National Philanthropy Day is Thursday, and has been celebrated every Nov. 15 since 1986 through a presidential proclamation. Yesterday, local philanthropists and fundraisers were honored at a luncheon as part of the 2018 National Philanthropy Day awards, presented by the Eastern Iowa Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
Each year, local chapters of AFP highlights the achievements that philanthropists and those engaged with charity have accomplished.
“Philanthropy is entirely voluntary,” said Missie Forbes, president of the Eastern Iowa Chapter and director of marketing and fundraising at Healing English River Outfitters in Iowa City.
“There are no laws or regulations that mandate one must volunteer or become involved. Philanthropy is powerful and inspiring because it comes from the heart,” she said.
Henry and Patricia Tippie received the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist award. Longtime supporters of education, the Tippies’ record of contributions helped elevate the quality and prominence of the University of Iowa and Belle Plaine High School (both schools where Henry Tippie graduated), as well as Coe College and Kirkwood Community College. The Tippies also are significant contributors to Patricia Tippie’s alma mater, Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.
The Outstanding Philanthropic Award is given to a corporation or foundation that has demonstrated commitment through financial support, encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles in philanthropy and community affairs.
UFG Insurance received the award for Outstanding Large Philanthropic Organization. This Cedar Rapids-based company has contributed at least $1 million annually to nonprofit organizations in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. The company provides support not only for capital projects but also for general operations, an area of funding that can be challenging for not-for-profit organizations to secure.
Receiving the award for Outstanding Small Philanthropic Organization was the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. Created through the will of Muscatine industrialist and philanthropist Roy J. Carver, who died in 1981, the trust has invested millions of dollars to not-for-profit organizations in the areas of education, medical and scientific research, youth services and recreation, community libraries and his adopted hometown of Muscatine. The University of Iowa School of Medicine bears Carver’s name.
The Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award was presented to Sam Jones, lawyer and vice president at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll. The award is given to an individual who demonstrated exceptional skills in coordinating and motivating volunteer fundraisers and who demonstrates personal commitment to advancing philanthropy.
Jones led the $3 million capital campaign for Willis Dady Homeless Services. His involvement as a board member includes the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, The History Center, Iowa Legal Aid and Willis Dady.
David Dierks was honored as Outstanding Fundraising Professional, an award given to someone whose career has exemplified excellence in ethical fundraising through professional life as well as volunteer and community involvement.
Dierks’s career in fundraising began at his alma mater, the University of Iowa, and spanned 45 years. In 1973, Dierks initiated the institution’s planned and major giving program. Although now retired, Dierks continues to carry out substantial principal gift activity for the UI Center for Advancement. He is a founding member of both the Iowa City Public Library Foundation and the Iowa City Community School District Foundation, and currently serves as president of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Foundation Board of Trustees.
Jack Roeder and the late Helen G. Nassif received the Benjamin Franklin Award, an award given to recognize an individual or group whose commitment to philanthropy falls outside the criteria of other award categories.
Helen G. Nassif was a businesswoman and lawyer who made transformative gifts in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, notably UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital as well as her alma mater, Coe College, the Cedar Rapids YMCA and St. George Orthodox Church. Nassif sought out and supported large projects that required a significant investment in order to be successful.
Jack Roeder was general manager for the Cedar Rapids Kernels for 20 years. He came out of retirement to lead the Prospect Meadows Ball Complex, the softball/baseball complex located on 1287 acres northeast of Marion at County Home Road and Highway 13. When completed, the project will provide places to play for the area’s more than 500 kids’ leagues, a Miracle Field for people with disabilities, and an expanded League of Dreams for at-risk kids.
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The awardees were selected by a panel of former winners and community leaders assembled by the Eastern Iowa chapter of the AFP. The group will accept nominations for the 2019 awards beginning in June.
The Eastern Iowa Chapter represents approximately 100 members in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor and surrounding areas. The group meets monthly and provides professional education and networking for its members.