Benton County Community Foundation Joins Nationwide Celebration to Recognize the Local Impact of Community Foundations

The Benton County Community Foundation will join in celebrating Community Foundation Week, a nationwide event, November 12-18, 2019, to recognize the increasingly important role community foundations play in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges. TheBenton County Community Foundation serves Benton County by providing people a place to connect their charitable passions to the causes and community they care about most. Through the establishment of charitable endowment funds, donors leave a legacy for their community that lasts forever. The organization is best known for making impacts on nonprofit organizations serving Benton County through its grantmaking, which now exceeds $1.1 million since its inception in 2005.

The Benton County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA), which is confirmed in compliance with national standards for U.S. community foundations. CFNEIA was established in 1956 and now serves a 20-county region, granting over $95 million since its founding. CFNEIA provides administrative and fiduciary support to the Benton County Community Foundation. The Benton County Community Foundation is led by a group of local volunteers making grant decisions and promoting philanthropy to residents of Benton County. Members of the Benton County Community Foundation governing committee are Ann Jorgensen (Chair), Linda Barkdoll, Phil Borleske, Bryce Brecht, Alison Henkle, Marcia Hite, Rod Kubichek, John Mossman, Jim Parmenter, Mary Pech, Tim Peters, Anna Upah and Nicholas Volk.

In this milestone year, Iowa’s community foundations, and the communities they serve, have much to celebrate.

Celebrating 15 Years of the County Endowment Fund Program

Iowa is unique in that it has two legislated programs, implemented through local community foundations, focused on increasing philanthropic activity to enhance the quality of life for Iowans. This year marks the 15thAnniversary of the County Endowment Fund Program.In FY20, more than $11.41 million dollars were distributed to 84 county community foundations, including Benton County, across the state through the program, which is funded with eight-tenths of one percent (0.8%) of the state’s commercial gaming tax revenue. These funds are distributed annually among qualified foundations and affiliates associated with counties without a state-issued gaming license. For FY20, each of these community foundations received approximately $135,000. Of that amount, the recipients will grant 75 percent (approximately $101,000) directly to local nonprofits and charitable causes in their communities. The remaining 25 percent (approximately $34,000) will be added to each county’s unrestricted endowment fund to provide a permanent source of funding for future projects and programs.

Endow Iowa Continues to Leverage Dollars for Good

The Endow Iowa Tax Credit program was launched in 2004 and has leveraged over $287 million in endowment gifts to support Iowa communities and charitable causes. This program has made nearly $66 million in tax credits available to Iowans who contribute to an endowed fund at an accredited community foundation in the state. For the past six years, the annual tax credit limit has been $6 million per calendar year and each year every tax credit has been distributed. The Endow Iowa Tax Credit is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and is utilized by a wide range of donors. Credits can be claimed by individuals, businesses, or financial institutions. The Endow Iowa Tax Credit program is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority in collaboration with the Iowa Council of Foundations.

About Community Foundations Week

Community Foundations Week was created in 1989 by former president George H.W. Bush to recognize the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems. As community foundations find solutions for communities large and small, urban and rural – it is the collective work of these organizations that will have the most profound impact. 

For more information on the Benton County Community Foundation, go to bentonccf.org

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