Celebrating Local Groups & Organizations


As I perused the National Days last week, I came upon National Nonprofit Day.  At first thought, I presumed it to be a fun little piece to write.  Something fluffy to give a boost to our many nonprofit Chamber members.  A bit of history, some quirky fun facts.  Should be simple, right?

Little did I realize how extensive my “fun little piece” would be!

Turns out, the nonprofit sector is massive on both the local and global scale.  In the United States, there are about 1.8 million nonprofits and 1.5 million 501(c)3 organizations.  Between the two, they employe close to 12 million people.  This makes them the third-largest employment industry in the country.

I became curious about the difference between the two classifications and dug a bit deeper.

A nonprofit corporation is a state-level designation, and the 501(c)3 is a federal designation awarded by the IRS.  We could totally go down the rabbit hole of details here, but I’ll just leave it at that.  One is state – one is federal.  To be honest, unless you’re a financial guru who crunches numbers for a living, it will likely be a tad confusing.

To me, their importance lies in what they do for their community; the services provided and how they better our lives.

Nonprofits serve our communities by fostering civic engagement and leadership.  They drive economic growth and strengthen the structure within our communities.  You may not realize it, but every single person benefits from the work of nonprofits in some way.

Every single day.

Nonprofits are key players in boosting our lives.  They create the thriving place where we live, work and play.  Even more so, they often come together to protect the legacy of a community and its important features within the town.

Nonprofit leaders are often the voice of the people they serve.  With strong relationships and intimate local knowledge, they become advocates to better meet everyone’s needs.

So, who (or what) are nonprofit organizations?

It’s easy to recognize the nonprofits who swoop in and save the day for those in need.  The Food Bank feeds the hungry.  The Red Cross provides disaster relief.  There are, however, a whole slew of groups and organizations you may not even realize fit into the category.

Defining them is one thing, but what can you do to help?  Many nonprofits earn revenue from donations, grants and memberships.  Some even host events and sell products.

Here are 6 easy ways to support them!
  1. Volunteer Your Time or Services.
  2. Engage with the Organization on social media.
  3. Forward an E-Blast or Newsletter to a Friend.
  4. Buy Tickets to an Upcoming Event.
  5. Donate Financially.


We often talk about economics and the importance of shopping locally.  Well, the same rings true for our nonprofit sector.  They need our support just the same as any other member!  Find the group who best suits your interests and reach out.

Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit members, including
Volunteer and Employee organizations

Clear Lake Pickleball Club

Mollie’s Mission

Mason City Youth Hockey Fundraiser

Veterans Memorial Golf Club

Clear Lake Arts Center

CL Evening Lions

Clear Lake Noon Lions

One Vision (including General Store, Glen Oaks Community & Boyer Pool and Wellness Center)

North Iowa Events Center

Surf Ballroom & Museum

Surf Music Enrichment Center

United Way of North Central Iowa

Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau

Clear Lake Fishing Club

Farmers Market – Clear Lake

Clear Lake Yacht Club

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa

Association for the Preservation of Clear Lake

Clear Lake Area Concert Association

Kinney Pioneer Museum

CLASS Car Club

Mason City YMCA

IOOF Home and Community Therapy Center

Lake Town Charlie Brown Preschool & Child Care

Central Gardens of North Iowa

Ventura Gun Club

YSS Francis Lauer

Habitat for Humanity North Centra Iowa

Elderbridge Agency on Aging

43 North Iowa

Northern Lights Alliance for the Homeless

Wright on the Park, Inc.

Clear Lake Historical Society

Rotary Club of Clear Lake

Clear Lake Jaycees

North Iowa Music, Arts & Pageantry Inc.

North Iowa Touring Club

Greater Iowa Youth for Christ

Share Life – Share Shop

Community Health Center of Mason City

United to Serve with passion and Purpose

Clear Lake Booster Club

IFCA (Interfaith Fellowship for Community Action)

Salvation Army

Midwest Sled Fest

Kiwanis Club of Clear Lake

Cerro Gordo Democrats

North Iowa Children’s Museum