Big GIVE Month Starts Oct. 12

Focus on Participation, Showcasing Local Non-Profits

The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF) will kick-off the year-end giving season with Big GIVE Month, Oct. 12-Nov. 12.

Last year, donors from throughout Poweshiek County contributed $87,000 to 29 different funds administered by GPCF during a week-long campaign.

This year, the month-long fund drive’s emphasis is on participation and showcasing the work of local non-profit organizations. The fund drive will be stimulated by several matching challenges offered by private donors, local businesses, the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, and in some cases, the non-profit organization partners themselves.

“This year, donors have a month-long opportunity to do the most good and strengthen our local non-profit partners,” said GPCF Community Relations Coordinator Delphina Baumann. “Our emphasis is on the important role of participation. People often think that if they can’t give at a certain level, they shouldn’t give at all.

“We want to help donors find the fund or project that best matches their giving interest. Last year, we launched our ‘Catalog for Giving’ that lists, by category, all of the giving opportunities available through more than 120 funds administered by GPCF.

“Gifts of all sizes are needed to support our partner organizations,” Baumann said, “so our focus during Big GIVE Month is on helping new donors establish the habit of giving, while showcasing the good work of our local non-profits.”

The matching challenges that will stimulate new and increased gifts include: the Blast Off Challenge, which will award $500 each to the nonprofit that receives the first online donation and the greatest number of online donations on kick-off day, Mon., Oct. 12; the Landing Challenge, which will award $500 to the nonprofit that receives the most online donations on Thurs., Nov. 12, the conclusion of Big GIVE Month; the Tom & Connie Marshall Fund Challenge, which will add $26 (for the number of years GPCF has been in existence) to donations of $100 or more to the Marshall Administrative Fund; $1000 to the nonprofit with the highest level of donor participation; $1000 to the nonprofit with the most dollars raised during Big GIVE Month; $1000 drawing for non-profit partner organizations that establish their own matching or challenge fund during the campaign; the Hunger Challenge, through which Dental Associates will match up to $1000 in donations towards the Tiger Packs Program; and the Central Park Challenge, provided by an anonymous donor, will match up to $75,000 donated during Big GIVE. The Brooklyn Community Betterment Challenge, provided by an anonymous donor, will match up to $25,000 donated to the six endowed funds that benefit the Brooklyn community.

In addition, the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation will contribute $100,000 to the Marshall Endowed Administrative Fund if the community contributes $800,000. CDAF issued the challenge last year and more than $300,000 has already been raised. The fund, which is named for GPCF founder Tom Marshall and long-time community volunteer Connie Marshall, supports the annual operating expenses of GPCF.

GPCF board member Rachel Bly encourages donors, new and established, to get involved in “being a part of something larger in our community.

“By pooling all of our gifts, large and small, together we can make a significant impact. We encourage everyone to do whatever they can to be a part of this effort, from children to adults, from large gifts to small -- it all matters, and it all makes a difference. Big Give allows us a chance to think about our year-end giving early and have an impact now,” Bly said.

Gifts to any of the GPCF endowed funds qualify for Endow Iowa Tax Credits, a 25 percent Iowa state tax credit in addition to the standard federal income tax deductions for certain charitable gifts. If the 2015 tax credits have all been issued before year-end, donors may carry credits forward into 2016.

Donors can review the GPCF Catalog for Giving here and specify which fund or project they wish to support when sending contributions to GPCF, P.O. Box 344, Grinnell, Ia., 50112, donate online, or contact Baumann at 641-236-5518. GPCF receives back office services such as gift processing through the Community Support Services (CSS) program of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.

2015 Spirit of Giving Nominations Are Being Accepted

Click here to download the 2015 Spirit of Giving nomination form.


GPCF Community Fund for Poweshiek County grantees and board

GPCF Community Fund Grants Awarded

At a grant ceremony held at the Foundation Offices in Grinnell on July 6, 2016, Tim Douglas, President of the GPCF board, presented 10 awards to nonprofits and public entities throughout Poweshiek County. The Community Fund began in 2009 with a goal of securing 1,000 individual members who each commit to donate $100 per year for 10 years. Members see their gift to the Community Fund for Poweshiek County in action as each year the GPCF board provides grants that are funded with a small portion of the fund’s principal and earnings (5% or less). Douglas told the group “your dollars donated to the fund will ensure that grants will be given to charities and public entities in Poweshiek County into perpetuity.” This year the GPCF Grants Committee reviewed 18 applications requesting a total of $44,168. “As the Community Fund for Poweshiek County grows and gains new members” Douglas said “the GPCF board hopes to be able to award many more grants.” At this point there are around 380 members of the Community Fund for Poweshiek County but many more are needed in order to reach the 1,000 individual member goal. Please contact Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation at 236-5518 to learn more about becoming a member. The next round of grants will be in 2016.

Click here to view the 2015 Community Fund for Poweshiek County grantees.


Tom Marshall photo

Tom Marshall, GPCF Founder Dies

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tom Marshall, 81, founder and past president of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation. Tom died yesterday in the Mayflower Health Center after battling colon cancer. Two of Tom’s three children were with him and the third completed a visit just a few days ago.

Services for Tom will be Saturday, March 28th at 11:00am in the Herrick Chapel at Grinnell College. There will be no visitation, but there is a reception immediately after the service in the Quad at Main Hall, Grinnell College. A private family interment will be at the Oak Hill Cemetery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Tom Marshall may be directed to The Tom and Connie Marshall Administrative Endowment Fund, Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, PO Box 344, Grinnell, Iowa 50112.

