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Senator Ragan advocates for charitable giving

From Senator Amanda Ragan –

Amanda Ragan
Amanda Ragan

Iowa Community Foundations are nonprofit organizations that provide grants to meet local needs, build philanthropy and create endowments for the long-term benefit of charitable projects and programs. Their work enhances local arts and culture, the environment, education, human services, health and more.

While at the Statehouse, representatives of Iowa’s Community Foundations recently highlighted two state programs, Endow Iowa Tax Credits and the County Endowment Fund Program.

Endow Iowa Tax Credits are awarded on a first-come first-serve basis for gifts made to a permanent endowment fund for charitable causes through community foundations. A tax credit worth 25 percent of the amount donated can be claimed by individuals, businesses or financial institutions. In 2014, about $6 million in state tax credits were awarded, and $24 million in charitable giving was leveraged in 3,898 separate donations—mostly from individuals. Donors may also be eligible for federal tax credits.

Since the inception of the Endow Iowa Tax Credit Program, Iowa Community Foundations have leveraged more than $167.5 million in permanent endowment fund gifts throughout the state. The contributions were made through more than 21,017 donations.

In Iowa, casinos give a portion of their revenue to local charities and community projects in their counties. Counties that do not have casinos also receive casino revenue through the County Endowment Fund Program. The community foundation organizations grant 75 percent of the casino dollars they receive to local charitable projects. The remaining 25 percent goes to an endowment fund, which attracts other donations and provides a source of permanent funding for local charities. In 2014, $10.4 million was distributed among 85 community foundations and affiliated organizations in counties without casinos. Each organization received $121,922. That money goes to such local projects as a new ambulance for Clarksville, Rockwell’s Summer Reading Program and the Franklin County Fair.

To learn more about giving to our local community foundations and the charitable work they make possible, go towww.iowacommunityfoundations.org.

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