Iowa West Foundation
A community where families choose to live and businesses choose to locate because of the quality of life and standard of living.
The mission of the Iowa West Foundation is to improve lives and strengthen communities for current and future generations. We do this by providing leadership, creating partnerships, leveraging resources and serving as a catalyst in identifying and supporting community needs.
The Iowa West Foundation is funded by investment income and through the Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA), which receives contracted fees paid by local casino operators — Ameristar and Harrah’s. The Foundation is an independent nonprofit recipient, as described in the 501(c)3 section of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation began its grant program in 1996, which awards funds for various community projects of governmental entities or nonprofit organizations. The Iowa West Foundation is headquartered in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Through 2016, the Iowa West Foundation has awarded more than $400 million in funding to nonprofit organizations and governmental entities, enhancing the lives of thousands of area citizens.
Iowa West Racing Association
The Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA) was created when Iowa passed laws requiring gaming licenses to be either held or sponsored by nonprofit organizations. The Association has become an important source of funding for a variety of charitable and community projects.
The Iowa West Racing Association is the license holder for Horseshoe Casino, formerly Bluffs Run, and the license sponsor for two casino riverboats, Ameristar and Harrah’s. The two riverboat operators pay license fees to the Association, which distributes the funds to the Iowa West Foundation. In addition, two transactions in 1999 and 2004 involving Bluffs Run significantly increased the Foundation’s corpus and investment income for charitable grant making.
Despite its modest beginnings and relative youth, the Iowa West Foundation has evolved significantly to become one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Midwest. The Iowa West Racing Association was officially formed in 1984, and the Iowa West Foundation was established in 1994 as a private charitable foundation.
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