Community Foundation of Great River Bend announces two Transformation Grants for the first time in organization’s history

For the first time in the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend’s (CFGRB) history, two Quad Cities organizations have been awarded $100,000 Transformation Grants. In previous years, only one $100,000 Transformation Grant has been awarded by the CFGRB board of directors.

Family Resources of Davenport, Iowa, and Grow Quad Cities—the nonprofit arm of the Quad Cities Chamber that supports the Q2030 Regional Action Plan—will each receive a $100,000 grant to bring their work to the next level.

The major investments represent CFGRB’s expanding leadership role in the region to both call attention to—and support—important opportunities that move the Quad Cities forward. The grants are made possible thanks to donors who give to the Community Impact Fund at CFGRB.

“It is our hope that these grants will provide the funding to help transform the Quad Cities into a place where increasing numbers of people choose to live, work together, better themselves and care about one another, and fully enjoy our amazing community assets,” said Sherry Ristau, president and CEO of CFGRB.

Providing total care for kids at risk is at the heart of a new effort spearheaded by Family Resources of Davenport, Iowa, the first recipient of a Transformation Grant. The nonprofit will receive $100,000 for its TotalChild initiative that works to bridge gaps among the many resources at-risk kids receive in the areas of education, family, community, and youth.

“We just completed the second year piloting our TotalChild initiative and we are seeing how much this work is truly needed here,” said Family Resources President Mary Macumber Schmidt. “To have the support from the Community Foundation is incredible and we look forward to being able to create a sustainable model that continues to support our most vulnerable populations.”

Rene Gellerman, senior vice president at the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce and loaned executive for Q2030, said that the Transformation Grant to Grow Quad Cities will ensure that community members participating in the Q2030 Regional Action Plan can continue to move forward at an even greater pace during the next two years. 

“This funding is critical,” Gellerman said. “It stabilizes the long-term vision and makes a big statement to our community of the depth and commitment we all have to bettering our region.”

Grow Quad Cities is growing its funding base to support the backbone functions of Q2030, a regional plan focused on increasing talent, economic opportunities and community satisfaction in the Quad Cities. Funding supports staff salaries, meeting costs, research, and branding efforts, which will empower staff to build more community engagement, provide accountability for all stakeholders, and keep people informed.

“CFGRB believes deeply in the possibilities that Q2030 presents for our region, and we have seen firsthand the impact it is having on catalyzing our community toward positive, progressive change,” said Kelly Thompson, vice president of grantmaking and community initiatives at CFGRB. “We’re excited to be part of this community work, to watch the results unfold, and to demonstrate our strong support for Q2030 through this grant.”

Schmidt, of Family Resources, added that the Transformation Grant is incredibly meaningful to their organization. “This will help us transition from a pilot program to a permanent, self-sustaining approach to our work,” she said. “We have families and children with complex mental health needs that are receiving excellent care, but are not able to truly be successful because they have other needs in other areas of their life.”

TotalChild coordinates children’s mental health services and adds support for critical components like housing, education, employment, and other family needs. To date, 98 children are enrolled, with 92 percent having reached stability so far, according to the TotalChild matrix that measures success and stability. TotalChild is on track to reach the goal of 170 children enrolled by the end of the third year.

Family Resources set a fundraising goal of $473,000 to finish the pilot and serve the pilot’s 170 children until they are 18, more than a decade away. Schmidt said that, because of the grant, the organization can now put their focus on implementing a sustainable plan for the program. 

“Family Resources offers a multitude of services for hundreds of families and we are happy to invest in a program that will continue to benefit our community, most especially our young people,” Thompson added.

Ristau said that the Transformation Grants touch many more organizations and people than just the direct recipients. “Grants like this have an incredible domino effect,” she said. “By strengthening one area of our community, we are actually building a stronger foundation for everyone. That’s how transformation happens.”

CFGRB’s Transformation Grant program was started in 2015 in celebration of the Community Foundation’s new mission to transform the region through the generosity of donors. Funds come from the Community Impact Fund, a permanently endowed fund supported by the many Quad Citizens who give to the fund, which is our region’s largest source for community philanthropy. The endowment empowers CFGRB to meet needs and take advantage of opportunities to serve the Quad Cities as they arise each year. 

The community is invited to join Quad Citizens in growing the Community Impact Fund through charitable giving. Gifts can be arranged by calling Anne Calder, vice president of development, at 563/326-2840 or online at www.cfgrb.org.

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