Ahrens Foundation Extending Services in CSS Program

Ahrens Foundation Extending Services in CSS Program

The Community Support Services (CSS) program started by the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation (CDAF) in 2006 has grown to deliver and expand its back office support services to the area’s nonprofit partner organizations. The CSS program strengthens the missions, organizational capacity and efficiencies of local nonprofits through shared staff and office space, and administrative functions such as marketing, budgeting and gift processing.

“Resource constraints are forcing nonprofits to look for creative collaborations. The CSS program allows our partner organizations to share the costs and rewards of working together while paying service fees that are below market value,” explains CDAF CEO Julie Gosselink.

Beginning July 1, as part of CSS outreach and growth, CDAF is serving as the umbrella organization to administer the program funds for Imagine Grinnell, S.H.E. Counts, the JPK Fund of the Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium, Take Away Hunger, and Tiger Packs.  These program funds were previously administered by the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF), which is the primary philanthropic partner and consumer of CSS program services. All endowment funds of these programs will continue to be administered by GPCF.

“The CSS program has provided back office support to each of these organizations in the past and that will continue as CDAF now becomes the fiscal manager for these program funds. We feel, and the partners agreed, that these funds are a good fit for CDAF’s emphasis on health and social service programs,” Gosselink said.

“The advisory board of each organization will continue to drive their individual group’s vision, mission and fundraising, and our Community Support Services program will provide the financial management and administration.”

Gosselink emphasized that while this is an internal, administrative change, “we thought it was important for the generous donors who give to these organizations and who feel passionately about their purpose and mission know where to direct their continued support.”

Gifts to the nonprofit program funds mentioned above should be made payable to the individual organization and mailed in care of CDAF at P.O. Box 284; or made online at www.ahrensfamilyfoundation.org. Gifts to the nonprofit endowment funds should be mailed in care of GPCF at P.O. Box 344; or made online at www.greaterpcf.org.

In 2010, CDAF was selected by the Council on Foundations to receive the Critical Impact Award for the Community Support Services program. The Critical Impact Award honors grantmakers who have supported innovative leadership, bold visions, and significant impact in advancing the common good through effective grantmaking. In 2005, CDAF was named the Iowa Foundation of Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Central Iowa Chapter. In 2013, the Art of Growing Community award, presented to an entity or individual in years when positive impact on the community is evident, was awarded to CDAF by GPCF.

Additional information about the CDAF Community Support Services program is available at http://ahrensfamilyfoundation.org/community-support-services/

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