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COMMUNIT Y Winter 2019 Newsletter




Nonprofit Party Applauds Nonprofit Professionals Local nonprofit professionals gathered at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art for the first annual Nonprofit Party.

As a thank you to the many dedicated nonprofit professionals in our community, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation hosted its first annual Nonprofit Party on November 7. The new event, which will change locations each year, welcomed over 160 local nonprofit professionals to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. The Party offered a chance for people to relax and socialize among their peers. “We’re always looking for ways to collaborate with and support nonprofits,” said Carrie Walker, Nonprofit Network Manager at the Community Foundation. “This is just a chance for us to stop and thank them for their dedication to our community.” At the Party, two outstanding nonprofit professionals were recognized for their contributions to the field. In addition to the award, each recipient’s organization received a $1,000 grant designated for staff development. These awards were previously presented at the Celebration of Community event.

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Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award

Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award

The Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award recognizes the leadership and accomplishments of the chief executive officer of a Linn County nonprofit organization who has offered exceptional leadership and created a lasting impact on their organization and the community.

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.

David Janssen

Tim Feldmann

David served as Brucemore’s Assistant Director from 1993 to 2001 and returned as its Executive Director in 2012. Since then, David has worked to honor the intent of Brucemore’s donor, Margaret Hall, that the property be preserved “for the enjoyment of the public.” He also pursues the vision created by Brucemore’s founding Executive Director, Peggy Whitworth, maintaining the site’s status as a vibrant community cultural center. Brucemore now welcomes over 45,000 visitors annually to a wide variety of programs and events.

For the last 11 years, Tim Feldmann has worked to heal children and inspire his coworkers. As a Workforce Specialist at Tanager Place, Tim is responsible for recruitment and retention of treatment counselors in the inpatient program—a field that typically sees high turnover. His success in reducing that turnover comes from a background in counseling and an ability to inspire fellow youth workers.

Executive Director, Brucemore, Inc.

Workforce Specialist, Tanager Place

Under David’s leadership, Brucemore has continued to be a valued collaborator in the arts community, working in partnership with organizations like SPT Theatre, Orchestra Iowa and Playtime Poppy. This focus on culture and collaboration has earned Brucemore three of Corridor Business Journal’s “Coolest Places to Work” awards and six awards from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance for collaboration. David has also worked to address critical infrastructure needs that make this programming possible, raising over $5 million and building a team of highly credentialed staff. David was nominated for the award by the Brucemore board of directors. “David is highly effective in his role as model and communicator of Brucemore’s mission and values,” said Kay Hegarty, Board President. “David’s words and actions consistently model a high standard of professionalism.”


Tim joined Tanager Place in 2008 as a treatment counselor—a job with high physical and emotional demands. In just ten months, he was promoted to assistant program supervisor, where he oversaw other treatment counselors. After nine years, Tim was promoted to his current role. “A lot of people here will tell you that they look up to Tim,” says Okpara Rice, Tanager Place CEO. “Because of him, they stay in the profession even when it becomes tough.” Besides recruiting counselors, Tim also teaches deescalation techniques, which help create a safe and productive environment for both youth and counselors. In his commitment to helping every child that comes to Tanager Place, Tim often steps in to help deescalate situations himself. His leadership has made an impact on many young professionals and the youth they serve. “Much of his work is not easily visible to the community or even others in our organization,” said Okpara. “But Tim continuously goes above and beyond in his efforts to advance the mission of the organization.”

Winter 2019

Frontier Co-op Gives Back with Local and Global Reach Many businesses are excited about making a positive impact on the world—when the opportunity presents itself. But at Frontier Co-op, part of their mission is to create those opportunities. For those efforts, Frontier was recently honored at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, hosted by the Eastern Iowa Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Frontier Co-op was named the 2019 Outstanding Large Organization for the impact they’ve had on communities around the world. “It’s an important part of our mission to do great things in the communities in which we work,” said Tony Bedard, Frontier’s CEO. That includes here in Iowa, where Frontier is headquartered, but also communities across the US, and the villages, towns and cities in more than 50 countries where Frontier products are sourced. Their Well Earth sustainable sourcing program, for example, creates true partnerships with growers around the world, offering training, equipment and support as they pursue organic and Fair Trade certifications. Well Earth also has a social giving component through which Frontier is able to help meet the unique needs of their sourcing partners’ communities, whether that means building dental clinics or education infrastructure, or helping them dig wells to more easily access clean drinking water.

Annually, the Co-op gives back approximately 4% of its pre-tax profits to causes and organizations that share their values. As Frontier grew from a twoperson operation to a cooperative with international reach, they developed a robust and diverse set of philanthropic initiatives, including charitable programs for each of their brands.

