From Senator Taylor

Written by Theresa Rose on April 10, 2015

FOSTERING CHARITABLE GIVING IN IOWA COMMUNITIES

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-served 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 Obesity Prevention in Henry County, the Jefferson County Agency on Aging, Big River United Way and the Houghton Fire Department.

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

UPCOMING PUBLIC FORUMS

• Friday, April 17, 12 Noon: Fort Madison at the Palm’s Supper Club

• Saturday, April 18, 8:30 a.m.: Fairfield at the Best Western Hotel

• Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m.: Washington Economic Development Legislative Forum at the Washington County Courthouse

• Friday, April 24, 12 noon: Keokuk at the Hawkeye Steak House

• Saturday, April 25, 8:30 a.m.: Mount Pleasant at the IWC Library

Additional information

This is a legislative update from Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.

To contact Senator Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov.

Senator Taylor is chair of the Local Government Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Human Resources, Judiciary, and Justice Systems Budget committees.