Creating a lasting impact and sustaining important life-affirming programs and services is very important to the investors at the Community Foundation. They want to create a legacy for positive growth that lives on for generations to come. 

The Community Foundation for Western Iowa is your connection to creating a lasting legacy and ensuring our communities are strong, vibrant, and attractive for generations to come. 

We will work worth you to maximize your charitable gifts, which can include but are not limited to the following: cash gifts, financial investments, bequests, gifts of grain, stocks and securities, livestock, real estate, and vehicles. 

** Options can include Retirement Plans, Insurance, and IRA Required Minimum Distributions and Charitable Rollovers.

Creating a charitable fund is simple and we will work with you to ensure your charitable purpose or intent is fulfilled, choose the type of endowment fund that best fits your needs, complete the fund agreement, and begin your journey of creating a lasting impact for your community and the causes you care about most. 

Contact us at 712-256-7007 to learn more. 

Southwest Iowa Nature Trails Receives $25,000
Annual Gift from Hoff Family Fund

Southwest Iowa Nature Trails, Inc. (SWINT) announced in February that their organization has been selected to receive an incredible annual gift of $25,000 from Dr. Ted and Polly Hoff. Dr. Ted and Polly partnered with the Community Foundation for Western Iowa, formerly Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, in 2013 to create a donor-advised fund as a way for their family to financially support area nonprofit organizations in a long-term capacity. The annual gift from the Hoff Family Fund to SWINT will support operational needs and infrastructure repairs for the Wabash Trace Nature Trail.

The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a converted railroad right-of-way running 63 miles and over 72 bridges through the scenic Southwest Iowa countryside, beginning in Council Bluffs and ending at the Missouri state line. SWINT was established in 1988, and with the invaluable assistance of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and countless volunteers and community stakeholders, the railroad right-of-way was railbanked in 1989, and the trail was completed and dedicated in 1997. 

"The Hoff Family's annual gift came as such a wonderful surprise to our organization,” said Rebecca Castle Laughlin, President of SWINT. “We operate on a small annual budget and depend upon trail pass fees and donations to fund basic operating needs. Annual planned gifts, such as the donation from the Hoff Family Fund, will become ever important to sustaining the Wabash Trace as the trail's infrastructure continues to age. We are extremely thankful to the Hoff Family for their generosity. Their commitment will help ensure the public's enjoyment of the Wabash Trace for many generations to come."

The aging infrastructure of the trail means that new surfacing, bridge repairs, and tree trimming is a never-ending job. SWINT Board members are fortunate to be able to seek grant assistance for larger projects as they arise, but operational costs for anything from insurance to fuel for maintenance vehicles are dependent upon the organization’s annual fundraising campaigns and donations.  

Laughlin added, “We greatly appreciate every donation to SWINT, no matter the size, but having the assurance that we will be receiving this generous contribution from the Hoff Family every year helps us more effectively plan our budget around larger upcoming costs that we know are looming.” 

“Dr. and Mrs. Hoff illustrate an amazing example of philanthropy in our community,” said Donna Dostal, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “With a generous heart and a commitment to making Southwest Iowa strong and vibrant, they demonstrate a lovely, selfless example of giving back. The Community Foundation is honored to work with Dr. and Mrs. Hoff, and other folks just like them with a heart for our community, to meet their philanthropic goals and make a lasting investment in the beautiful region we live in.”

“My wife and I are excited about being a part of the future for this wonderful trail. It has so many uses for people of all ages.”

- Dr. Ted Hoff

Meighan McCarthy Johansen Hope Fund Creates Incredible
Impact in Avoca and Surrounding Communities

"The Donor Advised Fund enables us to take a personal approach to giving by supporting a variety of nonprofit organizations centered around children and education. Our partnership with the Community Foundation has been extremely rewarding. We appreciate the knowledge and support of their staff in enabling us to keep Meighan’s memory alive, while supporting worthy organizations that impact children’s lives."

- Deb McCarthy

Meighan McCarthy Johansen passed away on February 28, 2013, at the age of 29 from a nearly two year courageous battle with cervical cancer.  The McCarthy family was blessed with an outpouring of generosity from family, friends, and community members during Meighan’s radiation and chemotherapy treatments at Methodist Hospital in Omaha and during the experimental therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and when Meighan passed away, Deb and Jerry knew they wanted to honor their eldest daughter’s memory by giving back to the community that had offered them so much love and support.

Jerry and Deb initially considered a scholarship in Meighan’s name since she was a teacher, however, after learning about the Community Foundation and meeting with staff to discuss their options, they decided to create the Meighan McCarthy Johansen Hope Fund - a donor advised fund - in 2014. Jerry and Deb liked how flexible, convenient, and simple it was to meet their goal of creating a larger impact in our community. 

Since 2015, the Meighan McCarthy Johansen Hope Fund has distributed 25 grants totaling over $14,000 to 16 different groups. The fund has impacted the city of Avoca and surrounding communities.

The TeamMates mentoring program at AHSTW, the school Meighan taught at, has benefitted from the fund in her name. The AHSTW school district, that serves the communities of Avoca, Hancock, Shelby, Tennant and Walnut, has 21 mentors and mentees that meet weekly.

Through generous grants from the Meighan McCarthy Johansen Hope Fund, the program has offered memorable experiences for students in 4th grade through 12th grade with behind-the-scene tours and special field trips. The program has visited places like the The Rose Theater to learn about acting, and the SAC museum to learn about planes, robots and programming. A trip to the Old Mattress Factory in Omaha to experience a “burger bar” revealed that it was the first restaurant a 5th grader had ever been to.  

“Thanks to the Meighan McCarthy Johansen Hope Foundation, we are able to give children an experience they will never forget,” said Jean Enke, President of the AHSTW TeamMates program. “Meighan certainly brings hope to these young people.”