It’s an important part of our mission to do great things in the communities in which we work. – Tony Bedard, CEO The Simply Organic Giving Fund, established in 2001, has provided more than $1.5 million for a wide range of projects that support organic agricultural development and grower communities. Grants from this fund have helped ‘grow’ farmers for years, helping to expand organic agricultural practices and education in communities across the US. Beginning in 2018, the fund shifted its focus to address food insecurity, granting to organizations that are working to find innovative ways to provide access to healthy, organic foods to communities in need.

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Aura Cacia, Frontier’s brand of natural and organic personal care products and essential oils, established the Aura Cacia Positive Change Project in 2016 to help women and girls improve their lives. To date, this project has provided over $750,000 to organizations that provide tools, resources and support to disadvantaged women and girls who are working to become more stable and self-sufficient. The Positive Change Project has supported women’s shelters in St. Cloud, Tulsa, Miami, Sacramento, and right here in Cedar Rapids. One of the Co-op’s primary funding streams is the Frontier Co-op Giving Fund, which is housed at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and funded primarily through uncashed patronage checks. Established in 2000, this fund has granted millions to a wide variety of social, educational and environmental causes. Grants from this fund have supported local fundraisers, national education efforts, and even international disaster relief.

Frontier Co-op photos courtesy of Caitlin Wiedenheft.

“We have always believed we have a responsibility to people and planet,” Tony said. “Doing well by doing good is fundamental to our success and who we are.” Frontier’s efforts also go beyond financial gifts. While employee gifts to charitable organizations are matched, the Co-op also provides paid time off for employees that volunteer in their community. Frontier is also committed to doing their part in helping break down barriers to employment faced by many in the corridor, from childcare to transportation. In this vein, an apprenticeship program, started in 2018 in partnership with two Cedar Rapids-based nonprofits, provides a path to employment for immigrants, women in need, people facing homelessness and the formerly incarcerated. Nearly 20 people have achieved full-time employment through this program already. “We’re honored to partner with organizations like Frontier,” said Michelle Beisker, Senior Vice President of

Development at the Community Foundation. “They recognize the importance of giving back, and they are a wonderful example of how impactful a single organization can be.” Frontier was nominated for the AFP award by the Community Foundation, Catherine McAuley Center, Willis Dady, and Indian Creek Nature Center. Read on to learn how Frontier Co-op has supported charitable organizations by making grants through the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation, Catherine McAuley Center, Willis Dady, and Indian Creek Nature Center nominated Frontier Co-op for the Association of Fundraising Professionals award for their outstanding philanthropic efforts. The award was presented at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on November 12th at the Cedar Rapids Marriott.


Winter 2019

Frontier Co-op: Responsible Catherine McAuley Center and Willis Dady Homeless Services Despite a low unemployment rate in the Corridor, Frontier knew there were individuals who wanted and needed jobs, but were facing certain barriers to employment. They worked with two of their longtime partners in Cedar Rapids—Willis Dady Homeless Services and the Catherine McAuley Center—to form an apprenticeship program that now provides job opportunities and training for immigrants, refugees, and people facing homelessness.

“Frontier has supported our organization for a long time, but this is a wonderful example of their ability to think outside the box in order to create impact.” —Paula Land, Executive Director, Catherine McAuley Center

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Indian Creek Nature Center A significant contribution from Frontier Co-op helped Indian Creek Nature Center and the Rodale Institute out of Kutztown, PA establish the Midwest Organic Center at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm. Through research, training and outreach, the Midwest Organic Center aims to expand organic, sustainable agricultural practices in the Midwest.

“The Midwest Organic Center will provide education and resources as farmers implement regenerative practices on their own farms. Frontier really believes in the work being done here, and this couldn’t have happened without them.” —Sarah Halbrook, Director of Development, Indian Creek Nature Center

to People and Planet Emergency Food Network Mother Earth Farm

Lotus House Women’s Shelter

The Simply Organic Giving Fund granted $50,000 to the Emergency Food Network (EFN) in Lakewood, Washington for their efforts to reduce food insecurity. EFN’s Mother Earth Farm is a hunger relief farm that provides diverse and nutritious food to 71 food pantries, meal sites and shelters while also teaching incarcerated women job and life skills.

The Aura Cacia Positive Change Project provided $45,000 to support the working classroom kitchen and culinary program at Lotus House Women’s Shelter in Miami, Florida. Lotus House provides a healing sanctuary for women, youth and children, as well as support, education and job readiness training.

“With the support of Simply Organic Giving Fund we have been able to distribute over 180,000 pounds of organically grown produce to our partner food pantries in 2019.”

“The support we have received from the Aura Cacia Positive Change Project has been life changing. It has empowered women and children with nourishing meals, critical life skills, knowledge, selfconfidence and professional training.”

