Kari McCann Boutell, President, Iowa Council of Foundations
The Iowa Council of Foundations Board of Directors recently awarded nine community foundation capacity building grants. The purpose of this grant program is to support opportunities for qualified community foundations and their affiliates to engage in activities that enhances their ability for sustainable endowment growth/building. Capacity building includes a wide variety of activities. I wanted to highlight a few of this year’s grants to get you thinking about opportunities for your foundation in the future:
- The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation received funding to support the development of new marketing materials. They will focus their efforts this year on their Business Partners in Philanthropy program, which is designed to engage business partners in funding GPCF operations and investing in the organization’s mission. We liked this proposal because it seeks to increase their donor base by targeting a specific group of donors – businesses.
- The Okoboji Community Foundation received funding to support marketing and planning efforts for their Emerging Leaders Program. The Emerging Leaders seeks to engage people age 25-40 in the community foundation and broader nonprofit community in the Okoboji area. They anticipate this group will bring innovative ideas and energy to connect other potential volunteers/board members/donors in their age range to new and existing philanthropic initiatives. We liked this proposal because it grows the human capital and capacity of the community foundation by bringing more people into their mission and engaging this unique population in philanthropic priorities in their region.
- The Story County Community Foundation received funding to support their efforts in hiring their first, full-time executive director this year. The Story County Community Foundation has effectively used capacity building grant funding in the past to grow their staff capacity through professional development, community outreach opportunities, and now they are ready to take the next step. We liked this proposal because it seeks to grow their staff capacity while simultaneously strengthening their development efforts and endowment building.
As a reminder, we will host a fall Capacity Building Grant Program cycle in October this year, which will give you another opportunity to apply for this type of funding. This grant program requires a 50% match for every dollar you receive in grant funding. I encourage you to begin thinking of ways these dollars can help grow your community foundation’s capacity and accelerate your endowment growth. If you have any questions or would like some coaching on your proposal, please contact us.