Dallas County Foundation to offer two grant workshops in February

DCF President Susan Brelsford, right, and DCF Treasurer Tim Canney, left, presented a $1,405 check to Woodward Public Library Director Leah White during the 2015 DCF grant cycle. Applications for the 2016 cycle are now available.

DCF logoWith application materials for the 2016 Dallas County Foundation (DCF) grant cycle now available, the foundation announced this week it will host two workshops for groups seeking assistance with the application process.

The deadline for 2016 grant applications is Monday, April 11 at 5 p.m.

The DCF funds grant projects “that significantly impact the lives of Dallas County residents in the areas of health and human services, arts and culture, youth development, education, recreation or the environment and community betterment,” according to the DCF website.

Individual grants range from $500 to $20,000. The DCF awarded more than $88,000 in 2015 and expects to grant more than $100,000 to applicants in 2016, according to Scott C. Cirksena, DCF development director.

“The Dallas County Foundation is a charitable foundation created by and for local citizens to improve the quality of life right here in our communities,” Cirksena said.

Since 2006 the DCF, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, has granted more than $800,000 for projects that benefit Dallas County communities.

The first of the scheduled workshops will be held Monday, Feb. 15 from 5-6 p.m. at the Raccoon Valley Bank Community Room in Dallas Center. The second will be Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the Adel Public Library, beginning with a light lunch at 11:30 a.m. and followed by the workshop presentation from noon until 1:00 p.m.

The second workshop is limited to 20 participants and an RSVP is required to sbrelsford@gmail.com by Feb. 18. Both workshops are free and open to the public. Organization applying for DCF funds must be a 501(c)3, 5 or 6 organization or 107(b) unit of government or be affiliated with another organization that has one of these designations.

“We are here to help donors make a positive, local impact by offering a variety of giving tools to help people achieve their charitable giving goals and do good work in our communities that lasts forever,” Cirksena said.

The non-profit DCF was formed in 2005 in order to distribute the county’s share of state gambling revenues.

Gambling laws passed by the Iowa General Assembly in 2004 included several provisions intended to steer gambling taxes toward charitable purposes. One provision required a portion of Iowa’s gaming tax revenues—eight-tenths of one percent—be distributed among the Iowa counties without casinos.

A County Endowment Fund was created within the Iowa Department of Revenue to collect and distribute the tax money to the non-casino counties. About $8 million in gaming taxes were distributed to counties in 2014 through the endowment fund.

County-level foundations such as the DCF were in turn created to receive the state Endowment Fund monies and distribute them down to local civic and charitable organizations in the form of grants.

Iowa currently has 20 casinos, three racetracks and three Native American Indian casinos. The Iowa gaming industry as a whole generates about $1.5 billion in revenues annually. Between three and five percent of these earnings trickle down through the county-level foundations to local charities and public-service organizations.

Fattening the DCF fund this year are dollars from the new casino in Jefferson. The operating agreement between the Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation and Wild Rose Entertainment calls for five percent of the casino’s annual take to go toward charitable purposes.

Eighty percent of this total—four of the five percent—stays in Jefferson and Greene County, with the remaining one percent spread among the six counties neighboring Greene County. The foundations in Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Dallas, Guthrie and Webster counties received a portion of these non-competitive grant dollars for the first time in 2016.

Along with gaming revenues, the DCF is also partially supported by private donations.

The Dallas County Foundation is governed by a local board of directors who are active in their local communities. Members of our board of directors are President Susan Brelsford of Perry, Vice President Cathy Erickson of Adel, Treasurer Tim Canney of Adel, Secretary Vicki Lage of Perry, Chris Brocka of Adel, Jan Danielson Kaiser of Woodward, John Mortimer of Dallas Center, Margaret Morrison of Redfield, Linda Nelson of Dallas Center, Butch Niebuhr of Perry, Jim Riordan of West Des Moines, Bill Siglin of Woodward and Teresa Wichtendahl of Adel.

The Development Director is Scott Cirksena. Immediate past board members include Paul Bissinger of Clive, Cheryl Semerad of Adel, Dan Spellman of Perry and Alice Wicker of Granger.


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