–Claire Grubb, Development Coordinator, Emergency Food Network

–Beatrice Gonzalez, Community Outreach Director, Lotus House Women’s Shelter


Winter 2019

Supporting the Future of Charitable Organizations For most nonprofits, obtaining funding is a challenge. Programming and services are made possible through an ever-changing combination of grants, contributions and fundraisers, and those streams can be difficult to predict. In response, agency endowment funds have gained popularity in recent years. “Endowments create a more consistent and secure source of funding,” said Laura Booth, CFRE, Donor Relations Officer at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “This can help an organization focus on their mission and their future within our community.” Endowments can be difficult to establish, as they require raising significant capital upfront, but the benefits can be long-lasting and far-reaching. Through endowments, capital raised now can support an organization forever. Nonprofits looking to build an endowment can apply to the Endowment Challenge Fund at the Community Foundation. A grant from this fund matches gifts to the organization at a rate of $1 for every $3 raised, up to $25,000, with five years to meet the match.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to growing our capacity to help more children and sustaining that growth with an endowment,” said Linda Henecke, the agency’s President and CEO. “We’re excited to receive the Endowment Challenge Grant and support from the community to help youth achieve their biggest possible futures.” The Community Foundation manages these funds with a long-term time horizon to preserve the initial value while allowing for an annual distribution. Those distributions provide general operating support, stability during cyclical income variances, and income for areas of high importance to the organization. This is especially important because raising funds for general operations is unpredictable due to outside influences, such as current economic state and changes in legislation. The flexibility also allows organizations to respond as community needs change and new opportunities arise.

“An impactful way to support a nonprofit organization is to contribute to their endowment,” Laura said. “It truly is an investment in their work. The gift will grow, continuing to In 2019, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids & East support the organization for years to come.” Central Iowa Inc. was awarded the Endowment Challenge Grant.

Linda Henecke (left), President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids & East Central Iowa Inc., discusses endowment building strategies with Laura Booth, CFRE, Donor Relations Officer at the Community Foundation. Big Brothers Big Sisters was awarded an Endowment Challenge Grant in August and hopes to establish a $1.1 million endowment. 8 Community

An impactful way to support a nonprofit organization is to contribute to their endowment. – Laura Booth, CFRE, Donor Relations Officer

Nonprofit Organizations with Funds at the Community Foundation Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success African American Museum of Iowa Aging Services, Inc. Alzheimer’s Association - Iowa Chapter Amana Arts Guild American Gothic House Center Anamosa Community Hospital Foundation Anna Purna Ghosh Foundation Area Substance Abuse Council Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids & East Central Iowa, Inc. Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center Brucemore Inc. Camp Courageous of Iowa Catherine McAuley Center Inc. Cedar Rapids Community School District Foundation Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra Foundation Inc. Cedar Rapids Thursday Noon Lions Charities Cedar Valley Christian School Cedar Valley Humane Society Cedar Valley Montessori School Inc. City of Mount Vernon for Mount Vernon Fire Department Clothe-A-Child Inc. Coe College Community Health Free Clinic Community Theatre Building Corporation Theatre Cedar Rapids Discovery Living Inc. Eastern Iowa Arts Academy Ecumenical Community Center Foundation

First Lutheran Church First Presbyterian Church of Cedar Rapids Four Oaks Family & Children’s Services Gems of Hope Goodwill Industries of the HeartlandCedar Rapids Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Greater Delaware County Community Foundation Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity Hawkeye Area Council, Boy Scouts of America Henry Davison Scholarship Program Inc. Heritage Area Agency on Aging His Hands Free Clinic Holy Family School System Horizons - A Family Service Alliance Indian Creek Nature Center Iowa Abortion Access Fund Iowa Ceramics Center Iowa Choral Directors Association Iowa Legal Aid Foundation Jane Boyd Community House Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa Junior League of Cedar Rapids Kennedy Choral League Kids First Law Center Kirkwood Community College Foundation League of Women Voters of Linn County Legion Arts Inc. Linn Christian Education Association The History Center Linn-Mar School Foundation Lisbon Community School District Foundation Lutheran Services in Iowa Marion Public Library Matthew 25 Mercy Medical Center Foundation Meth-Wick Community 9 Winter 2019

Metro Youth Football Association Miracles in Motion Therapeutic Equestrian Center Mount Mercy University Mount Vernon Community School District Foundation National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Oak Hill Cemetery Association Old Creamery Theatre Company Paul Engle Association for Community Arts Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. Prospect Meadows Red Cedar Chamber Music Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids Harmony Hawks Chorus St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church St. John of the Cross Catholic Worker House St. Joseph’s Church St. Luke’s Health Care Foundation St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids Foundation St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church Summit Schools Foundation Systems Unlimited, Inc. Tanager Place The Arc of East Central Iowa Trees Forever United Nations Assoc., Linn County Chapter Metro Catholic Outreach United Way of East Central Iowa Waypoint Services for Women, Children and Families Westminster Presbyterian Church Willis Dady Emergency Shelter Inc. Women Lead Change Xavier Foundation YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Metro Area YPN Zach Johnson Foundation

