Nearly 120 people gathered for the 14th annual William Quarton Heritage Society Luncheon on June 22, 2017 to celebrate philanthropy and the generosity and commitment of members to the future of our community. The event was held at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Terri Christoffersen, current chair of the Board of Directors, shared highlights of the Community Foundation throughout the past year. In 2016, the Community Foundation received gifts of $12.5 million; distributed $10 million in grants to 439 nonprofit organizations; and added 37 new members to the William Quarton Heritage Society. Terri also provided a brief update on the Community Foundation’s involvement in initiatives beyond grantmaking including: Reading into Success, Kids on Course Summer University, MICRO, Regional Vision Rising, Disaster Preparedness initiatives and Flood Funding response. For more information on these initiatives, click here.
Entrepreneurs in Philanthropy
Rollie Tillman, from the University of North Carolina, once defined entrepreneurs as “people who are hungry for things that are new.” At the luncheon, Les Garner, President & CEO of the Community Foundation and former colleague of Mr. Tillman, shared examples of entrepreneurs who have been hungry for things that are new in the private and nonprofit sector - building businesses and nonprofit organizations that create jobs and provide vitality for the community. But what about entrepreneurs in philanthropy? There are many individuals who see the possibility of using charitable gifts to fuel the rise of a new idea that might have a significant payoff for the community. A video about Barry and Gilda Boyer was shared. The Boyers are philanthropic entrepreneurs who have used their charitable gifts to create a new program that has shown great promise for the future.
Longtime Cedar Rapids residents, Barry and Gilda Boyer, have always been interested in things that are new. They came to the Community Foundation with a new idea and desire to support entrepreneurs in our community. They wanted to see if private philanthropy had a role in helping small businesses. From this conversation, the MICRO lending program was established, a community collaboration to assist businesses with expenses related to start-up or expansions. For more information about MICRO, visit here.