What is Community Leadership and How is it Funded?

Published: September 6, 2018 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:

Our primary role in our community is to be a funder of nonprofit organizations that are meeting needs and bringing opportunities to our area. Yet there are other important roles we play. We are also a convener, an informant, an organizer, an advisor and a leader advocating for our region.

As your Community Foundation, we are one of 700 across the United States – each operating differently to meet the needs of its unique region. One thing all Community Foundations have in common is their responsibility to address issues of broad community importance.

The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is committed to responsive grantmaking to our nonprofit sector. And, we’re committed to growing the funds that are available for this core service.  However, we’re also committed to funding nonprofits whose initiatives fall under the category we call Community Leadership. These are projects, initiatives, collaborations, or programs selected by our Board of Directors that offer one or many of the following: community impact/change, broad community engagement, and lasting value to our future.

Community Leadership initiatives are funded by our Community Investment Fund. Just like our responsive grantmaking, the grants made to nonprofits from this fund are posted on our website and in news releases. Our goal is to be informative and transparent.

In 2017, we distributed over $9 million in grants to 500 nonprofit organizations. Here is a break-down:

  • 40% Donor-Advised Funds (donors decide each year where their distribution will go)
  • 22% Designated Funds (donors decide when they set up the fund, distributions mailed annually)
  • 15% Funds for the Community funded by Community Endowment Fund and Field of Interest Funds (applications accepted, committees decide)
  • 15% Agency Funds (nonprofits with endowments receive their distributions)
  • 5% Project Funds (fund holder for time-limited community projects involving fundraising, distributed when project is complete)
  • 2% Community Investment Fund for Community Leadership funded by Community Endowment Fund (committees determine community opportunity and funding to advance a board-identified community leadership priority)
  • 1% Scholarship Funds (donors and committees decide)

To read more about current Community Leadership priorities funded by the Community Foundation, click here.

To review a list of responsive grant awards and Community Investment Fund awards from the past five years, click here.

We have a three-part mission at the Community Foundation – to help donors make meaningful gifts, to provide grants and support to nonprofits, and to provide leadership to support a vibrant community.

We’re committed to each part of our mission and to working with you – our nonprofit sector – as a funder of your programs and initiatives that will impact the current and future needs and opportunities of our community.

If you have questions about our responsive grantmaking, please contact Jenny Becker, Director of Grant Programs at jenny.becker@gcrcf.org. If you have questions about our Community Leadership grantmaking, please contact Karla Twedt-Ball, Senior Vice President of Programs and Community Investment at karla.twedt-ball@gcrcf.org.

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