The Community Foundation of Johnson County garnered a stellar increase in revenue over the past fiscal year, sparking community impact in a variety of areas through program funding.
Community Foundation of Johnson County Executive Director Michael Stoffregen said since the foundation was initially launched, it has seen positive results. The foundation had more than a $4 million increase in total revenue from $2,095,869 in 2012 to $6,212,346 in 2013.
“We went from no money [when we started] in 2000 to going now to $6 million,” Stoffregen said. “And that is credited to those who give to the foundation with the idea that they are supporting grants that will help us do good for the community.”
Arts and culture, education, environment, health and human services, public benefits, and society benefits are the five key areas Stoffregen said the foundation strives to support in Johnson County community organizations. More than 50 of those organizations received grants in the fiscal 2013, including the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County and the Johnson County Historical Society.
The Neighborhood Centers was one of many organizations to reap benefits from this increase in revenue. Granted more than $9,000 to fund the Families and Schools Together Program — a program teaming up a member of the Neighborhood Center staff, a member of the School District staff, and a parent to be trained to facilitate the curriculum, the organization hopes to improve academic outcomes in district elementary schools.
Diane Dingbaum, associate director of the Neighborhood Centers, said she is thankful that the Community Foundation has pushed the program forward.
“[The Community Foundation] helps put resources right into our community and helps children and families that live in Johnson County,” Dingbaum said. “We haven’t started the project yet, but for us, it increases the opportunities that we can provide in the county; this is a pilot project for us, so it’s new and innovative, and we couldn’t have done it without funding specific for it.”
Johnson County Historical Society Executive Director Alexandra Drehman said the support of the Community Foundation has also greatly benefitted her group. The society was awarded roughly $1,000 to use towards supplies and counselor for the summer-camp program at the 1876 Coralville Schoolhouse on Fifth St.
Drehman said she is pleased with the effect the grants have had on the historical society.
“I’ve only been here for 18 months but we’ve received funding from them for probably about four or five years,” she said. “Its support means a lot to us, and we really appreciate that it supports one of our most popular programs.”
Stoffregen credited the foundation’s surge in revenue to Endow Iowa Tax Credits — a program that’s goal is to intensify philanthropic involvement throughout the state by promising donors a 25 percent tax credits for their contributions.
“Our whole emphasis [in gaining support] in the last five years has been [for Endow Iowa],” Stoffregen said. “[The response form the community has been] very good; in fact that’s one of the reasons that I believe we’ve grown because the community has endorsed and developed our mission statement, which is to build endowments for the greater good.”
Stoffregen assumes the foundation’s investments should be close to $16 million as of Dec. 31.
For Drehman, the effect of the Community Foundation has had reaches beyond the Historical Society but to all of Johnson County.
“For Johnson County as a whole, [the Community Foundation] has a huge impact because it supports many different causes for the community, not just history,” Drehman said. “For us they also manage our endowment, and it’s really great for them to be able to do that for us because it is very large, so we are thankful for them in that way.”