pccf announces new name,
greater impact

(Council Bluffs, IA | May 8, 2022) -- It is an exhilarating time in southwest and western Iowa, and Pottawattamie County Community Foundation and its Board of Directors have observed and identified growth opportunities and the need for increased services and philanthropic support.

Over the last 15 years, the Community Foundation has learned how necessary it is to build funding sources for areas of need, where caring and committed donors can invest their charitable dollars in ways that fill their passion, while creating lasting change in our communities. Two “Field of Interest” funds have been established at the Community Foundation – the Women’s Fund of Southwest Iowa and Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fund – both created to support nonprofit organizations in nine counties throughout southwest Iowa while increasing access to philanthropic funding in a holistic and regional way. In addition to the new funding sources, the Community Foundation established a “Make It Happen” fund development program to help nonprofit organizations build leadership within their organizations, and to assist them in developing a rich culture of philanthropy in the communities they serve. In late May, the Community Foundation will also bring SHARE Iowa to our region to support nonprofit organizations through donor engagement and a high-level of donor-centered service.

All these elements have led the Community Foundation to a place in its mission that has grown beyond Pottawattamie County and into the western Iowa region. A name change from Pottawattamie County Community Foundation to the Community Foundation for Western Iowa better reflects the Foundation’s mission to build community through giving while being a leader in donor-centric philanthropy.

“The growth of the Community Foundation reflects the awesome and inspiring support of our community,” said Tony Tauke, Community Foundation for Western Iowa Board Chair. “We have seen a substantial increase in the size of gifts and in the number of donors. Individual donor-advised and special needs funds have mushroomed beyond Pottawattamie County borders. This expansion is reflected in the new addition to our once little office which was completed due to the generous contribution and strong support of the Lakin Foundation. This seedling organization started nearly fifteen years ago and has grown into a fruitful tree of philanthropy with many branches, relationships, and donors that encompass more than just Pottawattamie County. We as a Board see the potential for growing larger and creating more impact over the coming years.”

Over the last year, area stakeholders, donors, committee members, and the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors conversed in a series of meetings and events to determine the direction and strategic vision. The consensus was to choose a name that better reflects the work the Community Foundation does in our region: supporting vibrant communities; engaging nonprofit organizations; and building a culture of philanthropy.

The Community Foundation was established in 2008, by four founding board members, Bobbette Behrens, Dean Fischer, Marie Knedler, and Kelly Summy, with the help of an initial grant from the Iowa West Foundation.

“Sixteen years ago, it started with a vision, four founding Board members and support from the Iowa West Foundation,” said Bobbette Behrens, founding Board member and current Community Impact Grants committee member at the Community Foundation. “At that time, we wanted to create a Foundation worthy of public trust and grow an endowment that would benefit the area through grants and other philanthropic activities. It is so exciting to see PCCF enter this next chapter. Its growth would not have been possible without the hard work of the Board, staff and committee members over the years and most importantly, the donors who have helped create a Foundation that will serve this area for many years to come.“

In its most recent annual report published in April, the Community Foundation shared the incredible growth and impact that donors and fund holders have created in southwest Iowa. Last year, investors awarded 269 grants totaling an astounding $1.9 million dollars to a variety of nonprofit organizations in focus areas such as community betterment, education, human services, and arts & culture. This is an 18.79% increase in grant awards from 2020 ($532,504). The investor granting, coupled with the Foundation’s grant awards, was $2.2 Million.

Additionally, the annual impact report revealed that the Community Foundation significantly increased its total assets to $52,363,015 by the end of December, a 15.8% increase from 2021 ($44,078,011), and nearly $40 million more from its total assets in 2017 ($12,722,156).

“The generosity and philanthropic spirit of southwest and western Iowa drives the impact that the Community Foundation helps create,” said Donna Dostal, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are so fortunate to have a strong culture of giving in our region, and we at the Community Foundation value the relationships we have with our donors, nonprofit and corporate partners, and our colleagues at other area foundations. This is certainly an exciting time, and we look forward to serving the needs of our region by amplifying impact and making it easy and personally rewarding to give where we live.”

In late November, the Community Foundation moved back into a newly renovated and expanded building at 536 E Broadway due to generous funding support from the Charles E. Lakin Foundation. A gift of $556,000 helped the Community Foundation add a total of 1,110 square feet – complete with four additional office spaces for future staff capacity needs, new ADA compliant restrooms, a staff kitchenette, and a large conference room to host board and committee meetings.

“The Lakin Foundation was instrumental in initiating and completing the project and fundamental in their generosity beyond our imagination,” said Tony Tauke, Community Foundation for Western Iowa Board Chair. “It absolutely could not have been done without their support. We are truly grateful.”

"Gifts to a community foundation benefit the community forever,” said Steve Wild, President of the Charles E. Lakin Foundation, Inc. “The Lakin Foundation is therefore proud to partner with and help support The Community Foundation for Western Iowa to nourish philanthropy throughout the region. Their name change from PCCF will further strengthen our partnering opportunities to support communities beyond Pottawattamie County and thereby help to make western Iowa an even better place to live."

The Community Foundation invites you to attend its ribbon cutting and building dedication on Monday, May 16, from 8:00am to 10:00am at 536 E Broadway in Council Bluffs. The event will celebrate the new name announcement, as well as the beautiful building renovation and addition generously funded by the Charles E. Lakin Foundation. The Community Foundation will officially dedicate the building as the Florence M. and Charles E. Lakin Center for Community Giving.

Learn more about the
Community Foundation for Western Iowa and our new brand!