LincolnWay Community Foundation supports James D. Owen Jr. Foundation
DeWitt resident Jim Owen has long been committed to supporting local youth through education and athletics. He recently opened the James D. Owen Jr. Foundation, a fund held by the LincolnWay Community Foundation, which will create opportunities for youth to participate in golf, soccer, baseball, swimming and other sports through the City of DeWitt and the DeWitt Referral Center. The fund also supports a scholarship for a Central DeWitt Community School student and technology grants for Central teachers.
“My motivation is to help the community,” said Owen.
Owen’s two sons graduated from Central DeWitt High School. He spent 44 years working at Iowa Mutual Insurance Company in DeWitt and retired as President/CEO in 2004. Since then, Owen has spent many hours volunteering and enjoying time on the golf course. His personal philosophy is, “Learn, earn and return,” which has led him to make many charitable contributions to the DeWitt community. He is particularly interested in investing in those in the “learning” stage of life with hope that they, too, will earn and return, giving back to the community where they were educated.
“The Community Foundation is a wonderful alternative for those who are considering creating their own private foundation,” said Pat Henricksen, executive director. “We handle all the reporting and documentation, while you get to experience the joy and satisfaction of shaping your philanthropy.”
Creating a fund at the Community Foundation provides relief from the administrative responsibilities of managing a private foundation, including accounting, grant application due diligence, investment of assets, and IRS reporting. Community Foundation funds also provide the freedom to give anonymously and access to the generous Endow Iowa 25% State Tax Credit. Endowment funds are invested forever, with annual distributions from earned interest that can provide a permanent stream of income for an important cause or a specific nonprofit.
Foundation staff are knowledgeable about community needs and connected with local nonprofits, so they can help make giving back a more meaningful experience for fund holders.
“The Foundation is constantly listening and learning to understand issues in the community, and we facilitate work to address them,” said Henricksen. “We’ve made a difference in every one of the 11 towns we serve and in the lives of the children attending local schools.”
When caring community members like Owen partner with the Community Foundation, everyone wins. “I hope this fund will build awareness and encourage others to see opportunities to give,” said Owen.