Six Johnson County cities are building community with endowment funds. Launched with a matching contribution from the Community Foundation of Johnson County, these affiliates almost always start small with support from community-minded individuals. Once affiliates hit a certain point and begin to make grants to the community, growth happens faster.
Helping Community Affiliates is a key role for us, said Mike Stoffregen, executive director of the Community Foundation of Johnson County. "We want to help our affiliates grow their assets so they can use the interest from these funds to support projects in their individual communities."
To build their grant-making capacity, individual communities have employed a variety of strategies from direct contributions to bake sales and gifts in honor of or in memory of friends and family.
One of the strengths of a community affiliate is a strong, active board, Stoffregen says. "Each community has selected a board of directors that best represent their individual communities."
Board members recognize the strength, stability and resources the Community Foundation of Johnson County offers. The Community Foundation has achieved National Standards for the U.S. Community Foundations as established by the Council on Foundations. In addition to recognizing an outstanding level of service and professionalism, the National Standards designation affords contributors an added opportunity.
Being a qualified community foundation enables supporters who pay taxes in Iowa (individuals, organizations and corporations) to take advantage of the Endow Iowa tax credit of up to 25 percent when they donate to a qualified endowment fund through the Community Foundation or one of the community affiliates.
Community Affiliates in Johnson County and date of origin
Lone Tree, 2005
North Liberty, 2007
University Heights, 2008