Reading Into SuCcess: Campaign for Grade Level Reading

The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is collaborating with local school, city, business and nonprofit partners on a community initiative to increase the number of children reading proficiently by the end of third grade in the Cedar Rapids metro area.On March 12, 2015 over 100 community members gathered at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Cedar Rapids to discuss resources and challenges to improve grade level reading, and began to map a local initiative.

Cedar Rapids joins a network of 167 communities nationwide, including seven other Iowa communities, that are participating in the effort called The Campaign for Grade Level Reading. The local initiative, recently named Reading into Success, is an opportunity for the nonprofits and schools in the metro area to learn from one another, identify more collaboration opportunities, and develop a broad, community-wide system that ultimately leads to reading success for all children.


Donor Story: Fritz and Gretchen Mellberg

Fritz and Gretchen Mellberg have always believed strongly in giving generously to support those in need.

"Our spiritual values motivate our giving," said Mrs. Mellberg. "We feel very strongly that it is important to help one another. That?s the foundation of our decisions about giving."

Now retired, Rev. Mellberg was a United Church of Christ pastor for 40 years. Their modest income allowed the couple to support various charities in the past but when Mrs. Mellberg inherited money, the Mellbergs were moved to do more with it."


Iowa Valley   His Hands

Iowa Valley Resource, Conservation and development

Project: Building the Capacity of Regional Food Partners to Establish a Food Hub in the Corridor

When the Cedar Rapids Blue Zone Food Subcommittee identified a food hub as an important piece to help grow the purchase of local food in the community, the Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development successfully applied to the Community Foundation for a grant to determine the economic feasibility for its food cooperative to serve as a regional food hub.


His hands free medical clinic

Project: Dental Equipment

His Hands Free Medical Clinic is a nonprofit ministry providing free medical, chiropractic and dental services in a downtown office along a bus route in Cedar Rapids. When the clinic added a dental program, they recognized a need for tools to offer a more comprehensive treatment plan for patients.

YMCA   African American Musuem

Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA

Project: LIVESTRONG at the YMCA

When the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA was selected by its national organization as a site for a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, a grant from the Lil? Drug Store Products, Inc. Donor-Advised Fund at the Community Foundation helped to implement the program which served 176 participants in the first year.


African American Museum of Iowa

Project: Ensuring Access to African American History

The African American Museum of Iowa realized educational outreach was critically important to their sustainability and they needed to enhance their education offerings. They had spent several years building extensive partnerships in Cedar Rapids and across the state. Because of those efforts, last year the Museum?s Education Department was at capacity and quickly reaching a point of needing to turn away interested groups.


Kevin Welu

Investment Q&A With Kevin Welu

Q: What is the investment philosophy of the Community Foundation?

A: Our philosophy is to invest in a highly diversified global portfolio. The intent is to provide the best possible returns while mitigating risk. The portfolio is diversified to produce a better return, with less risk while investing in both public and private capital markets.

New 2015 Board Members


Patrick DePalma




Peggy Hardesty

Community Volunteer



Amy Lynch




Julie Nosek

AEGON USA Investment Management, LLC

Staff News

We are pleased to welcome two new team members at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. Judy Frank joins the Community Foundation as Receptionist; and Kathryn Stack joins the marketing and program teams as Content Associate.

Judy Frank

Judy Frank


Kathryn Stack

Kathryn Stack

Content Associate


Grant Pre-Application Briefing

On January 15 and 16, 2015, over 30 nonprofit representatives attended the Grant Pre-Application Briefing offered by the Community Foundation to review funding opportunities for 2015 and to provide an overview of the application process. The Community Foundation also introduced a grant tutorial video, a resource on our website offering guidance and instruction for the online application process.

Grant deadline

Friday, June 12, 2015, 4:30 p.m.
Visit for more information about available grants and how to apply. If you have questions, please contact us at 319.774.2370 or


Upcoming Events


Professional Advisor luncheon

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 12 -1 p.m, Community Foundation
Join us to learn how you can help your clients leave a legacy in our community. Please RSVP to 319.366.2862 or

Quarterly Investment Update

Wednesday, April 29, 2015,
Individual Fund Holders: 8-9 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


William Quarton
Heritage Society Luncheon

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
11:30 a.m. ? 1 p.m.
Cedar Rapids Country Club
A celebration of philanthropy with William Quarton Heritage Society members. Invitations will be mailed in May.

Investment Management

Donors Making a difference

Endow Iowa

Nonprofits Making a difference

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

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