Modest Money Builds an Endowment

When Rich and Marion Patterson moved to Cedar Rapids in 1978, they had no idea the community would be their home for the next 40 years. “I came here to serve as the Executive Director of the Indian Creek Nature Center,” he recalls. “I thought we would be here for a few years.”

Those few years turned into a few decades, and Rich and Marion quickly found themselves immersed in the Cedar Rapids community. They felt a deep commitment to their community and gave when and where they could. Eventually, they began discussions about their legacy, and the possibility of giving back beyond their lifetimes.

“My salary for many years came through the generosity of others – people who gave to the Indian Creek Nature Center,” recalls Rich. “Even when our income was very low and we were raising children and paying a mortgage, we always gave as much as we felt we could. Now that our kids are grown, we’ve been able to put together our endowment fund, which we are very pleased with.”

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First Lutheran Church


"This program serves the folks at the margins and it’s rewarding, in part, because it’s a ministry we can all share in."


-Vicky Hughes
Food Service Coordinator

A Program Fund grant supports First Lutheran Church’s Saturday Evening Meal Program. The program provides a warm meal at no cost and fellowship every Saturday to low income individuals who are food insecure, in shelters or on the street. Vicky Hughes helped start the Saturday Evening Meal program 27 years ago, and has been managing its efforts ever since.

Pets for Vets   Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Program

"He completed the family and is something that we didn’t even know we were missing before. We couldn’t even think of our lives without him at this point. We’re so appreciative of this program."


"The Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Program made it so that everything was legal and affordable and it was one less thing to worry about. It’s given us such piece of mind."

– Elizabeth Ard
Pets for Vets Beneficiary


– Lisa Allen
Mother of Carly

A Program Fund grant supports the Cedar Valley Humane Society’s Pets for Vets program. This program covers the cost of pet adoption and immediate supplies for veterans. Elizabeth Ard and her husband, both veterans, had been looking into adding a dog to their family for some time, but had been dissuaded by the upfront costs associated with adding a new family member. After hearing about the Pets for Vets program, Elizabeth and her children visited the Cedar Valley Humane Society, and immediately fell in love with Duke.


A Program Fund grant helps support the Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Program. This effort provides low-cost wheelchair ramp design and instillation for individuals and families in need. When Carly was diagnosed with Sotos syndrome, her mother knew things would be different. Carly has difficulty with her joints, making her more susceptible to falls and broken bones. With the ramp in place, her mother Lisa knows that her daughter is at less risk and will have an easier time recovering from future breaks.


Flood Recovery Efforts Supported Through Private Philanthropy

Over 60 businesses, organizations and individuals contributed to assist with our community’s recovery from the September 2016 flood.

Three funds were activated at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to assist in flood recovery efforts: the Flood Fund was established to assist flood-impacted households; the Nonprofit Recovery Fund was established to assist flood-impacted nonprofits; and the Jobs and Small Business Recovery Fund was established in partnership with the City of Cedar Rapids, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, and the Small Business Development Center to assist small businesses.

In total, over $400,000 was raised through the three funds. Funding was distributed to HACAP to serve households, to 21 flood-impacted nonprofit organizations, and to the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Foundation to assist 91 small businesses with lost revenue and expenses related to flood mitigation.

The Rieckhoff family business, the Great American Popcorn Co., was a recipient of grant funding. For them, the funding offered valuable replacement for lost revenue used to pay their full-time employees as well as rent, utilities and other expenses. Bill Rieckhoff says, “This funding is yet another symbol of people working together to make Cedar Rapids the best place in America to live, work and play. It was truly an amazing and historic effort that joined a prepared city government, with a cooperative business community and a courageous group of citizen volunteers and donors to save our city. We’re grateful to all who made the grant program possible.”


Click here for a list of donors who gave to the flood fund:

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Community Endowment Fund Helps Donors Make a Lasting Difference

The Community Endowment Fund is a permanent fund established to support competitive grant programs at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. For many donors, this is an appealing giving option because it allows their gift to impact the areas of greatest need or opportunity in our community. Donors who make gifts to this fund recognize that the needs of the community will change over time. Donors can give a gift of any amount directly to the Community Endowment Fund, or, they can establish a named endowed fund to benefit the Community Endowment Fund.

Here is a list of endowed funds established by visionary donors to benefit the Community Endowment Fund today and in the future:

List of Funds
opportunities offered by Nonprofit Network
The Nonprofit Network continues to provide a point of connection and resources for local nonprofit professionals.
Nonprofit Network Adds Managers Peer Group

The Nonprofit Network launched a new peer group in January 2017. The Managers Peer Group had its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, January 11. The Managers Peer Group will be held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, from noon to 1 p.m. Area nonprofit professionals in the roles of middle and program management are invited to attend. The Network also provides peer groups for Executive Directors, CFO/Finance, Development, and Marketing professionals. To be added to the invitation list, please email Carrie Walker at, or call 319-774-2375. For more information, visit

Nonprofit Management Academy Returns to Linn County

The ISU Extension and Outreach Nonprofit Management Academy, a comprehensive educational program for the nonprofit sector, will be held in Linn County this year. Classes begin in April, and can be taken as a series for credit towards a Nonprofit Management Certificate, or individually. All classes will be held at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach at 383 Collins Road NE, Suite 201 in Cedar Rapids. Detailed information, including course descriptions and cost, can be found here:

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Nonprofit Know-How 2017

The Nonprofit Know-How series is offered by the Nonprofit Network to provide learning opportunities on a variety of topics. The following sessions are being planned. Please mark your calendars and watch for more information soon.

Nonprofit Know-How: Nonprofit Advocacy & Lobbying Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Nonprofit Know-How: Board Boot Camp Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.


New Board Members

Rodrick Dooley

Interim Executive Director of Talent
Management, Cedar Rapids
Community School District and Senior Pastor,Oakhill Jackson Community

Salma Igram

Vice President/CFO
Cedar Graphics Cedar Graphics, Inc.

Chris Lindell

President & CEO
Guaranty Bank

New Community FOundation Team Member

The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Jenny Becker will join the Community Foundation team as Director of Grant Programs on April 10, 2017. In this new position, Ms. Becker will guide the policy and strategy for grantmaking activities; provide leadership for the grants team; and ensure high-quality grantmaking service for donor-advisors at the Community Foundation. Ms. Becker most recently served as Senior Manager of Community Relations at Rockwell Collins, where she led their corporate giving team.

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Jenny Becker
Director of Grant Programs
Upcoming Events

Quarterly Investment Update

Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 2-3 p.m.
Community Foundation
To RSVP, call 319.366.2862 or e-mail


Nonprofit Know-How: Board Boot Camp

Wednesday, June 21, 2017,
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Community Foundation
For more information, contact Carrie Walker at 319.774.2375 or

Nonprofit Know-How: Nonprofit Advocacy & Lobbying

Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Community Foundation
For more information, contact Carrie Walker at 319.774.2375 or


William Quarton Heritage Society Luncheon

Thursday, June 22, 2017,
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cedar Rapids Country Club
Save the date! Invitations will be mailed in May.

June Grant Deadline

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 4:30 p.m. CST
Visit 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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