified Fund Raising Executive
Community Foundation Donor Relations Officer Laura Booth has been named a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) by CFRE International. Laura joins fewer than 60 CFREs in the state of Iowa.
Les Garner Named Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Laureate
Community Foundation President & CEO Les Garner has been named a 2019 Junior Achievement Corridor Business Hall of Fame Laureate. Les will be honored at an event on Thursday, September 19 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. 11 Summer 2019
324 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401-1841 319.366.2862 / gcrcf.org
Where charitable gifts multiply for community good.
UPCOMING EVENTS Sept
September Grant Deadline
Friday, September 20, 2019, 4:30 p.m. CST Visit gcrcf.org for information on available grants and how to apply.
Quarterly Investment Update
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 2 â€“ 3 p.m. Community Foundation To RSVP call 319.366.2862 or email email@example.com.
October SET Fund Grant Deadline Thursday, October 10, 2019, 4:30 p.m. CST Visit gcrcf.org for fund details.
Nonprofit Party at the Museum Thursday, November 7, 2019, 4 - 6 p.m. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art RSVP information coming soon.
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