Community Learning Series Highlights Effort to Welcome and Include Immigrants On October 30, over 60 people gathered at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library for the Community Learning Series: Gateways for Growth. This was the second event in a new series aimed at elevating awareness, generating discussion and encouraging action around issues of broad community importance. October’s event focused on emerging efforts to make Linn County a more welcoming place for new Americans. Earlier this year, the City of Cedar Rapids received a $12,500 grant from New American Economy (NAE)— which was matched by the Community Foundation for a total of $25,000—to seek and develop strategies to attract, retain and integrate immigrants and international talent. To inform those strategies, NAE produced a report on the demographic and economic contributions of immigrants in Linn County. The City of Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance also formed a steering committee and contracted Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to carry out qualitative research in order to better understand what efforts could most benefit the community.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart opened the Community Learning Series event by reiterating the city’s commitment. “Cedar Rapids was built on a tradition of immigrant workers who created unique cultures and neighborhoods that remain today,” he said. “We are eager to develop programs and initiatives to continue our city’s tradition of welcoming diversity, building on our strong and productive workforce, and enhancing our economy.” Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at NAE, shared their findings, which explored population growth, education, and spending power, among other areas. “Between 2012 and 2017, almost half of all population growth in Linn County was attributable to immigrants,” she said. “They earned $305 million in wages and paid $80 million in taxes, leaving them with $225 million in spending power.” Data from NAE includes all foreign-born people living in Linn County, regardless of immigration status, and shows that immigrants are more likely to earn advanced degrees and start new businesses. Of the 9,576 immigrants living in Linn County, 18.3% are potentially eligible for naturalization. “This report quantifies what many people in Cedar Rapids already know—immigrants play a key role in

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driving economic growth,” Kate said. “We’re excited to see how the Cedar Rapids community uses this data to support its ongoing work to ensure all residents are welcome and have pathways to success.” Eric Christianson, Field Specialist at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, also provided an update from the local collaboration. The Steering Committee, composed of 18 immigrants and local leaders, conducted focus groups to explore what challenges and opportunities local immigrants are seeing. These interviews suggest that although skilled-labor jobs are available, cultural barriers sometimes prevent qualified immigrants from filling those positions. Eric also outlined the initial vision of the project, which has established three focus areas: welcoming community, workforce and education, and business development and entrepreneurship. The resulting plan was released on December 4th and details a series of action steps.

Foundation Staff Accept Gazette Business Excellence Award On October 29, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation received a Gazette Business Excellence Award for its collaborative work in administering the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund. Representatives from the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, and the Cedar Rapids Community School District pose with staff of the Community Foundation.

The Community Learning Series also highlighted the stories of Wafaa Bedreddeen and Jeremie Diame, immigrants who now work as interpreters at Hands Up Communications. Wafaa, who moved here from Lebanon 24 years ago, spoke of the importance of supporting people as they navigate new cultures. Jeremie, who came from Senegal in 2010, described the challenges finding employment and accessing education. “Iowans are so friendly,” Wafaa said. “If the people who come here find someone who can help them, they will not have a reason to leave.” To view the report from New American Economy, the resulting Gateways for Growth Plan, or the video of Wafaa and Jeremie, go to https://www.gcrcf.org/ gateways-for-growth/.

Elizabeth Cwik

Rochelle Naylor

Staff Promoted to Senior Program Officers Elizabeth Cwik and Rochelle Naylor have been promoted to Senior Program Officers. Their new roles will allow them to engage more deeply in the leadership and strategy of the Community Foundation’s grantmaking work. Combined they have 20 years of experience at the Community Foundation which has provided a deep understanding of the nonprofit organizations they work closely with.

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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, January 22, 2020, 2 – 3 p.m. Community Foundation To RSVP call 319.366.2862 or email info@gcrcf.org.

February Grant Deadline

Friday, February 14, 2020, 4:30 p.m. CST Visit gcrcf.org for information on available grants and how to apply.

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Community Winter Newsletter 2019  

There is much to read up on from the Nonprofit Party at the Museum, Frontier Co-op's local and global positive impact, the Community Learnin...

Community Winter Newsletter 2019  

There is much to read up on from the Nonprofit Party at the Museum, Frontier Co-op's local and global positive impact, the Community Learnin...

Profile for gcrcf