Community Foundation endowment challenge raises over $1 million in permanent support for the Quad City community

Supporters of fifteen nonprofit organizations contributed over $1 million to help those nonprofits succeed in the 2012 Endowment Challenge issued by the Quad Cities Community Foundation. The endowments funded by these donations and $75,000 in matching grants from the Community Foundation will create a permanent, consistent source of income, allowing organizations to fulfill their missions for years to come.

Nonprofits that raised $15,000 in new gifts for their endowment at the Community Foundation received a $5,000 matching grant for their endowment. Alternatively, nonprofits that raised $30,000 in new gifts had the option to add the $5,000 matching grant to their endowment or use it for current operations. Every year, 4.5% of endowment assets held at the Community Foundation are distributed back out to the community to support the work of nonprofit organizations, while the principal remains intact as a permanent resource.

Because gifts had to come from at least ten people, organizations had to spread the message of the importance of endowment. Jay Morrow, Superintendent of United Township, had conversations with alumni about how they could support the United Education Foundation, which provides scholarships to students and mini-grants to teachers. "We let them know that they could be significant in the future of our foundation, giving tomorrow's students the same opportunities that they had."

Community Foundation Vice President of Programs Matt Mendenhall agrees. "While the $5,000 award is certainly helpful to these organizations, increased stakeholder awareness of endowment as permanent support for a mission they care about will have much greater value over the long run." In total, 397 donors contributed to the 2012 Endowment Challenge.

For all but one organization, the 2012 Endowment Challenge was their first time raising funds specifically for endowment. Children's Therapy Center of the Quad Cities, already an Endowment Partner, took the opportunity to grow their endowment. "In today's economy, a lot of organizational energy is focused on the 'now' – making sure we can provide services today," says George McDoniel, Executive Director. "The Community Foundation through their challenge match encourages us to focus energy on securing our future with endowment."

Both Endowment Partners and Community Foundation staff stressed the value of the partnerships they built through this process. Barb Melbourne, Vice President of Development at the Community Foundation, says, "I am very proud of our partners who committed to building endowment for a sustainable future." Mark Drake, Executive Director of Youth Hope, says, "We are so excited about our new endowment with the Community Foundation!  We received a generous match, a new partnership, new income, and unlimited long term potential."

Each Endowment Partner who met the match will be featured on the Community Foundation Facebook page as "Endowment Partner of the Week" beginning January 28th. To learn more about the impact of these organizations and how you can make a difference, Like our Facebook page.

2012 Community Foundation Endowment Challenge

  • Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation

  • Catholic Diocese of Davenport

  • Children's Therapy Center of the Quad Cities

  • Eastern Iowa Community College District Foundation

  • Family Resources, Inc.

  • German-American Heritage Center

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • James E. and Carol A. Bowe Endowment for Handicapped Development Center

  • Midwest Writing Center

  • Oakdale Memorial Gardens

  • Saint Anthony's Catholic Church – Davenport

  • Scott County Family Y

  • United Education Foundation

  • Women's Choice Center

  • Youth Hope - Christian Friendliness

2012 Endowment Challenge – by the numbers:

Successful Endowment Partners: 15 
Total gifts: $956,680.31 
Total donors: 397 
Total match: $75,000

Melanie JonesNonprofits, Grant