What is an endowment?

An endowment is a charitable gift investment fund that is invested in perpetuity. These funds provide long-term resources for Practical Farmers of Iowa to achieve its mission of strengthening farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information sharing.

Practical Farmers has 3 different options for investing in its future through an endowment:

  • Practical Farmers of Iowa Endow Iowa Fund at the Des Moines Community Foundation
  • Endow Iowa Fund donors are eligible for a 25% tax credit, in addition to federal tax benefits
  • Options to establish your own designated fund


Adele McDowell, Des Moines, encouraged her late sister, Ruth Schoeneman, of Waterloo, to list Practical Farmers of Iowa as a beneficiary of her will. Ruth’s generous donation went into Practical Farmers endowment. Why did Adele encourage her sister to support Practical Farmers’ future? Adele said, “Practical Farmers is showing the economic and ecologic values of practices like cover crops, buffer strips along streams, testing tile water, crop diversification and strip intercropping – all of which contribute to long-term solutions for water and soil quality. In a recent issue of [the quarterly magazine], one farmer said it best: ‘I feel my job is to get out of the way of nature as much as possible and let the plants and animals show me what works best.’”

Contact Information

For more information: contact Sally Worley at sally.worley(at)practicalfarmers(dot)org or call (515) 232-5661.