New Board Chair, Charlie Schimberg, Reflects on Community Foundation’s Past and Future

Published: April 8, 2021 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:
Charlie Schimberg, Schimberg Co.

Tell us about how you came to the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation plays such an impactful role in our community, I felt very fortunate when asked to serve on the board. Very few organizations have the capacity to reach so many worthy causes, meet the needs during economic and natural disasters, and serve as trusted connector for local organizations.

You’ve been on the Board of Directors for five years now; what has that experience been like for you?

It’s been wonderful to work with so many people who care about our community. From Directors and donors to the nonprofits we work with, there is no shortage of people who are willing to work to improve the quality of life in Linn County. My family has deep roots in this community, and I know that by contributing to the Community Foundation’s work I am helping to ensure this remains a great community for future generations.

Last year was a difficult one for our community—what was it like from the Board’s perspective?

2020 was a tough year. Working with the Community Foundation gave me a behind the scenes look at the incredible generosity of our community. Linn County has seen a wide range of hardships and disasters. When COVID-19 started impacting lives and businesses, many sought ways to contribute. When the derecho hit, people dug deep and found even more ways to help their neighbors.

Throughout all of this, our nation began the difficult conversation of racial inequities. As our community tried to find the way forward, our Board recognized the importance of our role. For many of us, the whole year was a learning process. We found new solutions to new problems, but we also realized that there are very old problems that need our attention.

What can people expect from the Community Foundation going forward?

The core of our work will remain largely the same. It’s not an exciting answer, but we exist to support the long-term health and wellbeing of the community, and we’re excited to keep doing that. We will continue to help donors pursue their charitable goals, maintain our competitive grant programs, and look for ways to support issues that are important to our broad community.

We’re looking for ways to reach new people and support the many efforts to build racial equity in Linn County. The community is also still recovering from the derecho and enduring the pandemic. As the long-term recovery process begins, we continue to look for ways to have real impact. These are complex problems, but there are so many people out there working on solutions, and we’re looking forward to living up to our name as a trusted community partner.


To learn more about our Board of Directors, click here.


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