Investing in the Future of Your Community
Regan Michaelsen, executive director of Information Referral and Assistance Services (IRAS) in Clinton has seen the impact of the River Bluff Community Foundation’s grantmaking program firsthand. IRAS Back Pack Buddy Program for the 2016-17 school year provided needed weekend food packages to 178 children each week attending Clinton Middle School, Eagle Heights, Jefferson, Whittier and Bluff Elementary Schools.
The Back Pack Buddy Program, along with the Northend Outreach Ministry (NOM) recently received a $2,500 matching grant from River Bluff Community Foundation
NOM is comprised of First Congregational Church, Community Congregational, Christ Episcopal Church, Lyon’s Methodist Church and the Sisters of St. Francis. In 2012, NOM started supplying food boxes for families identified by an Eagle Heights school counselor as a family that would struggle financially to provide enough food for their family during school breaks.
These two local nonprofit organizations collaborated for their cause in response to River Bluff Community Foundation’s challenge grant of $2,500. Engaged and charitable local companies and individuals responded and in less than two months, NOM and IRAS raised the remaining $7,500 to meet the $10,000 goal. It is an incredible spirit and compliment to the residents of Clinton, Iowa.
Sometimes communities like Clinton, Iowa gets overlooked in its capacity to be philanthropic. Yet, instances like the collaboration between River Bluff Community Foundation, Northend Outreach Ministry, and Information Referral and Assistance Services is what gives all of us hope, energy and optimism that our City of Clinton cares for our children and families.
This story—alongside the countless others like it—demonstrates the tremendous impact and unique importance of community foundations in this country. From November 12 to 18, we celebrate Community Foundation Week, our chance to share and reflect on these stories. Though you may not yet know your local community foundation, you’ve likely felt its impact.
That’s because RBCF and more than 780 other community foundations across the country help to bring donors and residents together. The community foundation unites their efforts behind the efforts that will help the places we call home continue to flourish and grow.
Here at home, it’s no secret that the people of the City of Clinton care deeply about their community. We work hard, we support our neighbors, and we desire the same thing that many others in rural America desire: to know the future of our town is bright and filled with possibilities. It may be a best-kept secret to others, however, that the RBCF is at work here in our backyard connecting people to causes they love, collaborating with local leaders to drive change and preserving the futures of organizations that keep our town strong and thriving.
As we enter the giving season, America’s generosity surges. Millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They’ll also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving—however they choose to give—will have the most impact. That’s why so many of them will choose to give to a community foundation.
A gift to your local community foundation is really an investment in the future of your community. We like to say that community foundations are “here for good.” At RBCF we don’t think about the next election or business cycle, we think about the next generation and the next after that.
That can seem a daunting task, but it’s one that we all share. During Community Foundation Week, I hope you’ll join us in recognizing our collective impact and the difference we can make together.
To learn more about the River Bluff Community Foundation, visit www.dbqfoundation.org/rbcf.
For more information on Community Foundation Week visit www.cof.org/cfweek and follow #CFWeek on Twitter.
Alma A Mariano is the Foundation Coordinator for the River Bluff Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.