Community Foundation Awards Over $240,000 in Leadership Grants

Jun. 17, 2014 null

Des Moines, IA (June 17, 2014): Through strategic Leadership Grants the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines plays a key role in providing significant funding leadership to projects that strengthen Greater Des Moines by proactively responding to community trends and opportunities.  Leadership Grants are funded through donations to the Better Together Fund. Donors to the Better Together Fund give to support community needs now and into the future as identified through the Community Foundation's grantmaking process facilitated by the organization's expert staff, Grantmaking Committee and board of directors. The Community Foundation announces support of the following organizations with Leadership Grants:


Polk County Conservation

A Leadership Grant of $100,000 was awarded to fund the construction of the Jester Park Conservation Center. This new facility will serve as a welcome center, interpretative center, promoter of public health and STEM education and serve as administrative headquarters for the Polk County Conservation Board. The Center's vision centers on citizen engagement with diverse natural systems through quality environmental education and outdoor recreation. This facility will serve as a discovery portal where people of all ages can actively and reactively experience Iowa's natural heritage.

Contact: Kami Rankin, Community Outreach Supervisor,, 515-323-5363


Community Youth Concepts

A $50,000 Leadership Grant was awarded to the Community Youth Concepts Project Forever Home capital campaign. Community Youth Concept's new facility will be located within the Urban Core of Des Moines to better serve the population of students its programs impact. The new space will result in an estimated $28,000 annual cost savings related to operating expenses which will be reinvested in programming and organizational development to effectively serve more youth.

Contact:  Amy Croll, Executive Director,, 515-243-4292


Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation

The Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation was awarded a $35,000 Leadership Grant to fund a feasibility study as part of the organizational development and startup of the Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation. The Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation has been identified as a critical component of the Tomorrow Plan, addressing the Capital Crossroads goals for the region, building on the Healthiest State Initiative and Healthy Polk 2020.

Contact:  Sam Carrell, Acting Executive Director,, 515-240-7993


Harbor of Hope

A $35,000 Leadership Grant was awarded to Harbor of Hope to support the Lifetime Recovery Program. Harbor of Hope is a residential addiction recovery center that provides a positive, structured program to men newly released from prison or reducing incarceration time through Drug Court. This project is a collaborative approach to providing services to clients as well as work with mental health service providers to identify areas for systems change in health services. This project will allow both Harbor of Hope and health service providers to work in tandem to leverage system resources, eliminate duplication, pursue better policy and develop protocols for more effective treatment of the wider recovery population.

Contact: Tom Pontow, Executive Director,, 515-306-0134


Des Moines Art Center

A $20,000 Leadership Grant was awarded to the Des Moines Art Center to support the Conservation of Environmental Sculpture project. The project will renovate an environmental sculpture, "Greenwood Pond Double Site" (1989-1996) by American artist Mary Miss, owned by the Art Center and sited in Greenwood Park. This environmental sculpture is noteworthy as it is the first urban wetlands art project in the country. By restoring the artwork the public will once again be able to enjoy and learn from an unique urban wetland.

Contact:  Emily Bahnsen, Development Director,, 515-271-0338


About the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines improves quality of life for all by promoting charitable giving, connecting donors with causes they care about and providing leadership on important community issues.we're simply better together. The Community Foundation manages assets in excess of $320 million, administers more than 1,200 charitable funds and distributed more than $21 million in grants in 2013. Visit to learn more.