Guest Post by M.J. Smith, Director of Affiliates, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.
How Community Foundations bridge the political divide
The recent election season has passed together with its attack ads, slick mailings, and vicious debates. Our country, state and region faces lingering questions about what the future will bring with both a divided electorate and increasingly polarizing elections.
In our work at the Community Foundation, we find, that despite the stark separation between political camps, one thing remains. Even in the fading shadow of campaign 2012, people care about their community, however it is defined.
Community may be a group of retirees playing cards at the senior center, young families making friendships as they support a soccer team, or an assembly of farmers having conversation at the co-op. Regardless of political leanings, retirees, young families and active farmers are just like you, scratching their heads and saying, “The election is over, it is time to go forward. But how?”
In our work serving the region through affiliate foundations, endowed funds and the NE Iowa Funder’s Network, we stake out common ground and proudly take on community challenges on a platform that rises above the political breeze.
Community Foundations meet individual, family, corporate and organizations’ need to build a promising future through philanthropy. We serve over 4000 donors who direct gifts to causes they love. The vast majority of causes are neither red or blue, left or right, conservative or liberal. They are causes that unite people like education, faith, health, neighborhoods, history, literacy, and conservation.
Donors come to the Community Foundation with their highest hopes for a bright tomorrow and create impact through endowments that pay out annually. These gifts to community foundation endowments are growing for individuals, families and more than 130 beloved non-profits in the region, thanks in part to the generous 25% Endow Iowa State Tax Credit.
This includes NE Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative. For the past five years, six rural counties have worked together to improve the health and well-being of children and their families in the region. Donors started an endowed fund to ensure funds to support their work for years to come.
Their endowment is managed by the Allamakee County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. CFGD is also the fiscal sponsor for this WK Kellogg Foundation project and we are proud to share these successes in increasing local food availability and encouraging fitness in the region.
On behalf of our 4000 donors, are proud to be a place set apart: where politics are left parked at the door, we roll up our sleeves, share our gifts and work together.