Endow Iowa is an investment in Iowa's future
By: Kristi Knous, CAP®, MPA, president, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines & Kari McCann Boutell, president, Iowa Council of Foundations
This article first appeared in the Better Iowa section of The Des Moines Register on March 18, 2017.
Iowans have time and again shown their commitment to the causes and communities they care about by providing the financial support necessary to turn dreams into realities, help neighbors in need and invest in the future of our state. For over 10 years, such investments have been rewarded with a 25 percent state tax credit called Endow Iowa. Endow Iowa provides an opportunity to make meaningful gifts benefiting Iowa causes and communities for years to come while receiving a tax credit today. Available exclusively through Iowa community foundations, such as the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Endow Iowa is an investment in the future of our state.
Thanks to Endow Iowa, impact is being achieved in every corner of Iowa today, and for generations to come. Real impact such as that found in Fairfield where a donor generously gave a gift to an Endow Iowa qualified fund at his local community foundation to provide sustainable support of the area’s historical museum. Or in Northwest Iowa where a couple celebrated their retirement by creating an Endow Iowa fund to ensure the gifts they made to the causes they cared about during their working years would continue through this next phase in life. In 2016 alone the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, and the 31 county community foundations that it partners with across our state, worked with donors to utilize over $3.6 million in Endow Iowa Tax Credits to leverage over $14.7 million in gifts to Iowa causes. Since the creation of the program, we have seen Endow Iowa Tax Credits help generate $24 million in endowed gifts annually, and that is just the beginning. Because endowed gifts are permanent, they are able to generate support for Iowa charitable causes now and forever.
In a time when our elected officials are making difficult decisions about our state’s budget, the need to increase available Endow Iowa Tax Credits from $6 million to $8 million has never been more important. The demand for this program continues to grow. Each of the past four years, Endow Iowa Tax Credits have all been claimed before the end of the calendar year, leading to increased amounts of carryover credits from year to year. The success of the program speaks to the foresight of this public-private approach to creating solutions that strengthen all areas of our state. Imagine what the future of our state could look like if today’s leaders increased available Endow Iowa Tax Credits to provide grow support for tomorrow today.
As we anticipate a transfer of wealth of over $824 billion over the next 50 years, the need for growth of the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program becomes only more critical. It encourages already generous Iowans to consider how they can continue to support the causes, organizations, churches, schools and communities they have supported throughout their lives for generations to come. Such generosity can help to ensure that all corners of our state will continue to thrive into the future, and our fellow Iowans will continue to enjoy the quality of life that makes us proud to call Iowa home.
If you have experienced positive community impact, made possible by the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program, we encourage you to contact your legislatures and share these stories as they continue their support of this legislation. If you would like to learn more about how to take advantage of Endow Iowa to invest in Iowa causes you care about, contact the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines at 515-883-2626.
Kristi Knous is president of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, which is committed to improving quality of life for all by promoting charitable giving, connecting donors with causes they care about and providing leadership on important community issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kari McCann Boutell is the President of the Iowa Council of Foundations, which works to strengthen and grow philanthropy across Iowa. Contact: email@example.com
Sources: Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Revenue