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  Guiding Principles

The leaders of the Otto Schoitz Foundation BELIEVE…

  • To improve the health and wellbeing of the community, a comprehensive approach is necessary.  This broad approach addresses the multi-dimensional levels of human beings, i.e. the physical, emotional and mental levels and seeks sustained improvement.
  • In impartiality, equal treatment and fairness and therefore does not fund organizations that discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law.
  • In the power of partnering with other funders to address community issues.  We also work in areas and arenas where other funders are not yet working.
  • In operating the Foundation in perpetuity, specifically safeguarding the principal for the betterment of generations to come. 
  • In evolving the Foundation from its beginnings as a grant making organization to increasing its role of convening, collaborating, and knowledge sharing thereby maximizing the Foundation’s ultimate benefit to the community.

In carrying out the mission, The Foundation:

  • Focuses efforts on ‘meeting the needs of the time’ as those needs are (1) brought through the grant making process and (2) identified by our leadership living and working within the community.
  • Focuses efforts on those members of our community who are vulnerable.
  • Favors projects that impact the Waterloo community, because of the greater needs.
  • Works as stewards of our community and resources while helping community organizations grow and develop.


The Otto Schoitz Foundation fulfills its mission by making grants to not-for-profit organizations, specifically 501c3 organizations and government entities, for projects that improve the health and wellbeing of the Cedar Valley Community. 

Preference is given to proposals aimed towards:

  • Changing the minds and behaviors of individuals and changing communities.
  • Meeting the needs of the vulnerable.
  • Addressing root or primary causes.
  • Implementing ideas with evidence of success and impact.
  • Impacting Waterloo, because of the greater needs.
  • Demonstrating a shared funding approach.

Organizations may request funds for programs, capital, operating, or capacity building.  The Otto Schoitz Foundation desires to have a large impact on the health and wellbeing of the Cedar Valley community; thus, any request should demonstrate how funds help achieve that impact.  Because the Foundation believes in a comprehensive approach, grant awards benefit the greater good and fall into any number of categories, including but not limited to community betterment, education & development, environmental improvement, health and human services, and recreation & physical fitness.

The Otto Schoitz Foundation does not consider proposals for:

  • Individuals
  • For-profit entities or not-for-profits that are not 501c3 organizations
  • Fiscal agents applying on behalf of another entity
  • Organizations competing with Mercy Health Network and affiliates
  • Multiple applications from a single entity in a given funding cycle 
  • Projects that do not meet the Otto Schoitz Foundation mission
  • Programs that promote religious activities
  • Endowment campaigns
  • Fund raising events
  • Projects geographically beyond a 30-mile radius of Waterloo, Iowa


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