Iowa's commercial casinos benefit worthy organizations in all 99 Iowa counties. Whether a county is home to a commercial casino or not, it can apply for grants through qualified charitable organizations.
In 2004, the Iowa General Assembly passed three significant initiatives to promote charitable giving and encourage the formation of new Qualified Community Foundations or Affiliates. The legislation:
- Ensures that a portion of gaming tax revenues are directed to the noncasino Iowa counties through qualified organizations.
- Provides tax credits for permanent endowments to community foundations.
- Provides start-up grants that foster community philanthropy.
Among the states with legalized gaming, Iowa is the only state that requires the regulated licensed casinos to contribute a portion of their revenues to local charities and community projects. Each year our members provide millions of dollars to charities through their respective nonprofit license holders. You can view these grants and charitable contributions by visiting our property or nonprofit license holder pages and searching the drop-down menus on the left, or by searching on the respective license holder's website.
Each of the 19 commercial casinos located in 15 Iowa counties is required to share its license with a Qualified Sponsoring Organization or operate as a nonprofit entity. These nonprofit license holders receive a certain portion from their respective
casino’s gaming revenue and annually reinvest in numerous charitable and civic needs.
In 2015-2016, more than $88 million was granted to community organizations across all 99 counties. See those projects in detail in the 2015-2016 "Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy" report.
NONGAMING COUNTIES: County Endowment Fund
The County Endowment Fund Program, implemented in 2004, distributes a percentage of the state's gaming tax revenue to qualified community foundations in the 84 Iowa counties that do not hold a state-issued gaming license. Each county's community foundation distributes 75 percent of those funds to charitable projects within their counties; the remaining 25 percent is placed in a permanent endowment fund. The endowment fund is intended to attract other donations and provide a source of permanent funding for charitable projects within the county.
In 2015-2016, $8.4 million was distributed to 84 community foundations across the state, funding 2,120 grants. Through Iowa Community Foundations, counties have the resources to encourage and grow endowment funds that will provide charitable support to many causes both now and in the future.
We encourage you to view the 2015-2016 "Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy," a collaborative summary by the Iowa Council of Foundations and the Iowa Gaming Association. The report showcases the charitable grants awarded to numerous worthy organizations because of commercial gaming revenue.
Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy
Assistance for the qualification process:
Iowa Council of Foundations