In the fall of 2011, when the Kirkwood Foundation launched a major campaign to increase scholarship opportunities at the Community College, they wanted to be sure to maximize giving opportunities for their donors.
“We always focus on what works best for the donor—what makes their giving easy and has the maximum impact,” says Kathy L. Hall, CRFE, Executive Director of the Kirkwood Foundation. “We want to give every advantage to our donors.”
In the last few years, Hall says that the Kirkwood Foundation has learned that the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is a true partner in offering those advantages.
Ms. Hall says Kirkwood Foundation donors were especially drawn to the opportunity to received Endow Iowa tax credits for their campaign gifts—an option only available for charitable contributions to an endowment through an approved community foundation.
Donors also have multiple interests she says. “This makes charitable giving through the Community Foundation a one-stop-shop. They are able to support the Kirkwood Foundation and other organizations at the same time.”
Kirkwood Community College first established a fund at the Community Foundation to benefit the Kirkwood Foundation back in 2009. “We wanted to get people used to giving to the Kirkwood Foundation through the Community Foundation,” says Ms. Hall. “Kirkwood has a $27 million endowment of its own and a long history of community support, but we still see great benefits to working with the Community Foundation.”
During the recent campaign, Ms. Hall says there was one instance when the Community Foundation was able to accept a gift on their behalf that they could not have accepted on their own. “The nature of the Community Foundation lends itself to accepting more complicated gifts.”
Kirkwood’s scholarship campaign was a rousing success. In addition to contributions to the Kirkwood Foundation fund at the Community Foundation, six additional funds were created at the Community Foundation by donors with designated support for scholarships at Kirkwood.
“It’s a no brainer,” says Ms. Hall of partnering with the Community Foundation. “It’s a win-win situation for the donor and the nonprofit—in this case Kirkwood—to use this vehicle. The benefit to everyone is unmistakable.”
Community Foundation staff could not agree more.
“The partnership between the Community Foundation and the Kirkwood Foundation has been a homerun,” says Amy Johnson Boyle, Vice President of Development for the Community Foundation. “Our mutual donors have helped provide needed student scholarships at Kirkwood, while receiving significant tax incentives through the Endow Iowa tax program. The result is that even more deserving students will receive a Kirkwood education in the future.”