First Grants Awarded from Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving (SET) Communities Fund

Published: May 2, 2019 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:

The Board of Directors of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation recently approved $40,000 in grants to eight nonprofit organizations from the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving (SET) Communities Fund. This is the first grant cycle since the fund was established in October 2018 in partnership with the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County and the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

“We were pleased with the collaborative ideas and grant applications we received for the first cycle,” said Rachel Rockwell, Program Officer at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “We were looking for innovative ideas to reach youth who might not otherwise participate in summer programming, and many of these programs will involve youth in programming design and implementation.”

Fifteen applications were received, requesting a total of $125,000. The grant committee narrowed it down to eight projects that best fit the grant criteria.

“This inaugural grant cycle has been and will continue to be a learning process,” says Karla Twedt-Ball, Senior Vice President, Grants and Community Investment at the Community Foundation.  “It has helped us make connections and learn what is available in the community and what needs to be available. As we move forward, we’ll continue to evaluate our approach and look for the best ways to engage our youth.”

Ideas for future violence intervention efforts are already forming, and another grant cycle will be scheduled for the fall of 2019. The policy committee looks forward to learning from the challenges and successes of the summer programs to help guide future funding goals and priorities.

The Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund grant recipients for summer programming include:



Amount Awarded

African American Museum of Iowa Humanize My Hoodie $6,600
Boys and Girls Club of Cedar Rapids Junior Staff Academy $5,130
Eastern Iowa African Diaspora Youth Development Program $4,000
Eastern Iowa Arts Academy It Takes a Village Mural Project $2,643
Jane Boyd Community House Challenge Camp $6,547
Kids First Law Center Youth Restorative Justice $4,814
LBA Foundation Professional Customer Service Workshop $5,000
Tanager Place Glenbrook Apartments Drop-In Program $5,266

Rockwell, who started in the new Program Officer role at the Community Foundation in February 2019, says she looks forward to the future of this fund. “We will continue to convene partners, identify needs and challenges for youth, and monitor and fund projects to reduce youth violence and improve safety in our community.”

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