Community Foundation rolls out new Field of Interest Funds for donors

The way Anne Calder likes to describe them, the Quad Cities Community Foundation new Field of Interest Funds are kind of like aiming gifts in a direction of impact without trying to hit a target… right away, at least.

The Community Foundation has created new opportunities for donors to make gifts to causes they care about, opening a series of new Field of Interest Funds last month. The funds include basic human needs; health and wellness; children, youth and seniors; animals and the environment; cities and neighborhoods; education; and creative arts and culture.

In the same way the Community Foundation makes funding decisions for the community now and in the future where there is the most need through the Community Impact Fund, the new Field of Interest Funds will allow donors to aim their gift impact at areas of interest for the Community Foundation to fund in the future. “The response from donors has been exciting,” said Calder, who serves as vice president of development.

The idea came from professional advisors and estate planners who said it would be helpful to make philanthropy as easy as possible for clients when it comes to estate planning. “We can help donors identify an area of need or opportunity without having to target a specific organization today,” Calder said. “For most people, it’s hard to know 30 years from now what organizations would best benefit from funding. Making those decisions can be daunting or even be a barrier for people in giving. We want to make giving easy and joyful.” 

Narrowing down the choices can make a big difference. “Sometimes when the world is your oyster, there are so many great nonprofits and it’s hard to zone in,” she added, noting that the Field of Interest Funds can help people hone in on where they want to make a difference in their community. “It’s a great conversation starter, and sometimes leads to people choosing a specific organization instead. And that’s okay too. The bigger conversation on impact just helps bring focus.” 

Calder said she has already worked with donors who found the funds helpful. “There’s one family who has already picked three areas of interest for their estate and said it was so easy because it took away the pressure of knowing what the biggest needs in those areas would be decades from now,” she said. “They trust the Community Foundation to continually evaluate and know the best ways to serve and transform the community.”

The Field of Interest Funds will have a long-term impact on the region. Oftentimes, donors simply need help with their philanthropy goals. “They need help and information,” she said. “And this is what we do every year—we’re in touch with the organizations, they’re seeking us out, we know the opportunities for growth and expansion and we’re able to direct funds any given year in the best manner.”

It’s a great responsibility, one that the Community Foundation doesn’t take lightly. “For more than 50 years, we’ve been helping donors see they can trust their philanthropy with us,” she said. “This is yet one more way they can support causes they care most about today—and long into the future.”

To learn more about how our Field of Interest Funds support your community interests, contact Anne Calder at 563/326-2840.

Melanie JonesDonors