Event highlights good people doing good work at nonprofits

The fifth annual Celebration of Community event was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 4 – 6 p.m. at NewBo City Market. The theme of the program was Good Work & Good People. Over 30 people were recognized in a display and videos for the good work they are doing at nonprofit organizations in Linn County.

“There are over 350 charitable nonprofit organizations in Linn County,” said Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “At the heart of each one is someone who cares deeply about its mission, its clients, and its impact. Nonprofits rely on community engagement to fulfill their missions. We were pleased to recognize these outstanding people in our community and thank them for their service.”

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Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award   Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award

Shannon Ramsay
Founding President & CEO
Trees Forever

Nearly 30 years ago, Shannon identified a need in our community and established a new nonprofit named Trees Forever. The goal was to assure a greener, healthier and more vibrant place for our children and grandchildren. Today, the organization connects people to the environment through the planting of trees, prairie, and other natural areas.


Tara Richards
Director of Community Engagement
Brucemore, Inc.

Tara is the Director of Community Engagement at Brucemore, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for all events, tours, and programs, as well as human resources and a tourism-centered retail store. She has built relationships with nonprofit cultural organizations, businesses, contractors, vendors, lighting designers, artists, actors, and musicians. Everyone appreciates the strong management and support that Tara provides.

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Good People

Over 30 “Good People” were recognized at the event for their contributions to Linn County nonprofit organizations. They are volunteers, donors or employees that are making a positive impact by being involved and giving back to our community.

Click below to learn about their good work and contributions to our community.

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Nonprofits with Endowed Funds Offer Year-End Giving Options

Endowed funds help to sustain an organization’s mission. An endowment provides organizations with general operating support, stability during cyclical variances in income, and financial support for areas of high importance to the organization. The Community Foundation holds over 100 endowed funds for local nonprofit organizations. These funds provide a year-end giving option for donors. Gifts to these endowed funds are eligible to receive the Endow Iowa tax credit.

Click here for a list of nonprofits with endowed funds at the Community Foundation.


Leaders Believers Achievers Foundation

"LBA coaches help us believe in ourselves, set goals, and take the steps necessary to achieve them."


– Roosevelt Middle School students

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Kids First Law Center

"The people at Kids First are really good at listening and helping me feel better."


– Kids First client

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Reading into Success: Chapter 3
On October 3, 2017, community members gathered at Longfellow Elementary School in Marion to celebrate the first two years of the Reading into Success initiative and to share ideas for its future. Reading into Success is a local collaboration to ensure that children read proficiently by the end of third grade to create a foundation for success. For more information or to get involved, visit www.readingintosuccess.org.
  Endow Iowa Impact Shared with Linn County Legislators
On October 26, 2017, the Community Foundation hosted a breakfast for Linn County legislators. Information about the work of community foundations was shared, including examples of the impact of Endow Iowa tax credits on giving and grantmaking.
Federal Reserve Bank Shares City Data Tool
Community members gathered on November 1, 2017 for a demonstration by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago of a new Peer City Identification Tool. The tool is a data comparison and visualization instrument that can help policymakers and organizers to understand a city’s challenges and trends in the context of its peer cities.
  Free Learning Opportunities Offered for Nonprofit Professionals
In 2014, the Nonprofit Network, a program at the Community Foundation to support and strengthen nonprofits through learning and peer engagement, launched its Nonprofit Know-How learning series. To date, 17 free Nonprofit Know-How trainings have occurred with a variety of topics. Pictured above, Akwi Nji, Director of Communications at Cedar Rapids Community Schools & Executive Director of The Hook, led a training about storytelling on October 10, 2017. A session for nonprofit administrative support staff also occurred on November 2, 2017.

  Gifts to Classroom Projects Matched
From August - October, 2017, the Community Foundation provided a 1:1 match for contributions to Linn County public school projects on DonorsChoose.org. The Community Foundation distributed $25,000 from its Fund for Educational Excellence. It supported 82 projects benefitting 6,040 Linn County students. For more information about how to support education, visit gcrcf.org.
Upcoming Events

Quarterly Investment Update

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 2 – 3 p.m. To RSVP, call 319.366.2862 or e-mail info@gcrcf.org.


February Grant Deadline

February 15, 2018, 4:30 p.m. CST
Visit gcrcf.org for information about available grants and how to apply.

Investment Management

Donors Making a difference

Endow Iowa

Nonprofits Making a difference

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

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