History Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
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The Community Foundation reached a milestone $400 million in assets under administration in 2016  and over 1,600 charitable funds. Additionally, over $24 million in grants were made from Community Foundation Funds. The Community Foundation awarded a total of $560,000 in Leadership Grant support to six community projects that will improve the quality of life in Greater Des Moines.


A record setting 750 individuals attended 13 trainings hosted by the Community Foundation. A Leadership Grant of $100,000 was made to Anawim Housing's Legacy Project to support the building of six townhomes as phase one of a multi-phase project to transform the 6th Avenue Corridor. A Leadership Grant of $250,000 was made to Broadlawns Medical Center Foundation's Mental Health Starts with Me Campaign. This grant supports the renovation of Broadlawns' current inpatient mental health facility and construction  of a new facility to house outpatient mental health services. A matching challenge Leadership Grant of $100,000 was made to United Way of Central Iowa to support the Bridges to Success program which seeks to help 10,000 adults receive their HSED by 2020.


The Community Foundation launches Keep Iowa Growing, a farmland giving program. Keep Iowa Growing provides an opportunity to use farmland as a charitable giving resource, while keeping the land in production for years to come.


A new grant opportunity, the Ignite Community Innovation Challenge, was begun by the Community Foundation and the Ignite Innovation Investors. Ignite encouraged applicants to develop innovative approaches, ideas and collaborations to improve quality of life in our community. The winner of Ignite, and recipient of a $30,000 grant, was Robotics Retail. Robotics Retail places small robotic vending machines featuring fresh produce at reasonable prices in areas of Des Moines identified as food deserts. Second place, and $15,000, was awarded to Station 1 Record Label. Station 1 Record is an innovative nonprofit approach to the recording industry. 


J. Barry Griswell retires as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation with Kristi Knous continuing to lead the organization as President.


The Community Foundation begins Community Connect: Mentors Inspiring Success; an inter-generational program creating meaningful personal connections and peer mentoring opportunities in a small group setting that ensures personal interactions with mentors in the community. Community Connect was developed in response to needs identified through Capital Crossroads and funded by both the Community Foundation and the Greater Des Moines Partnership.


The Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families opened at 801 University Avenue in Des Moines. The Center is a partnership between the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines Area Community College, the neighborhoods and citizens located adjacent to the project and community organizations. The Center mitigates unemployment, assesses and improves a person's skill sets and provides educational opportunities matched with on-the-job training by delivering enhanced services and support.



J. Barry Griswell retires as President of the Community Foundation and begins serving as Chief Executive Officer. Kristi Knous is promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.


The Community Foundation introduces a new and exciting Giving Card program to encourage giving in our community that is unique, meaningful and fun. Giving Cards can benefit any 501(c)(3) charitable organization.


The Community Foundation launches a $1 million campaign to fund the current and future needs of the Finkbine Mansion. The Finkbine Mansion has been home to the Community Foundation since 2000.

Charlotte and Fred Hubbell join the Community Foundation Leadership Circle.


The Community Foundation presents its inaugural Better Together Award to The Principal Charity Classic®


The Greater Des Moines Partnership and Community Foundation lead the Capital Crossroads: A Vision for Greater Des Moines & Central Iowa community visioning process to create a new five-year vision strategy for the region.


A Survey of Nonprofits and the Economy shows the importance of supporting local nonprofits in difficult economic times. The Community Foundation conducted the survey to evaluate and communicate the economy's effect on charitable giving and nonprofit sustainability.


Maddie's Circle is established to honor the life and legacy of Madelyn (Maddie) M. Levitt. These innovative giving circles inspire new generations to make a difference through philanthropy.


Recognizing the importance of relationships established between donors and their trusted professional advisors, the Community Foundation creates Charitable Investment Partners. This program allows donors to establish funds at the Community Foundation while their professional advisors manage the assets.


To assist Iowans recovering after the floods and tornadoes statewide in 2008, Governor Culver establishes the Embrace Iowa: 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, administered by the Community Foundation.  Over $8 million is raised through Embrace Iowa. After ten years of serving as president, Johnny Danos retires, and the Community Foundation welcomes J. Barry Griswell as incoming president. 


The inaugural Principal Charity Classic, hosted by the Community Foundation, delivers record crowds of golf spectators and record contributions to local charities. The Community Foundation and Bravo Greater Des Moines combine contributions from The Principal Charity Classic® to create Connecting Kids and Culture, an innovative program that funds educational field experiences for kindergarten through 5th grade students in Polk, Dallas and Warren counties.


The Leadership Circle Fund is formed by generous philanthropists who pledge $2 million in initial and deferred gifts to address critical community needs.


The Community Foundation reaches its targeted $100 million milestone for assets under management. 


The Community Foundation creates BoardLaunch to enhance the management and leadership skills of local nonprofit board and staff members.  


The LifeTown Legacy® Society is created to recognize donors leaving planned gifts or creating permanent endowed funds. The Community Foundation forms a statewide affiliate network to assist rural communities and counties in taking advantage of philanthropic state incentives.  The Community Foundation provides the resources to help fund the successful rebirth and expansion of the Cultural Alliance into Bravo Greater Des Moines.


Endow Iowa legislation is signed into law, providing a 25% state tax credit for certain charitable gifts given through a qualified community foundation.


Johnny Danos is elected as President.


Monroe Colston retires as President. 


United Way of Central Iowa moves its endowment to the Community Foundation, providing community leadership and partnership opportunities.  The Community Foundation receives its first major unrestricted gift-a $1 million gift from John R. & Zelda Grubb.


Monroe Colston is hired as the Community Foundation's first president.


The Community Foundation is housed in and administered by the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce.


The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines is founded as the Des Moines Community Foundation by a small group of citizens as "an enduring method for preserving our area's quality of life and extending its benefits to the entire community."