The County Endowment Fund Program legislation passed in 2004 and created a community foundation in every Iowa county. The current legislation provides eight-tenths of one percent (0.8%) of the state's commercial gaming tax revenue to support the grantmaking and endowment building efforts of community foundations in the 85 counties that do not hold a state issue gaming license. Community foundations receiving these funds grant 75 percent to charitable projects within their counties and place the remaining 25 percent into a permanent endowment. This provides a source of permanent funding for charitable projects within the county.
The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines is one of 11 host community foundations in the state of Iowa that provides technical, fiscal and administrative expertise for community foundations created through the County Endowment Fund Program. Over 400 affiliate funds in 39 counties and communities are currently administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.
Resources are raised within a community or county and held by the Community Foundation. An affiliate's Family of Funds grows when other local individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations create charitable funds to support their community. Grants from funds are distributed upon the recommendation of local leaders.
Since 2005, Community Foundation affiliates have generated over $59 million in charitable gifts and granted over $26 million to charitable organizations within their local communities.