Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Celebrates Record-Breaking Generosity of Iowans in 2020

Feb. 10, 2021 null

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. The challenges of 2020 underscored the importance of this mission in action and highlighted the generosity and leadership of Iowans. 2020 was a record-breaking year for charitable giving through the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines with over $70.1 million in grants made from charitable giving funds

“In a year in which the needs of our community were great, Community Foundation donors increased their giving and rose to the challenges we faced,” shares Kristi Knous, Community Foundation president. “In our service to our charitable giving fund holders and the community, we have been committed to collaboration and building trust. In doing so we are proud to have created a strong foundation ready to serve and spur even greater giving when it was needed most.” 

2020 Achievements 

  • A record $70.1 million in grants were made in 2020 from charitable giving funds held at the Community Foundation and through the Community Foundation’s Better Together Fund.
  • Activated the Disaster Recovery Fund on behalf of the community and raised over $1 million to support our community and its most vulnerable populations facing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Over $86.6 million in gifts were made by donors to Community Foundation charitable giving funds in 2020, the highest level of giving to charitable giving funds in the organization’s history. This includes the Community Foundation’s network of 43 affiliate community foundations served across the state.
  •  The Community Foundation’s assets under administration grew to over $738 million as of December 31, 2020. 

  • 110 new charitable giving funds were established with the Community Foundation for a total of 2,148 funds under administration.
  • The Community Foundation pivoted grantmaking, made possible through support of the Better Together Fund, to be responsive to the needs of our community including:
  • Strategic Collaboration Grants – Awarded to 10 initiatives seeking ways to leverage strengths of partnering organizations.
  •   Capacity & Adaptation Grants – Awarded to 61 projects as an opportunity to support local nonprofits during the pandemic and beyond. 
  •   Disaster Recovery Fund – The Disaster Recovery Fund (DRF) was launched with a grant from the Better Together Fund. As our community and its underserved populations face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DRF has provided nearly 30 grants to keep people safe, healthy and housed. 
  • 432 people attended DonorConnect events to learn about community needs and opportunities. This included the Conversations that Count series focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion in Greater Des Moines. 
  •  Facilitated trainings and conversations for over 2800 nonprofit staff and board members. 
  •  The Community Foundation served 30 Nonprofit Accounting Service clients in 2020. 


“It is the privilege of the Community Foundation to provide the tools and local knowledge so our community can give with confidence, especially during a time of such great need,” says Dr. Richard Deming, board chair. “We are proud of the ways in which we are here to serve today while also being prepared and positioned to serve as our community’s foundation for giving for generations to come.” 

Adds Knous, “The Community Foundation was made for times like these. We are here to serve, support and lead no matter the challenges or opportunities before us. Thanks to the generosity and leadership of those we serve, we are assured that we are truly better together and will be better forever.”