Art of Growing Community
Awarded by the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation
October 13, 2016
GPCF Executive Director Nicole Brua-Behrens announced creation of the Art of Growing Community award, to be presented to an entity or individual in years when positive impact on the community is evident. She presented the inaugural award to Julie Gosselink and Shannon Fitzgerald for the Community Support Services (CSS) program of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.
Gosselink and Fitzgerald proposed the CSS ten years ago to improve the local quality of life by fostering collaborations among community members and enabling non-profits to focus on their missions while CSS provided administrative services to those organizations, Brua-Behrens said. They convinced GPCF founder Tom Marshall of the value of CSS which created a close partnership between GPCF and the Ahrens Foundation.
Brua-Behrens thanked the two for their “incredible idea and the immeasurable impact it has had on our county, our partners and all the people and organizations they serve,” enabling both foundations and many non-profits to better achieve their missions.
Remembering they were “terrified” that the idea would not work or not be accepted in the early days of the program, Gosselink credited Marshall with recognizing the value of the approach and helping both foundations to collaborate for the benefit of the area.
“At the end of the day we all believe in the same thing, working to improve our communities and Poweshiek county,” Gosselink concluded. “By working together and bringing our missions together and making both our foundations more efficient, sharing staff and services and our office space, we’ve made this happen.”
Pictured (from left) are GPCF Co-President Jessica Dillon, Fitzgerald, Brua-Behrens, Gosselink, GPCF Program Manager Amy Blanchard and the evening’s master of ceremonies, chair of the GPCF Development and Marketing Committee, Vince Walker.
Critical Impact Award
Awarded by the Council on Foundations
In 2010, the Council on Foundations awarded the Claude W. & Dolly Ahrens Foundation its Critical Impact Award. This award is given to honor grantmakers who have supported innovative leadership, bold visions and significant impact in advancing the common good through effective grantmaking which can serve as a model for others in philanthropy. The foundation was selected based on the growth and success of its Community Support Services program, which aims to build capacity and promote collaboration among the local nonprofit community by optimizing back office support operations and to create efficiencies through shared staff and administrative functions.
The Council on Foundations is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the council include approximately 2,000 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The assets of the council members total more than $300 billion. The council’s mission is to provide opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.
Outstanding Foundation of the Year
Awarded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Central Iowa Chapter
In 2005, the Claude W. & Dolly Ahrens Foundation was awarded the Outstanding Foundation of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Central Iowa Chapter.
AFP, an association of professionals throughout the world, advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. The core activities through which AFP fulfills this mission include education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing and advocacy. The Central Iowa Chapter serves over 125 fundraising professionals who work for a wide variety of charitable organizations in Central Iowa, including Des Moines, Ames, and surrounding areas.