The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Many Ways To Give
Your generous support of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation will help the Foundation fulfill its mission of enhancing and enriching library programs, services and facilities.
There are many ways to contribute and support, including individual, corporate, and planned giving. Click on each below to learn more about each. Thank you for all your support!
October’s Restaurant Partner, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Make a Gift
Your generous support of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation helps our Library deliver innovative programs and services that meet our community’s needs. Gifts to the Foundation support preschool outreach, after school programs for teens, online classes that help patrons learn new skills and earn advanced certifications, and so much more.
The Library Foundation accepts cash and stock gifts, company matching gifts and has a monthly giving program called Exemplary Givers outlined below. Your gift to the Foundation makes a difference in our community every single day. We sincerely appreciate your support.
If you wish to mail in your donation, please download this Gift Form and return to the Library Foundation. If you wish to make a gift online, please click the Donate Now button below.
Memorial and tribute gifts are a thoughtful way to honor those we love and admire. Tribute gifts may be unrestricted or designated. In some cases, a bookplate acknowledging your honoree(s) may be placed inside an item in our Library’s collection.
Additional opportunities to recognize and honor friends, family or colleagues include an engraved plaque on chairs in Whipple Auditorium or naming a room in our Downtown branch. Please contact the Library Foundation at 319.739.0411 to learn more about these options.
If you wish to mail in your tribute gift, please download this Tribute Form and return to the Library Foundation. If you wish to make a gift online, please click the Make a Tribute button below.
Van Vechten Society
The Ada Van Vechten Society honors those who are committed to caring for and nurturing the Cedar Rapids Public Library now and in the future. A person becomes eligible for membership upon receipt of written notification of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation’s inclusion in his/her estate plans or when an annual gift of $1,000 or more has been received by the Foundation.
Monthly donors to the Library Foundation are known as Exemplary Givers. By making a monthly gift to the Foundation, you are helping support the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s efforts to impact library patrons and our community.
Your sustaining gift as an Exemplary Giver allows you to spread your donation throughout the year while providing a steady stream of support to the Library Foundation. Your monthly donation of $10 or more is an easy way to make a big difference.
The Foundation’s Library Champion Program offers the opportunity for local organizations to support your Cedar Rapids Public Library’s programs and collection enhancements that would not be possible without philanthropic funding. Library Foundation contributions support the Library’s efforts to impact our community and transform quality of life through education, civic engagement, the arts and entertainment.
Annual gifts through the Foundation’s Library Champion Program are essential for the Foundation’s ability to support the Library’s mission and vision as a passionate advocate for literacy and lifelong learning. Please join other organizations in the Foundation’s Library Champion Program.
To enroll in the Library Champion program, please download the enrollment form and return it via mail to Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.
All Library Champions will receive the following:
1. Library Champion window cling to be proudly displayed.
2. Recognition on the Foundation’s website.
3. Recognition in the Library Foundation’s annual report.
Library program and event sponsorships may also be available. Please contact the Library Foundation for more information on sponsorship opportunities.
- $5,000 + For an annual gift of $5,000 or more, the Foundation will recognize the donor on the in its Spring and Fall FOCUS newsletters, and on monitors in the Library’s atrium throughout 2017. Additionally, the donor will receive four complimentary tickets to the Foundation’s annual Van Vechten Society donor recognition event.
- $2,500 – $4,999 For an annual gift of $2,500 to $4,999, the Foundation will recognize the donor in its Spring and Fall FOCUS newsletters. Additionally, donor will receive two complimentary tickets to the Foundation’s annual Van Vechten Society donor recognition event.
- $1,000 – $2,499 For an annual gift of $1,000 to $2,499, the Foundation will place a sponsor name plate inside two of the Library’s 100 book club kit containers to remain throughout 2017.
- $500 – $999 For an annual gift of $500 to $999, the Foundation will place a sponsor nameplate inside one of the Library’s 100 book club kit containers to remain throughout 2017.
Thank you to our 2017 Library Champions!
Together, we are making a difference in our library and our community!
