Kari McCann Boutell, President
Iowa Council of Foundations
This year, we have all been challenged to think, plan, act and interact differently. As I prepared the Iowa Council of Foundations FY20 Annual Report, I was reminded of all of the good work we have accomplished, despite the challenges this year has presented. 2020 has forced each of us to master “the pivot”. From in-person to virtual. From planned to responsive. From anticipated to emergent. At the ICoF, we certainly haven’t done everything perfectly, but we have made adjustments, where needed, to respond to the varied needs of this moment for our members and the communities they serve.
One change we have made to better support community foundations this year is through the Capacity Building Grants Program. For the next two cycles (Fall 2020 and Spring 2021), the ICoF will more broadly consider staffing capacity grant applications due to COVID-19 impacts on community foundation operating budgets. Our hope is that community foundations that need additional operating funds to sustain their current staffing (full-time, part-time or contracted) can leverage capacity building funds as needed this year. These funds can fill gaps created by decreased County Endowment Fund Program dollars for 2020-2021, as well as shifts in the economic climate. Please begin conversations now so your community foundation is ready to submit your pre-application beginning September 22. You can review the full grant guidelines here.
This is just one small example that we hope makes a big difference for community foundations across Iowa. We will continue to listen and learn from all of you as we move into this new fiscal year. If you have any thoughts or ideas to share with us, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are all in this – together.