Program Overview

chamber ambassadors with GPCF

20 yr anniversary party for cdaf

spirit of giving 2013 with tom marshall

tom marshall's 80 yr birthday celebration

In 2006 the Community Support Services (CSS) program was launched in partnership with the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation. The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation made the commitment to provide back-office services free of charge to all partner organizations and funds involved with the program for the first 4 years. The goal of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation’s Community Support Services program is to build organizational capacity and promote collaboration among the local nonprofit community by optimizing back-office support operations and creating efficiencies through shared staff and administrative functions, thus strengthening the missions of the local nonprofit sector to help improve the quality of life for the local area.

In the first year of the program, the CSS program served 6 partners; Ahrens Park Foundation, Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, Grinnell-Newburg Dollars or Scholars, Grinnell-Newburg Educational Excellence, GHS Alumni Association, and the Grinnell High School Capital Campaign. For the first four years of the program, all services were provided to our partners free of charge. Today the program serves over 20 partner organizations and 100 charitable funds. In addition, we have provided consulting services for a wide range of local organizations.

Today’s economic climate has changed little in that nonprofits can no longer conduct business as they once did. Resource constraints are forcing many nonprofits to close their doors or merge operations in order to survive. More than ever, nonprofit organizations are in need of creative collaborative solutions to help them overcome financially challenging times. For this reason the CSS program continues to be a charitable strategy of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation for the community. We believe in our unique approach to providing greater quality of life in the community by strengthening the nonprofit sector. The CSS program allows our partner organizations to share the costs and the rewards of working together by paying fees that are below market value.

In 2010, the foundation was selected by the Council on Foundations, in Washington D.C., to receive their national Critical Impact Award, which honors grant makers who have supported innovative leadership, bold visions, and significant impact in advancing the common good through effective grant making, which can serve as a model for others in philanthropy.  The Council on Foundations, formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grant making 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 Council members total more than $500 billion. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.

Community Support Services Partnership Infograph

Our Services

We provide consulting, assistance, and training in the following areas:

  • Clerical Staff
  • Marketing Assistance
  • Mailing Assistance
  • Website Assistance
  • Policies & Procedures
  • Physical Space
  • Personnel Policies
  • Employment Policies
  • Performance Management
  • Hiring/Termination
  • Discipline
  • Payroll & Related Payroll Taxes & Returns
  • Benefits Administration
  • Budgets
  • General Accounting Services
  • Monitoring & Analysis
  • Expense Management
  • Financial Statements

Shared Office Partners

community support servicel ogic model

css program benefits chart