Ann Jorgenson, Chair
Benton County Community Foundation Governing Committee
During the week of November 12 to 18, 2016, the Benton County Community Foundation joins more the 780 other community foundations across the country for Community Foundation Week to raise awareness and bring individuals and families, nonprofits, and communities together.
In 2005, a group of individuals holding the shared belief that the creation of a community foundation would create a stronger community came together and acted on that vision. The creation of the Benton County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA), allows the people of our county to benefit from State of Iowa legislation that distributes a percentage of gaming revenues to counties without a state issued gaming license, and are affiliated with a community foundation meeting national standards for U.S. community foundations, like CFNEIA.
Because of the dedication, heart, and love of community of so many individuals, since 2005, the Community Foundation has been able to grant nearly $1 million to nonprofit projects impacting nearly every aspect of life in our communities, including art and culture, education, environment, health, historic preservation, human service, and general community betterment. In 2016 alone, our local governing committee awarded 31 grants totaling over $106,000 to projects in these areas.
While we are thankful for the gaming revenue dollars that help us carry out our mission of enriching our communities, today’s vision for impacting Benton County is so much bigger. As a local organization, we see the potential that can be realized by combining people’s generosity and love of where they live to create impacts that will build stronger, more vibrant communities here in our county.
The grant impacts mentioned above can continue to grow when people give to the Benton County Community Foundation Impact Fund. Gifts to this fund, and others with the Community Foundation, offer unique tax benefits to those who want to give where they live. Gifts to endowed funds with the Benton County Community Foundation supporting Iowa charitable causes are eligible for the Endow Iowa 25% state tax credit. This is in addition to federal tax credits.
The Benton County Community Foundation is an organization connecting generous, community-minded people to nonprofits who are at the heart of doing the most good in our communities. The Community Foundation does this through endowed giving, the base of the community foundation philosophy. Endowments allow gifts to continue on in perpetuity, providing a financial safety net for the community. These dollars are invested and professional managed to achieve long-term growth by balancing principal protection with distributions to support local nonprofit organizations. Making an endowed gift with the Community Foundation means it will last forever.
As we enter the giving season, America’s generosity surges. Millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They’ll also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving—however they choose to give—will have the most impact. That’s why so many of them will choose to give to a community foundation.
A gift to the Benton County Community Foundation or any of its funds is an investment in the future of your community. Donors can make a gift that fits how they want to impact their community or the cause they care about. They can also know their gift will benefit local projects as they intend forever.
During this Community Foundation Week, the Benton County Community Foundation gives thanks to all those, past and present, who have made it possible for us to be “here for good.” We also look forward to a future where we can create even more positive impacts on the county we live in and love.