Programs and Services
Many individuals have no formal training in philanthropy when they start a foundation or assume a position as a trustee or staff member in a grantmaking organization. They soon discover that their job is not as simple as "just writing a check." Funders need not leave Iowa to better their craft because the ICoF provides educational workshops and services designed to enhance the special skill set needed in the field.
As the only organization dedicated exclusively to serving grantmakers in Iowa, the ICoF provides multiple opportunities for funders to discuss common issues, share experiences and learn from one another. The opportunity the ICoF affords its membership to meet other funders is a key benefit of the organization.
As the field of philanthropy becomes increasingly complex, it is essential for grantmakers to stay informed. The ICoF offers its members not only information on Iowa philanthropic issues, trends, policies, and practices, but also on how national trends and issues play out in our State.
As a benefit of membership, the Iowa Council of Foundations offers a variety of ways for members to strengthen skills and knowledge in order to be even more effective grantmakers. The following are examples of activities and services the ICoF offers to members:
- Member dialogues on topics of interest.
- Informational state and national teleconferences on select topics (filing the 990PF, conflict of interest issues, grantmaking in challenging economic times, etc.).
- Special training/skill building programs with nationally recognized resources/speakers.
- Affinity groups for members with similar organizational structures.
- Peer Connections- Iowa grantmakers networking and learning from one another.
- An email newsletter with timely information, grantmaking news and resources.
- A library of grantmaking documents and other resources available.
- Colleague Queries- an email "listserv" to share best practices and seek advice.
- Email alerts on critical issues.
- Staff available to answer/research questions.
- Opportunities to inform and educate public officials about philanthropy and encourage them to seek out grantmakers as resources on key public policy issues.
- Youth Philanthropy programming opportunities and support.
- Access to resources and information online for greater networking and learning.
The Iowa Council of Foundations holds four Membership Meetings each year, taking place on the fourth Thursday in the months of January, April, July and October. Currently, ICoF members host the meetings for their colleagues on-site, typically from 10am-2:30pm at locations across the state.
Membership Meetings offer grantmakers a chance to learn directly from nationally renowned experts in philanthropy without leaving Iowa. The ICoF strives to bring in speakers and presenters who will inform grantmakers on the latest practices and strategies in the field, ask thought-provoking questions that challenge current perspectives, and offer insights on issues and opportunities unique to Iowa communities.
In addition to the rich educational offerings, ICoF Membership Meetings also serve as an opportunity to network with other Iowa grantmakers in a variety of ways. ICoF events are attended by a diverse group of grantmakers who are always looking to share, learn and engage in earnest conversations about how to better the craft of grantmaking.
ICoF Member Products & Discounts
There are several organizations that offer discounts on their products/services to members of the ICoF. Please contact the Iowa Council of Foundations' office for more details on the discounts below.
Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance
The ICoF is pleased to offer its members access to a discounted Directors & Officers Liability Insurance Coverage program, in partnership with the (national) Council on Foundations.
A+ Conference Call Service
As a benefit to our members, the ICoF offers discounted rates on toll-free, reservationless, group conference calls as well as web conferencing options through our partnership with the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Published by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Stanford Social Innovation Review provides grantmakers with informative research, best practices, and provocative opinions. ICoF members can receive a special, discounted rate.
The GrantCraft program of the Ford Foundation is a source of practical wisdom for grantmakers on the tools and techniques of effective grantmaking. GrantCraft offers guides, videos, and case studies that present the practitioner's view of philanthropy. Members of the Iowa Council of Foundations are eligible for a 20% discount on all materials.
Pearl Management Software
Pearl grant tracking and management software products are available to ICoF members at a 12% discount through the Bromelkamp Company. For more information on products visit
Reduced Fees for BoardSource Membership
ICoF members are offered membership to BoardSource at a
discounted membership rate. Also included in that membership is a 33% discount
on BoardSource publications. Note: this discounted rate is still being
negotiated for FY 14. Please contact Laura Sauser for
Webinar and conference call services from ReadyTalk are available to ICoF members at a discount of 50% from regular pricing.
As a service to its members, the Iowa Council of Foundations offers access to a number of free and for-sale publications, reports, and newsletters.