Lee County foundation changes name


LEE COUNTY – At its 4th quarter meeting held last week The Community Foundation of North Lee County voted to change its name to The North Lee Community Foundation.

This is only one change of many taking place at the Fort Madison-based organization.

Since its founding in 2005, the Foundation had been affiliated with The Quad Cities Community Foundation. In June of this year, the board voted to dis-affiliate from The Quad Cities and re-affiliate with The Keokuk Area Community Foundation. Both the Quad Cities and Keokuk are Foundations that meet strict guidelines set forth by The National Council of Community Foundations based in Washington D.C., and both can accept affiliates.

Earlier this year, the Des Moines County Community Foundation, based in Burlington, Iowa left The Quad Cities to join Keokuk as well.

Since it was established, North Lee and the Quad Cities have had a mutual agreement to equally share an annual 1% administrative fee assessed to all funds. In 2016, The Quad Cities voted to eliminate North Lee’s portion, their only source of income.

“We had to re-affiliate or simply fold” said Steve Koellner, President.

“The entire board feels that we can provide an avenue for one to leave a legacy which in time will benefit many local charities. Our numbers are proof that this Foundation is working the way it was intended.”

The local Foundation’s portfolio consists of 88 endowment funds totaling $16 million that have distributed just shy of $4 million to local charities since 2005. A donor can contribute to one of many established community impact funds, or simply create a “named fund” with a specific non-profit being the beneficiary.

The North Lee Foundation is in the process of transferring their funds to Pilot Grove Savings Bank, where they will be managed and invested by the bank’s investment center. Along with the transfer will come a newly designed website and the hiring of a part-time executive director. The group hopes to get all of this accomplished by third quarter of 2020.

The State of Iowa offers a 25% tax credit to contributions made to any Iowa based Community Foundation. This credit is in addition to Federal charitable deductions. For one to receive this tax credit, the money must be endowed into perpetuity and benefit an Iowa-based charity.

The board meets quarterly and consists of Steve Koellner as President, Jan Woodroffe as Vice President, and Jane Krebill as Secretary. Other board members include, Tim Gobble, Chuck Holmes, Joe Kowzan, Laurie Breen, Josh Denning, Chad Ward, Jared Reed, Matt Hayes, Dianne Hope, and Dick Fehseke.

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