Iowa's Council of Foundations & Iowa Gaming Association Release Annual Report to State

(Des Moines, Iowa)- The Iowa Council of Foundations (ICoF) and the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) have released their joint annual report, Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy: A Snapshot of the 2015-2016 County Endowment Fund Program and Grants Made by Casino Nonprofit Organizations. 

The report is a compilation of the diverse nonprofit organizations and projects that are being funded throughout the state. The Iowa Legislature has sponsored these programs for over a decade and the positive impact of these programs is felt each day in every county across Iowa. 

"When you see this report's impressive list of funded grant projects, it is so rewarding to realize that nearly every Iowan is impacted in some positive way," says Wes Ehrecke, president & CEO of the IGA. "This visionary program continues to be a catalyst for significant philanthropic partnerships in every county and community." 

County Endowment Fund Program 

In 2015-2016, more than $11.19 million dollars was distributed to 84 county community foundations across the state through the County Endowment Fund Program. 

The County Endowment Fund Program is funded with eight-tenths of one percent (0.8%) of the state's commercial gaming tax revenue. These funds are distributed annually among qualified foundations and affiliates associated with counties without a state-issued gaming license. 

Since its start in 2004, this program has utilized a percentage of gaming tax revenue to distribute over $79 million in grants to nonprofits and charitable projects, including those focused on:

  • Enhancing arts and culture.
  • Offering educational resources.
  • Providing public/societal benefit.
  • Ensuring access to healthcare and human services.
  • Protecting and preserving our environment.

Grants Made by Casino Nonprofit Organizations

Among the states with legalized gaming, Iowa is the only state that requires the 19 regulated licensed casinos contribute a portion of their revenues to local charities and community projects. 

Annually, this program provides millions of dollars to nonprofits through the grant-making programs administered through their respective nonprofit license holders. For more than two decades, millions of dollars in grants have provided meaningful support to thousands of charitable requests in counties with state-issued gaming licenses. In 2016, this included 15 counties in Iowa.

Endow Iowa Tax Credit Program

Since 2004, the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program has made over $49 million available in tax credits to Iowans who contribute to a fund at an accredited community foundation in the state. For the past three years, the annual tax credit limit has been $6 million per calendar year, and each year, all of the tax credits have been distributed. 

The Endow Iowa Tax Credit is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and is utilized by a wide range of donors. Credits can be claimed by individuals, businesses or financial institutions. 

Over the past decade, $387 million has been invested in endowed funds at community foundations through Endow Iowa. The program is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in collaboration with ICoF. Since its start, Iowa Community Foundations have leveraged more than $216 million in permanent endowment fund gifts.  The contributions were made through more than 29,000 donations.  

"The Iowa Council of Foundations is pleased to partner with the Iowa Economic Development Authority to administer the County Endowment Fund Program and the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program," says Kari McCann, ICoF president. "We are grateful to the Governor and the Iowa Legislature for their vision and continued commitment to these innovative programs benefitting Iowans in each county across our state."

Community philanthropy is thriving in Iowa thanks to these successful programs. To learn more about your local community foundation, or to view the full report online, please click here. The report is also available at