There’s A School Foundation?

“There’s a school foundation?”

Yeah.  I get that a lot.

I also get, “Oh … yeah. The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.”

No.  Lots of shared words, but different animal.

The Cedar Rapids Community Schools Foundation is a nonprofit education foundation. Such foundations are “privately operated, nonprofit organizations established to assist public schools who qualify as charitable organizations, different from school districts, public institutions or local governments.”


Yeah.  Fancy words for “we are the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Cedar Rapids Community School District.”

“Well, why didn’t you just say that?”

We try. To not only say it, but to do it; to provide dollars for projects and programs that often lose funding in tight budgets.  Cool things like field trips, continuing education for teachers, extra-curricular activity support.  Each day of the school year, something happens in the District that has received funding from the Foundation.


Absolutely.  Every single day.

A 5th grader using a new mallet on the xylophone?  We paid for that.  An 8th grader seeing history come to life at the African American Museum?  We paid for that.  A sophomore putting on a pair of basketball shoes?  Yeah.  We even paid for that.  The Foundation’s reach is wide and impacts more than 15,000 students and teachers each year. K-12.  All 31 schools.

So, next time you hear, “There’s a school foundation?” speak up.  Tell them what you know.  It’s all good.

Karen A. Swanson, CFRE
Executive Director, JHS Class of 1985