Condolences may be sent to the family at:
Tom Marshall
c/o David Marshall
45 Marshall Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Funeral arrangements are being made with Smith Funeral Home, Grinnell and online condolences to the family may be sent via http://www.smithfh.com/obituaries.aspx

2015 Poweshiek County Alliance Grants

The due date for the 2015 Poweshiek County Alliance grants is January 23, 2015. To read about the grant program, click here. To submit your grant application online, please click here.


Big GIVE Week Catalog for Giving
September 30, 2014

Our Big GIVE Week catalog for giving is now available for online viewing. Whether you are looking to give to children, arts, the environment, or more, there is a fund for you! Click here to view the catalog.

Giving Catalog

Big GIVE Week Coming Soon!

This week-long opportunity to strengthen Poweshiek County nonprofits will take place from October 13 to 17. Last year our donors generously gave over $105,000 to 25 different funds at GPCF. Help us top that number this year by supporting GPCF and your favorite non-profit organizations during the Big GIVE Week!

During the Big GIVE Week, donors are encouraged to contribute to the GPCF Administrative Fund, the Together For TOMorrow Campaign, and their favorite non-profit organizations.

Gifts made to all endowed funds held at the GPCF will qualify for the Endow Iowa Tax Credit--a 25 percent Iowa tax credit--in addition to normal federal charitable income tax deductions.  Donors can write one check payable to GPCF, designating the GPCF Administrative Fund, the Together For TOMorrow Campaign, and any of GPCF's nonprofit organizations in the memo line.

Checks can be sent to the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation at P.O. Box 344, Grinnell, IA. For a complete listing of organizations and funds or to donate visit the "Grants & Funds" and "For Donors" sections of our website.


Big GIVE Week starts October 13!



Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Kickoff
August 14, 2014

Yesterday marked the first community meeting to discuss joining the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. We were excited to see nearly 28, ranging from educators, to business owners, to civic leaders, and more. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading challenges communities to increase the number of low-income students reading at grade-level by at least 100% by the year 2020. Grinnell hopes to join Ames, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, and Marshalltown as the next Iowa community in the campaign. Interested in helping out? Contact Kim Spasaro at (641) 236-5518 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading website to learn more. CampaignForGradeLevelReading



2014 Spirit of Giving Nominations Available
We are now accepting nominations for the 2014 Spirit of Giving Award! If you know an individual or couple who deserves recognition for their commitment to the community, download an application or nominate online now! Winners will be chosen based on the length and breadth of their involvement with charitable organizations in our county. A $1,000 award will be presented to the honoree at a reception on October 13, 2014, to be directed to the recipient's choice of charitable organization. Nominations will be accepted through August 31.

2013 Annual Report
Our 2013 Annual Report is now online! To read about our accomplishments over the past year, click here, or stop by the Foundation Offices for a hard copy.

GPCF Announces Board Bank Opportunity
Are you interested in getting more involved in your community? Looking for a fulfilling volunteer position as well as a community leadership role? GPCF is creating a Board Bank to catalogue individuals who may be interested in serving on nonprofit boards of directors! Read more about this opportunity to serve your community. Click to download a copy of the
Board Bank Application Form.

Community Fund Grant Winners
We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Community Fund Grants! This year's inaugural grants will be given to:


  • Brooklyn Economic Development to complete a community sign revitalization project initiated last year
  • City of Grinnell Parks and Recreation Department to install pet/human drinking fountains in four public parks in Grinnell
  • Poweshiek County Development to redesign the current Pow I-80 website to provide web presence for smaller communities in the county
  • Poweshiek County Extension and Outreach for the "Cooking Up Science: The Clover Cookie Factory" workshop to teach food science to youth
  • Poweshiek County Pioneer Cemetery Commission to restore and preserve small pioneer cemeteries throughout the county


Big GIVE Week 2013
The numbers are in, and it's official: the Big GIVE Week was a great success! We'd like to give a huge thank you to everyone who contributed; together donors raised almost $127,000 for 29 different funds! This year, Brownells, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, and Grinnell State Bank teamed up to offer a dollar-for-dollar match on all gifts to the GPCF Administrative Fund, bringing the grand total to nearly $140,000

Spirit of Giving
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our fourth annual Spirit of Giving Dinner on October 10! Over 175 guests gathered to honor Tom Marshall, celebrate philanthropy in Poweshiek County, and kick off our Together For TOMorrow Campaign. The generousity of donors is one of the many things that makes Poweshiek County a great place to live!


Endow Iowa Tax Credits will Increase
The Iowa Legislature passed a bill on May 22, 2013 that will increase the amount of Endow Iowa Tax Credits from $4.5 million to $6 million. There is also a retroactivity piece of the bill that addresses donors who did not receive the credit in 2012. Please contact the Foundation Offices at 236-5518 if you have any questions.


2012 Annual Report now Online
Read GPCF's 2012 Annual Report to the Community here.


Jo Wells Wins Celebrate Community Prize
Thanks to everyone who made Celebrate Community a great success! Congratulations to Jo Wells who won the grand prize.


Poweshiek County Alliance Grants Awarded
Congratulations to the 2013 Poweshiek County Alliance grant recipients. Over $95,000 was awarded to community organizations and projects in the county. To see a compete list of the 2013 recipients, click here


This Just In: Build a Better Grinnell Community Assessment Awards 
The Build a Better Grinnell Community Assessment Report is in! Click here to view the report and other materials used for the project.