November 15, 2021
The eleventh annual giving campaign for Poweshiek County, We Give, had its most successful year for giving to date, raising $270,250 for 51 funds and nonprofits supported by the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF) and the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation (CDAF). The campaign occurs each October and reaches 1,500 households via mailed catalogs of giving which outline the breadth of causes a donor can support and the resources available in the community from which organizations and individuals can request support.
“Through the We Give campaign, community members are connected with causes that addresses needs right here in Poweshiek County,” said GPCF Executive Director, Nicole Brua-Behrens. “Both GPCF and CDAF are proud to partner with donors and volunteers to meet needs in the community that might otherwise be overlooked,” said Brua-Behrens.
The Grinnell Veterans Memorial Commission Building Campaign led the funds in dollars received this year, with more than $38,000 donated. The goal of the campaign is to renovate the Grinnell Veterans Memorial Building into a living memorial for veterans including meeting space for veterans and community events and home to a national artist residency program called the Prairie Star Residency. “We have been thrilled to see how the community has rallied around this campaign during its development over the last few years and especially during this year’s We Give campaign,” said Brua-Behrens.
Over $20,000 was raised for the TT Cranny Renovation Campaign Fund, supporting upgrades to the Grinnell TT Cranny Stadium to allow for expanded use of the facility by students and community members. The donations to the TT Cranny Renovation Campaign Fund reflect a larger giving trend, in a year in which donors emphasized support for students and teachers community wide. A total of nearly $33,000 was raised for the Grinnell Newburg School Foundation, the GNSF REDI Fund, the GNSF STRIPES Fund, the Community Education Council Fund, the Kevin W. Sterk Elementary Student Needs Endowment Fund, the Grinnell-Newburg Dollars for Scholars Endowment Fund, the Grinnell Education Partnership Fund, and the LINK Fund.
CDAF President and CEO, Julie Gosselink stated, “We Give allows donors to vocalize and support those projects they are passionate about, and it allows GPCF and CDAF to live out our missions of encouraging philanthropy and connecting donors with the organizations and initiatives they care about within our community.” Over $85,000 was donated to CDAF’s various funds during We Give. Nearly $26,000 was raised for the Grinnell Area Mental Health/JPK Fund and over $18,000 was raised for Tiger Packs. More than $42,000 was raised for the Giving Gardens, Grinnell Food Coalition, Imagine Grinnell and its projects, Poweshiek Housing Assistance Fund, S.H.E. Counts, Strong Foundation, Tiger Packs, and the Vosburg Music Fund. All CDAF partner program administrative fees were covered by separate donations to alleviate these costs from the funds.
GPCF funds received $36,700 in matching funds distributed among 38 funds. “Challenge dollar matches from the GPCF Board and anonymous donors greatly extended the impact of donations from community members,” said Brua-Behrens. “Donors give to funds addressing community needs which they feel are most pressing, and with dollar for dollar matches we are able to double the financial resources dedicated to those important causes.” Two pledges still have match funding available including the GPCF board matching dollar for dollar any new endowed donor advised funds that are established between now and December 31, 2021 (maximum $500 per fund) and an anonymous donor matching $2.00 for every dollar donated to any of the following endowed funds benefiting the Brooklyn community through December 31, 2021: Brooklyn Community Foundation, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department; Citizens Scholarship of BGM-Dollars for Scholars, Michael J. Manatt Community Center and the East Poweshiek County Ambulance funds.
Other endowed funds garnering widespread support this year include the Mayflower Human Needs fund, the Drake Community Library fund, and the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Endowment Fund. Gifts to endowed funds grow over time and help support operational costs for these important causes each year. GPCF Board President, George Britton, stated, “Though a donor may think of their gift as a one-time donation, by giving to an endowed fund, their gift will continue to serve the community far beyond the month of October and for years to come.” Even though October is over, Britton encourages all philanthropists to think locally as the year draws to a close. “The We Give campaign is launched in October, but donors can continue to give via the We GIVE forms through December 31.” Donation booklets and forms can be picked up at the Foundation Offices if needed.
Donors to any of the more than 100 funds, campaigns, and capital projects of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation and the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation may specify which funds they wish to support and send checks to The Foundation Offices, P.O. Box 344, Grinnell, IA., 50112, donate online at www.greaterpcf.org or at www.ahrensfamilyfoundation.org or contact the Foundation Offices at 641-236-5518.
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that assists donors in supporting local non-profit organizations to make life better for people in the area. The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation supports local initiatives and partners with GPCF to provide back office support services through via its Community Support Services (CSS) program to achieve greater efficiency and increased organizational capacity by sharing office space and administrative services.