Who We Are
The mission of Pella Community Foundation is to preserve the heritage and enhance the quality of life for the people of Pella by helping to transfer funds from the hands of people who wish to help others to nonprofit organizations that can do it most effectively.
We accomplish our mission by:
Soliciting “pass through” gifts which are distributed each year though the grant process.
Creating endowment funds from the gifts and bequests of those who wish to provide continuing long-term support.
Investing endowment funds carefully to assure earning a safe and continuing level of real income.
Distributing the endowment income and “pass through” gifts by means of a fair and analytical system which will identify and fund the most effective proposals for solving problems and seizing opportunities.
Providing leadership for the community in planning, identifying needs, and providing advice to organizations on fund-raising and operational issues.
How we operate:
We are a "low overhead" organization. Volunteers do most of the work. As a result expenses are minimal. We do not use regular endowment income or gifts which are intended for grants to support operating expenses. Support for our operation comes from designated operating funds and from management fees.
A committee composed of Directors using outside counsel supervises all investments. Although income is important to the work of the Foundation, it is never sought through the acceptance of undue risk levels. A diversified portfolio is maintained according to policy as a means of providing growth and avoiding an inflation-induced erosion of the earning power of endowment funds.
Our last fiscal year from July 1, 2019 to June 30,2020 was a year of disappointing returns due to 4th quarter unrealized investment losses. Overall, the average return on investment was +0.36% while the unrealized loss was -2.45% for an overall weighted loss of -2.09%.
We have provided start-up funds for organizations that play a key role in seeking community objectives.
On several occasions we have provided financial start-up funds for organizations that play a key role in seeking community objectives. Such groups develop an independent existence but continue various connections with the Foundation. One of our directors, Teresa Ulferts, acts as the liaison and serves on the adjunct committee. There are presently two adjunct committees.
Council on Educational Excellence
The Council on Educational Excellence solicits proposals from local Pella school teachers for supporting initiatives and high potential programs in their classrooms. The proposals are evaluated and mini-grants awarded to the most promising. The mini-grants are paid out of an annual block grant to the Council from the Foundation. Teachers can obtain information on these grants from their principals.
This organization manages and finances a program to provide grants each year to the graduating seniors from both public and independent high schools of Pella who enroll in qualified post-secondary educational programs. Information on these programs is available through school officials or from their website. The endowed funds of the organization are managed by the Foundation.