# 2 Small Company: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
No. 2 Small Company
324 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

As a community-focused organization, employees at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation see the value in their work.

The foundation is focused on funding nonprofit activities in four areas: arts and culture, community development and the environment, education, and health and human services.

“As our assets grow, we can improve the quality of life in our community and for future generations. We want to be involved in community initiatives that involve charitable giving to bring people together to support a vibrant community,” stated Les Garner, the foundation’s CEO, in an email.

The foundation established the Flood 2008 Fund a day before the crest of the Cedar River. This fund provided $5.7 million in grants to 81 local nonprofits.

“As a small company with 14 employees, everyone is genuinely interested in knowing each other personally, as well as professionally and we try to create opportunities for both. We offer professional development opportunities and facilitated team-building opportunities. We have a weekly all-staff meeting where we share good news that can be personal or work-related. We also have monthly lunch and learns. Our team also plans and attends events together outside of work,” Mr. Garner stated.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) named the foundation the Outstanding Foundation of 2012 for its response to the 2008 flood, while continuing support of charitable organizations in the area.

“We recently went through a process of defining our values and guiding principles. It was a good process to go through together as a team and to agree on what they are, but the other part is listening to your employees, finding out what is meaningful to then and then finding that balance,” Mr. Garner stated.

Employees cited the great benefits the foundation offers: it contributes 7 percent to employees’ 403(b) plans and employees only pay $1/month for all insurance coverage.

“The work atmosphere is very professional, yet easy-going. I feel respected, safe and happy working at the Community Foundation. Every day I come to work, I know I’ll be aiding in a project that will help better the community I live in,” an employee stated.
-Pat Shaver