The Cedar Falls Community Foundation inspires and connects individuals, families, and organizations to enhance our community, support non-profits, elevate educational opportunities, and build legacies through philanthropy.


To be a champion of local philanthropy and a trusted, empowering partner to donors who are passionate about enriching the community of Cedar Falls.

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation values:

→The power of community-focused philanthropy
→The responsible stewardship of resources
→The utilization of best practices
→The impact of community engagement

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation (CFCF) is a fully accredited community foundation. Cedar Falls Community Foundation donors who establish or donate to a permanent endowment may apply for Endow Iowa tax credits.

This is a substantial benefit to donors.  The Endow Iowa Tax Credit program provides $6 million in tax credits annually, a 25% benefit on donors’ Iowa tax return. Even taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions may claim an Endow Iowa Tax Credit equal to 25% of their contribution (so long as they are awarded an Endow Iowa Tax Credit for an eligible gift). Contact the Cedar Falls Community Foundation for more information.

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation began as the Cedar Falls Civic Foundation in 1976. Mayor Jon T. Crews was the catalyst, calling together a meeting of citizens to try to raise private funds to do things for the public good, things that could not be accomplished through taxation. The Foundation was incorporated and certified as a tax exempt organization in 1977. Modest growth in the initial years was followed by a period of substantial growth in the late 1990s which continues today. The Cedar Falls Community Foundation is a nationally accredited community foundation serving Cedar Falls and vicinity.

Board of Directors

Russell Curtis, President
Dave Deaver, Vice President
Judith Harrington, Secretary
John Lehman, Treasurer

Bill Calhoun, Shannon Closson, Ryan Cose, Russell Curtis, Janelle Darst, Dave Deaver, Judith Harrington, Craig Johnson, Bill Kahler, Ty Kimble, John Lehman, Carol Lilly, Shirley Merner, Tom Paulsen, Joanne Latta Reeves, Eryn Reilly, Mark Ripplinger, Jennifer Rodenbeck, Brian Sanderman.

Board Member Responsibilities July 2017

Application for Board Service

Financial Information

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation is committed to transparent and responsible asset management. We invite you to view our most recent IRS Form 990.

Annual Report


In 2017 the Cedar Falls Community Foundation Board of Directors developed a new strategic plan, honed the organization’s mission and vision, and articulated its values. This work built on the substantial foundation already in place through the achievement of national accreditation in 2016.

Strategic planning was facilitated by Kari McCann Boutell, President of the Iowa Council of Foundations and James Holscher, UNI Institute for Decision Making. With their assistance, the Board of Directors thoughtfully planned the Foundation’s goals for the next three years. The new plan, adopted in October 2017, reflects the Foundation’s desire to work with donors to achieve their philanthropic goals and legacy; to increase philanthropic activity through the Foundation for the benefit of our community; and to effectively manage the operation of the Foundation for the benefit of donors and the community.

During the past two years the Foundation has grown in capacity and service. The first step was achieving accreditation by the National Standards Board in 2016. The Cedar Falls Community Foundation is one of only seventeen nationally accredited community foundation in Iowa. The second step was the development of a Board-driven strategic plan focusing on the Foundation’s core mission in Cedar Falls – to assist donors in achieving their philanthropic goals for the benefit of Cedar Falls.

2018 WILL BE AN EXCITING YEAR In the coming year the Foundation will become more visible in the community, sharing its mission and impact and inviting greater community participation in the Foundation. Join us! The Cedar Falls Community Foundation exists because of the vision and generosity of donors inspired to leave a lasting legacy.

Cynthia Sweet Executive Director January 2018

2017 Annual Report 2016 Annual Report

Foundation News


Cedar Falls Community Foundation Awards $27,500 in Scholarships

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation has awarded seven scholarships from the Robert Eller Study Abroad Endowment to support UNI students with study abroad during the Spring 2019 semester. The Robert Eller Study Abroad Endowment was established by emeritus UNI Education Media Specialist Robert Eller to foster the educational, professional, and personal growth of undergraduate students


Endow Iowa Program Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Des Moines, IA – (December 20, 2018) The Endow Iowa program celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a proclamation signing in Governor Reynolds’ office today. The program began in 2003 with $2 million in tax credits available. Demand for the tax credits has continued to grow and since 2013, $6 million has been available annually through