AARP Foundation Tax Aide
Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust
Center for Behavioral Health
Collins Community Credit Union
Dakota Red Corporation
Eastern Iowa Airport
The Gazette Company
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
Hall Perrine Foundation
Hawkeye Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Hills Bank & Trust Company
Ironworkers Local 89
Leadership for Five Seasons
Lil’ Drug Store Products
Linn Area Credit Union
Linn County Auditor – Witwer Trust
McGrath Automotive Group
Mercy Medical Center
NextEra Energy Duane Arnold Energy Center
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 125
United Fire Group
University of Iowa Community Credit Union
Wells Fargo Bank
Ada Van Vechten Society
The Ada Van Vechten Society is named for Cedar Rapids community leader and Library founder Ada Amanda Van Vechten. In 1894, Mrs. Van Vechten was one of several women who initiated a campaign to found a public library in Cedar Rapids. After much effort, the matter was brought to voters in March 1896. The measure passed, and a free public library was created. In the Library’s book The First 100 Years, it was written that “Van Vechten, whose leadership had created the free public library, would continue to care for the new institution as a mother would nurture her child.”
The Ada Van Vechten Society honors those who are committed to caring for and nurturing the Cedar Rapids Public Library now and in the future. A person becomes eligible for membership upon receipt of written notification of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation’s inclusion in his/her estate plans or when an annual gift of $1,000 or more has been received by the Foundation during its July 1 to June 30 fiscal year.
To become a member of the Foundation’s Ada Van Vechten Society, please download, complete and return the form below or contact us with any questions you may have via our online contact form.
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
The Foundation mobilizes community resources and relationships that empower our Library to deliver innovative programs and services.
The Foundation advances the Cedar Rapids Public Library and its impact on our community.
The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation serves as the vehicle through which private funds are used to enhance the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s collections, programs, and technologies while supporting the Library’s Strategic Initiatives:
Invest in Young Minds by building confident caregivers, creating a culture of literacy and inspiring innovative experiences.
Engage and Strengthen Community by bridging the opportunity gap, connecting with community, and becoming a community catalyst.
Transform Lives by championing lifelong learning, telling our story, and delighting our customers.
Originally established in 1972 as the Metropolitan Cedar Rapids Library Foundation, the Foundation’s mission has always been focused on supporting the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s efforts to promote literacy and lifelong learning in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities. In 1980, after five failed bond proposal votes, the Foundation was reorganized and refocused to help finance the library’s move from the Third Avenue Carnegie Library to the First Street library location. With support from the Hall Foundation and the City of Cedar Rapids, the renamed Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation and hundreds of volunteers raised money needed to build a new library, which opened in 1985.
In the years that followed, the Foundation provided funds in support of the Library’s collections, technology, infrastructure, art acquisitions, and more. Following the flood of 2008, the Foundation’s role was again reimagined and focused on rebuilding both the downtown Library and the Cedar Rapids community. In collaboration with the City and thousands of donors and volunteers, the Foundation and Library leadership led successful campaigns to build not one, but two new Libraries for our community. The Foundation and Library are now, more than ever, concentrated on providing our patrons with innovative opportunities to interact with and learn through books, technology, art, and each other.
Board of Directors, FY2016-2017
Joe Conway, Board President
Trust Officer, Assistant VP, US Bank
Ron Hellweg, Board Vice President
Manager Business & Financial Performance, Alliant Energy
Derek Johansen, Board Treasurer
Harriet Kalinsky, Trustee Representative
Susie McDermott, Trustee Representative
Chris Mueller, Board Secretary
VP Commercial Banking, F&M Bank
Akwi Nji, Board Member
Realtor, Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty
Tyler Olson, Board Member
Vice President, Paulson Electric
Cassidy Reinken, Board Member
Magnet Coordinator, Johnson STEAM Academy
Hassan Selim, Board Member
Imam, Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids
Gary Streit, Board Member
President, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll
Matt Wilding, Trustee Representative
Principal Research Group Manager, Rockwell Collins
Bylaws and Financial Documents
We take seriously our role as a trusted private funding source for the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation has a long and proud tradition of high standards of accountability. We are an independent organization governed by local volunteers to help the library serve people in our community.
We have a stringent system of checks and balances to make certain we operate in a sound fiscal manner. Our operating budget and library funding decisions are reviewed and approved by a volunteer finance committee followed by the board of directors. Independent firm TD&T CPAs and Advisors, P.C. conducts our annual audit, which is then reviewed by appropriate staff members, the volunteer finance committee and approved by the board of directors. We follow the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Audit and Accounting Guide for Not-for-Profit Organizations to ensure financial statements conform with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Information about how donations are used is openly provided and we welcome questions regarding these topics.