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University of Iowa News Release

 

Dec. 1, 2011

UI resource center to help make Iowa nonprofit-friendly

The University of Iowa is taking a lead role in a new initiative designed to make the state of Iowa a friendlier place for nonprofit organizations.

The university's Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center (INRC) will partner with the Office of the Governor to create the Governor's Nonprofit Project. The goal of the project is to strive to make Iowa a nonprofit-friendly state by working to find effective and efficient collaborative efforts between state agencies and private nonprofits to address Iowa's community needs.

The university's nonprofit center is a partner in the Iowa Nonprofit Collaborative (INC), which will play a central role in the project. The INC will promote Iowa's charitable nonprofit sector work, share information and knowledge between organizations, and support the promotion of philanthropy. It will also serve as a liaison between the state's nonprofit organizations and various governmental departments and agencies. The United Ways of Iowa, the Iowa Council of Foundations, and the Iowa Hospital Association are among other partners in the INC.

Richard Koontz, director of the INRC, says the new organization will work to make interactions between nonprofit organizations and the state easier so they can focus on their mission and not on filing paperwork. This is especially important, he says, as the state relies more and more on nonprofits to deliver social and community development services to Iowans.

"Our goal is to encourage changes in policy and procedure that create efficiencies in the interactions between state governments and the nonprofits that provide invaluable services to their citizens," says Koontz.

"Iowa has had a long history of nonprofit organizations providing essential services to the people of the state," says Gov. Terry Branstad. "It is because of this long-held value of service to others, that my administration is proud to partner with the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center in launching the Governor's Nonprofit Project. In beginning this partnership, it is our goal that Iowa nonprofit organizations will be able to interact and work with state government in a seamless manner."

Among the issues the Governor's Nonprofit Project will examine are some of the most pressing issues facing nonprofit and charitable organizations in the state, such as streamlining the process for state contracts and grant applications, as well as the registration and auditing process. Another issue involves possible changes in law and policy that would restrict property tax-exempt status or lower tax exemptions for gifts to nonprofit organizations. There will also be consideration of ways to help improve operations at nonprofit organizations by, for instance, looking for a way to provide health benefits.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Richard Koontz, director, Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center, richard-koontz@uiowa.edu, 319-335-7094; Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell), tom-snee@uiowa.edu