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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Charity Navigator's Cross-Country Tour: Iowa


Each week, Charity Navigator "stops" in a new state to feature some of the highly-rated charities at work there. Over the last few weeks, we've explored much of the Midwest and that doesn't stop today. Our tour takes us to what much of the country sees as the land of corn: Iowa.

While Iowa is home to plains and vast expanses of farmland, it also claims more than 40 highly-rated organizations. Learn more about a few of them here.

Animal Rescue League (Des Moines, IA)
☆☆☆ + Impact
Promoting animal welfare

Founded in 1926 the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) is Iowa's largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. The ARL serves animals and people in need across the state, with a focus on Polk County and central Iowa. The ARL has grown dramatically since its founding expanding its programs and services. Through our proactive programs community outreach (which includes spay/neuter and veterinary assistance programs for owned pets), humane education and pet behavior programs, in the past few years we have begun to see a decrease in the number of animals we care for in the shelter, but our work is far from over. The ARL strives to serve people and pets in our community through our programs and services designed to promote animal welfare, to address the reasons animals end up in shelters, to find forever adoptive homes for the animals in our care, and to help keep pets in their homes with the people that love them.

Seed Savers Exchange (Decorah, IA)
☆☆☆ + Impact
Saving and sharing America’s Heirloom Seed

Our nonprofit mission is to conserve and promote America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.

Founded in 1975, Seed Savers Exchange is a membership-supported nonprofit that cares for a living collection of over 20,000 heirloom, historical, and open-open pollinated varieties. 

We believe in participatory preservation, encouraging our members as well as the public to save and share heirloom seeds. Our member-to-member seed swap, the Seed Exchange, is devoted to bringing seed savers together to share homegrown seeds and plant materials.

Figge Art Museum (Davenport, IA)
☆☆☆
Promoting appreciation and creation of visual art

The Figge Art Museum actively serves the public by promoting appreciation and creation of visual art through education, and by collecting, conserving and exhibiting art. As a vital, responsive institution, the Museum brings art and people together, expands the knowledge and love of art, and enriches the life of the community through the power of art. The Figge Art Museum is the premier art exhibition and education facility between Chicago and Des Moines. With soaring glass walls reflecting the constantly changing sky, the museum's expansive galleries and intimate rooms are home to some of the Midwest's finest art collections. Studio-style classrooms allow young and old to participate in the creative process.

☆☆☆
More than a theater

The Des Moines Community Playhouse partners with volunteers to create and deliver extraordinary theatre and education programs for communities in Central Iowa through high-quality entertainment with a special emphasis on issues of social significance; programs which allow for the development of individual self-expression and self-esteem; and programs which identify and encourage individuals to pursue professional theatre development.

☆☆☆
Great futures start here

Founded in 1963, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa is the premier youth development organization in greater Des Moines. As the #1 advocate for young people, it is our belief that every child deserves the chance at a great future. Boys & Girls Club programs help kids and teens achieve academic success, model good character & citizenship and live healthy lifestyles. Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool to find even more highly-rated charities serving the people and communities of Iowa.

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