Family Turns Love of Music into Support for Band Shell Fund

On any Sunday evening in the summer, you’re likely to find Louis and Dorothy Blackburn planted in their red Iowa State lawn chairs in the green space at one of our community’s many parks. The pair of Norway residents are hard to miss – and they’ve been keeping this tradition since they first started attending Cedar Rapids Municipal Band concerts in the early 1970s.

So, when the band began raising funds for a new band shell – the protective canopy that amplifies the band’s sound and allows concerts to be mobile – the Blackburn’s had no hesitation supporting the fund, held at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.



"I think it is so rare, a museum opening their doors for anyone to put artwork on their walls. That is such a special thing. It made me feel validated as an artist. It’s definitely been a highlight of my life so far."

-Hannah Morris
Exhibit Artist

A Program Fund grant supported the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art’s exhibit Midwest Summer: Light and Warmth. The exhibit featured Swamp Heat by University of Iowa MFA candidate Hannah Morris. Hannah submitted work to exhibit after reading an ad for submissions for local artist, and was elated to learn that Swamp Heat would be included. She was also impressed by the opening night audience – primarily made up of area art lovers and supporters of the Art Museum.

“The thing that I really loved was going to the opening and seeing how many people were there,” she recalls. “That really inspired me — that so many people from Cedar Rapids were excited about the work. It made me really proud to be a part of something like that — a town where people left their homes and got dressed up and went to go see artwork.”


"I’ve participated in Freedom Festival activities for years. The Freedom Festival is all about having fun – there’s so much to do right here and it’s important that people know about it."


"I’ve been volunteering with Green Square Meals for 28 years, to give back some of the joy that God has given me. I have been blessed abundantly, and I don’t think that’s meant to be kept – I think it’s meant to be shared. I’ve seen the program grow and it’s been wonderful to see more people have access to fellowship and to a nutritious meal."

– Wade Hemmelrick
Freedom Festival Patriot


– Joyce Conley
Green Square Meals Volunteer

A grant from the Organizational Development Fund at the Community Foundation has allowed the Freedom Festival to grow its outreach efforts and increase community access through a website update.


A Program Fund grant supports Green Square Meals. Green Square Meals provides an evening meal and fellowship to Cedar Rapids patrons five days a week, Monday through Friday.


Match Offered for Donations to Classroom Projects in Linn County Public Schools

The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation has partnered with to match donations to classroom projects in grades K-12 in Linn County public schools. is a national nonprofit organization that makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. When public school teachers create classroom project requests on, donors can give any amount to the projects that inspire them, and the Community Foundation will provide a 1:1 match for each donation.

Planned Giving Calculators Available

If you are considering making a planned gift to ensure the future of our community, the Community Foundation website can help you explore your options. Planned giving calculators were recently added to the Community Foundation website, providing customized options to meet the personal circumstances and needs of users. To access the calculators, go to If you would like to make a planned gift, please contact Susan Willey at the Community Foundation at 319.366.2862 or

Celebration of Community – Call for Nominations

The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is hosting the third annual Celebration of Community event to celebrate philanthropy and the good work of nonprofits in Linn County. This free event will be held on Tuesday, November 17 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Theatre Cedar Rapids. The event is open to the public. The Community Foundation will also present two nonprofit awards at the event. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, September 9, 2015. For more information, click here.


Event Recap  

William Quarton Heritage society Luncheon

Nearly 130 people gathered for the 11th annual William Quarton Heritage Society Luncheon on June 16, 2015 to celebrate philanthropy and the d commitment of members to the future of our community. The event was held at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. To view more photos and the video shared at the event visit the Community Foundation page on Facebook For more information on becoming a member, click here.

Nonprofit network hosts Board Boot Camp

Over 40 nonprofit executive directors and board chairs gathered at the Community Foundation on April 7, 2015 for a Board Boot Camp training on the responsibilities, roles and management of nonprofit boards. The training was hosted by the Nonprofit Network. For information on upcoming trainings, click here or contact Carrie Walker at 319.774.2375 or

Endow Iowa Tax Credits Running Low

If you plan to take advantage of the Endow Iowa 25 percent state tax credit in 2015, please note that as of August 9, 2015, only $1.5 million of the allotted $6 million credits remain. The Community Foundation encourages donors to act early to receive their credit. If you make an eligible gift in 2015 after the credits have been exhausted, you will receive the credit but must wait until your 2016 tax return to collect. For more information on Endow Iowa, click here.


Staff Welcome

Amy Logsdon recently joined the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation as Receptionist. We are pleased to welcome her to our team.

Amy Logsdon

Grant Awards

The Community Foundation recently completed its second grant cycle for 2015. For a complete list of grant awards made so far this year, click here. The next grant deadline is Thursday, October 15, 2015.

Upcoming Events


October Grant Deadline

Thursday, October 15, 2015,
4:30 p.m.
Click here for more information about available grants and how to apply. If you have questions, please contact us at 319.774.2370 or

Quarterly Investment Update

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Individuals with Funds: 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Agencies: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Community Foundation
Tim O’Donnell, of Fund Evaluation Group, will present an overview of our investment portfolio performance. Please RSVP to 319.366.2862 or

Celebration of Community

Tuesday, November 17, 4 – 6 p.m. Theatre Cedar Rapids
A celebration of how philanthropy and the work of nonprofits create a vibrant community. The nomination deadline for nonprofit awards is Wednesday, September 9. Click here for more information.

Investment Management

Donors Making a difference

Endow Iowa

Nonprofits Making a difference

324 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

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