OSKALOOSA — The Mahaska County Community Foundation announces that it will again have around $100,000 to give away to qualified recipients.
The Mahaska County Community Foundation was organized in 2005 in response to a new law passed by the Iowa Legislature. As just a few Iowa counties were receiving the financial benefits of gambling profits, legislators from non-gambling counties devised a plan in which gambling profits would be spread throughout the entire state. Their solution was to create a formula in which a certain percentage of all gambling dollars was to be divided between those counties which did not have gambling facilities. Each county was to have a designated Qualified Community Foundation to be the administrative vehicle through which these funds were distributed to worthwhile causes within the county.
In addition to being the caretaker of these funds for redistribution within the County, the MCCF also serves another unique purpose. As a Qualified Community Foundation per the Iowa Code, it can serve as the umbrella organization for other local groups who want the benefits of a foundation, but don’t have the capacity to administer the monies and complete the paperwork that can be a daunting part of managing a foundation. The individual foundation groups can continue to operate their funds and make decisions on their own, simply running their transactions through MCCF, which in turn has the avenues to provide the somewhat complicated legal, reporting, and accounting issues that can come with foundations.
Last year, a total of $98,134 was awarded. The largest grant was $15,000 to the Mahaska County YMCA, to help in the area of child care improvements. The smallest was $695 to the Stevens Memorial Animal Shelter to help out with a new piece of equipment. The grant funds were distributed throughout Mahaska County, with organizations in Rose Hill, Leighton, Barnes City and Eddyville all benefiting from a successful grant application.
Calvin Bandstra, a banker at Leighton State Bank and the Secretary of MCCF, noted that the deadline for applications is not that far away.
“As grant applications must be received by March 28, 2014, we encourage all non-profit organizations to take a look at their project needs, see if this need meets the grant eligibility criteria, and take the time to submit an application,” he said.
The application forms can be downloaded from MCCF’s website at www.mahaskafoundation.org.