Community Foundation Unveils Strategic Framework and 2024 Annual Report

May 2, 2024

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines held their Annual Celebration Luncheon at Community Choice Convention Center, which highlighted themes of Connection, Collaboration and Community. The event celebrated the successes of 2023 and provided an Annual Report to the community. Additionally, a new five-year Strategic Framework was launched with a focused vision on the future.  

 “The Community Foundation board of directors spent the last year dreaming of our aspirations for the organization,” said Kristi Knous, president of the Community Foundation. “We took the responsibility of developing a new framework for the organization to heart, listening to hundreds of voices in the process. We were aspirational in our thinking, and we are so very excited to see how the next five years develops and transforms our community for the better.”   

The Strategic Framework identifies guideposts that will lead the way and inform the work. They include: 

  • A commitment to embrace and embody diversity, equity and inclusion and to build communities where all people have the opportunity to flourish;  
  • A commitment to connect, inspire and ignite generosity to help meet and solve the community’s greatest needs;  
    • A desire to leverage the organization’s influence to drive real community change;  
      • A commitment to believe and invest in the nonprofit sector and to amplify their impact; and 
        • A desire to be an approachable partner in building connections and relationships for transformational change.  

        The Strategic Framework will serve as the organization’s roadmap through 2028 and contains four pillars of focus: 

        • Greater Giving – offer donor engagement that is personalized to inspire and maximize charitable giving, connect donors with causes they care about and to cultivate connections and strong relationships with professional advisors to grow giving.  

        • Better Together – leverage the organization’s influence to drive community change, activating stakeholders to collectively solve critical community issues and strengthen the nonprofit sector to serve our community most effectively, in addition to encouraging investments in Better Together Funds to catalyze and impact systems change. 

        • Statewide Impact - grow and foster charitable giving in Iowa by engaging and supporting local stakeholders throughout the affiliate network to grow giving, provide community leadership and make strategic grant investments to strengthen communities throughout the state. 

        • Strong Foundation - ensure the Community Foundation remains a strong and stable force, through innovation, strong stewardship and investing in people, systems and potential. 

        "The Community Foundation’s purpose is to collaborate with partners and stakeholders to help build community,” said Susan Fitzsimmons, board chair of the Community Foundation. “Working with our nonprofit sector and stewarding charitable giving funds helps connect donors with causes they care about, building a better together future that is not only an honor and a privilege to facilitate, but one we look forward to continuing to build for years to come.” 

        Notable achievements from 2023 include distribution of more than $62.1 million to nonprofit organizations from charitable giving funds held at the Community Foundation in 2023. Fund holders were able to directly respond to community needs and opportunities, with over 3,260 charities impacted. Additionally, more than 40 events were held at the new C3 Center, which was opened in May 2023, with thousands in attendance for trainings, convenings and community conversations.