The Iowa Council of Foundations (ICoF) and the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) have released their joint annual report, Building Iowa’s Communities Through Philanthropy: A Snapshot of the 2017-2018 County Endowment Fund Program and Grants Made by Casino Nonprofit Organizations.
The report is a compilation of the diverse nonprofit organizations and projects that are being funded throughout the state. The Iowa Legislature has sponsored these programs for over a decade and the positive impact of these programs is felt each day in every county across Iowa. The 2019-2020 funding, to be awarded this fall, will mark the 15th year of the program.
At the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, these programs fund grants made through the Linn County Fund for non-metro projects in Linn County; and the Wapello County Foundation funds for projects in Wapello County.
“When you see this reports impressive list of funded grant projects, it is so rewarding to realize that nearly every Iowan is impacted in some positive way,” says Wes Ehrecke, president & CEO of the IGA. “This visionary program continues to be a catalyst for significant philanthropic partnerships in every county and community.”
Grants Made by Casino Nonprofit Organizations
Among the states with legalized gaming, Iowa is the only state that requires the 19 regulated licensed casinos contribute a portion of their revenues to local charities and community projects.
Annually, this program provides millions of dollars to nonprofits through the grant-making programs administered through their respective nonprofit license holders. For more than two decades, millions of dollars in grants have provided meaningful support to thousands of charitable requests in counties with state-issued gaming licenses. In 2018, this included 15 counties in Iowa.
County Endowment Fund Program
In 2017-2018, more than $11.23 million dollars was distributed to 84 county community foundations across the state through the County Endowment Fund Program. The County Endowment Fund Program 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.
The recipient counties then annually grant 75% of those funds to nonprofits and charitable projects within their counties and place the remaining 25% of funds in a permanent endowment fund, which is intended to attract other donations and provide a source of permanent funding for charitable projects within the county – forever.
Since its start in 2004, this program has distributed over $97.7 million in grants to nonprofits and charitable projects, including those focused on:
- Enhancing arts and culture;
- Offering educational resources;
- Providing public/societal benefit;
- Ensuring access to healthcare and human services; and
- Protecting and preserving our environment.
In addition, the county endowment funds in the 84 participating counties now total over $222.7 million. This program is creating positive impact now will for generations to come.
“The Iowa Council of Foundations is pleased to partner with the Iowa Economic Development Authority to administer the County Endowment Fund Program as well as the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program,” says Kari McCann Boutell, ICoF president. “We are grateful to the Governor and the Iowa Legislature for their vision and continued commitment to these innovative programs benefiting Iowans in each county across our state.”
Community philanthropy is thriving in Iowa thanks to these successful programs. To connect with your local community foundation, view the full report, and learn more about the Endow Iowa Tax Credit, please visit www.IowaCommunityFoundations.org. The report is also available at www.iowagaming.org.