Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

February 8, 2013

County Endowment Fund program and annual report

Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — The Iowa Council of Foundations and the Iowa Gaming Association are releasing their joint annual report to the legislature and many other key stakeholders this week. It is entitled "Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy: A Snapshot of the 2011-2012 County Endowment Fund Program."

Now in its seventh year, the County Endowment Fund Program was created by an initiative of the Iowa legislature to utilize a percentage of Iowa's commercial casinos' gaming tax revenues. It creates a strong community foundation infrastructure in the 85 counties that do not hold a state-issued gaming license.

This annual report provides an overview of the Endowment Program and features a county-by-county listing of each grant that was awarded in 2012, plus general characteristics for each of the community foundations involved. Information highlighted was compiled based on reports submitted to the ICoF and the Iowa Economic Development Authority by the community foundations (beginning in August 2012).

Key highlights in the 2011-2012 report include:

•2,214: Number of grants distributed by participating community foundations

•More than $7.75 million: Grants awarded from the program in the 85 counties

•3,160: Number of grant applications received

•$18 million: Total amount of money requested in all grants received

•61 percent: Grants awarded classified as capital-related

•39 percent: Grants awarded that focused on program aspects of projects

•13,750: Grants awarded since 2005

•More than $46 million: Amount given out in grants since 2005

•575 percent: Percentage of growth in total assets in participating community foundations ($16 million in 2005 to more than $108 million in 2012)

"This program is intended to generate enthusiasm for the creation of a catalyst for philanthropic partnerships," says Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association.  

"Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy is more than just the title of a publication," says Laura Sauser, president of ICoF.

Sauser added that more than 130 community foundations across Iowa are working to make our state an even better place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Through endowment building, grant-making and community leadership, their efforts are making a difference today that will be felt throughout Iowa and well into the future.