The Wilsons made their first gift to the Community Foundation back in 1992. “The Community Foundation is a good solid organization that is really helping the community,” said Esther of their reason for giving through the Community Foundation.
The couple recommended their first grant from their Community Foundation funds in 1994. Since then, they have contributed more than $300,000 through nearly 200 grants to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations.
Their giving supports organizations across the philanthropic spectrum—from human services to arts and culture. They have supported Honor Flights for veterans to Washington D.C. and they have supported Orchestra Iowa and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. They are supporters of Iowa Public Television and Iowa Public Radio, as well as the Linn County Trails Association, the Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Program, Boys and Girls Club, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, among many others. They have long been supporters of Indian Creek Nature Center, most recently supporting their Amazing Space campaign for a new nature center building.
The Wilsons said they appreciate that the Community Foundation helps them identify organizations in need of support. “It’s a big relief for us, having a convenient way to find out where organizations have a need,” said Myron.
“And there is always someone there to help answer a question,” he added. “I like that I can go online anytime to check on funds.”
Myron and Esther Wilson have continued to give—with gifts of stock, IRA rollovers and cash—over the years to donor-advised funds to benefit the community. In recent years, they have appreciated the opportunity to take advantage of Endow Iowa tax credits as well, Esther said.
“Thinking back, the Community Foundation has really grown,” said Myron. “They handle so many funds and have an excellent reputation in the community.”
The Wilsons have felt their connection to the community grow as well. “We say it all the time,” Myron added, “that we believe the more you give the more you get back emotionally and monetarily, and that has certainly been true for us.”