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2/18/2015

"Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy" Annual Grant Report Released

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The Iowa Council of Foundations (ICoF) and the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) are releasing their joint annual report to the legislature and many other key stakeholders this week. It is entitled "Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy: A Snapshot of the 2013-2014 County Endowment Fund Program and Grants Made by Casino Nonprofit Organizations."  

Now in its ninth year, the County Endowment Fund Program was created by an initiative of the Iowa legislature to utilize a percentage of Iowa's commercial casinos' gaming tax revenues. It creates a strong community foundation infrastructure in the 85 counties that do not hold a state-issued gaming license. Since the 2005 inception, nearly $63 million has been awarded to over 18,000 projects and programs around the state.  

This annual report provides an overview of the County Endowment Fund Program and features a county-by-county listing of each grant that was awarded in 2013-2014, plus general characteristics for each of the community foundations involved. Information highlighted was compiled based on reports submitted to the ICoF and the Iowa Economic Development Authority by the community foundations (beginning in August 2014).  

The report also features a review of the grant making by each of the nonprofit license sponsors located in the 14 counties with a casino.  

"As the title suggests, this report provides an overview of the thousands of diverse nonprofit organizations and projects that are being funded all around the state by Iowa's philanthropic sector — all in response to local conditions and challenges," said Laura Sauser, President of the Iowa Council of Foundations. "What this report can't fully capture is the impact of these grants on Iowa communities large and small. On behalf of the ICoF, I am so proud of the work of the community foundations involved in the County Endowment Fund Program."  Wes Ehrecke, President and CEO of the IGA, added: "To see the breadth of philanthropic involvement in each county impacting virtually every citizen in so many positive ways is very impressive. It is exciting to see Iowans come together to make our state a great place to live, work, and raise a family."  Key Highlights from the 2013-2014 report include:  County Endowment Fund Program  2,215: Number of grants distributed by participating community foundations  $8,712,567: Total amount in grant funds awarded from the program across the 85 counties Nonprofit License Sponsors Over $46 million in grants awarded in 2014 to more than 1,200 organizations.  The publication is available for download here, as well as on the ICoF's website for Community Foundations and the Iowa Gaming Association's site.  Members of the media are also encouraged to contact their local community foundation to learn more about the impact of their community foundation and the County Endowment Fund Program.  Contact and additional grant information for the casino nonprofit license sponsors can be found here on the IGA website.


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