The Community Foundation Announces Leadership Grants

Dec. 19, 2017 null

Through strategic Leadership Grants, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines plays a key role in providing significant funding to projects that strengthen Greater Des Moines by 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 three organizations with Leadership Grants:


One Economy
A $100,000 Leadership Grant was provided to support One Economy through The Directors Council. One Economy acknowledges a broad scope of racial inequity issues in Greater Des Moines and aims to close the racial wealth divide for individuals of African descent in Polk County. “The Directors Council is thrilled to be a recipient of a Leadership Grant from the Community Foundation,” shares The Directors Council Board Chair, Teree Caldwell-Johnson. “This Leadership Grant will make a lasting impact on black households in Greater Des Moines as we work toward a future where the disparities that exist in our community are overcome.”


Kids First Law Center
A $75,000 Leadership Grant was awarded to launch Kids First Law Center in Des Moines. Kids First Law Center gives children a voice in divorce, custody and other high-conflict events by providing focused legal representation and services for kids. The overall goals for Kids First are to create stability for children of high-conflict divorce, lessen the effect of family conflict on children, connect families to support systems and needed resources and make children’s voices heard. Jenny McFarland, Executive Director and Founder of Kids First Law Center, shares, “What a gift to receive a Leadership Grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. We have been astounded by the generosity and determination of residents of Greater Des Moines to raise the seed money needed to open an office here. Thanks to the Community Foundation, we are thrilled to make Kids First Des Moines a reality!”  


Des Moines Heritage Trust

A $75,000 Leadership Grant was awarded to Des Moines Heritage Trust to support the capital campaign renovation of the 1909 Des Moines Union Depot and create a community event center adjacent to the depot resulting in the Des Moines Heritage Center. The preservation of this historic East Village city landmark will serve as a collaborative home to support a variety of heritage organizations with shared office space, board room, gallery spaces. This space is intended to enhance partnerships and collaborations between organizations as well as strengthen this sector of the nonprofit community. “The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Grant demonstrates the support that the Des Moines Heritage Center project has achieved,” shares Tim Waddell, Board Vice-Chair of the Des Moines Heritage Trust Center. “The historical and heritage organizations that will be housed at the Des Moines Heritage Center will benefit from this support as we work toward synergies among the organizations.  The Center will become an access point to the Market District section of the Historic East Village and this grant will help to make that possible.”