FAQs

 

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.  For more specific information, please contact your local community foundation or call the Iowa Council of Foundations at 515.989.1188 or email.

 

More about foundations

How are community foundations different from private foundations?  
What is a community foundation?  
What are the National Standards for Community Foundations?    

Details on Giving  

What is the Endow Iowa Tax Credit?  
Endowing Iowa. For good. For ever. (Publication)  
What's the minimum I need to start giving?  
10 Reasons People Give to Community Foundations  

Getting Grants  

Where can I find grants that are currently available? 

 

building a better community

How can I volunteer/participate? 

How do community foundations impact a community? 

 

 

 


 

 

 

How are community foundations different from private foundations?

Community Foundations vary from a private foundation in several ways.  Click here to view a chart noting some of the differences.

 

What is a community foundation?

Iowa Community Foundations are nonprofit organizations established to meet the current and future needs of our local communities. We offer all the tax advantages of charitable giving, the long-term benefits of endowment funding, and the ability to establish a legacy fund in the name of your family or a loved one.

 

Click here to view What is a community foundation? 

 

What are the National Standards for Community Foundations?

The National Standards for US Community Foundations were established by the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C.. Community foundations that are confirmed in compliance with the National Standards demonstrate excellence in important areas including client service, fiscal accountability, grantmaking and community leadership. Intended both as a blueprint for internal organizational development and as a tangible set of benchmarks for external assessment of performance, the 43 National Standards address such areas as governance; resource development; stewardship and accountability; grantmaking and community leadership; donor relations; and communications.  To learn more about meeting the National Standards for US Community Foundations, please visit the Council on Foundations website.

 

Iowa has 13 community foundations (many having affiliated community foundations as well) that have been confirmed in compliance by the Council on Foundations as meeting the National Standards for US Community Foundations; this shows their connection to a growing and dynamic movement to strengthen the effectiveness of the community foundation field. 

 

Iowa Community Foundations Confirmed in Compliance with the National Standards for US Community Foundations can be found here.

 

What is the Endow Iowa Tax Credit?

The major component of the Endow Iowa Program is the Endow Iowa Tax Credit.  This credit offers taxpayers the opportunity to apply (on a first-come, first-served basis) for a possible 25% tax credit against taxes imposed in Iowa in addition to the normal charitable income tax deductions for certain charitable gifts.  The gift must be to a permanently endowed fund within the qualified foundation or community affiliate organization for the benefit of Iowa charitable causes. The tax credits can be claimed by individuals, businesses, or financial institutions. Click here to learn more.

 

Endowing Iowa. For good. For ever. (Publication)

This publication provides 16 donor stories from all across Iowa highlighting a variety of endowment types as well as purposes for establishing these funds.  The stories will inspire Iowans to think about how they too can be a part of creating long-term charitable support in their communities.  The publication goes beyond the facts and figures and focuses on the power of endowment from the personal perspective.  Click here to view the publication.

 

What's the minimum I need to start giving?

Donations of all sizes can help make an impact in local communities through Iowa Community Foundations.  Contributions can be made to existing funds or interested individuals, families, businesses, organizations, etc. may wish to establish a new fund.  For specific information, please contact your local community foundation.

 

10 Reasons People Give to Community Foundations

  1. Community Foundations are a local organization with deep roots in the community.
  2. Our professional program staff/ governing bodies have broad expertise regarding community issues and needs.
  3. Community Foundations provide highly personalized service tailored to each individual's charitable and financial interests.
  4. Donor Advised Funds help people invest in the causes they care about most.
  5. Iowa Community Foundations accept a wide variety of assets, and can facilitate even the most complex forms of giving.
  6. We partner with professional advisors to create highly effective approaches to charitable giving.
  7. We offer maximum tax advantage under state and federal law- including Endow Iowa tax credit opportunities.
  8. We multiply the impact of gift dollars by pooling them with other gifts and grants.
  9. Community Foundations build endowment funds that benefit the communities they serve forever and help create personal legacies.
  10. Community Foundations are community leaders, convening agencies and coordinating resources to create positive change.

 

Where can I find grants that are currently available?

Iowa Community Foundation have varying grant deadlines as each organization is a separate organization serving a specific geographic area. For specific information and application materials, please contact your local community foundation.

 

How can I volunteer/participate?

Iowa Community Foundations are active organizations and rely on volunteers who are passionate about their communities and impacting the charitable projects and programs now and in the future.  To learn more about getting involved, please contact your local community foundation or contact the Iowa Council of Foundations at 515.989.1188.

 

How do community foundations impact a community?

Iowa Community Foundations are unique in our ability to make an impact in so many diverse areas of community need. Our donors make gifts that allow us to continue to improve our communities... today and tomorrow.

 

We gather information and track the many local agencies and programs working to enhance our communities. Based on this information, we make grants and direct resources to the most appropriate areas. We stay alert to emerging issues and foster giving and volunteerism in our community.

 

We have the flexibility to:

  • Support high-impact opportunities... those that will make the greatest difference in our communities
  • Serve as a catalyst for bringing organizations into existence as new needs arise.
  • Re-direct funds as appropriate if and when our communities' needs change (or when local non-profit organizations cease to exist)

We can help your gifts make the greatest impact in your community.  Contact your local community foundation for more information.