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Applicants are encouraged to contact staff with questions. For technical assistance, email Grants Assistant Pam Bierceor call her at 712-309-3000.


Since its inception, the Iowa West Foundation's grant program has awarded more than $430 million to improve the quality of life in our region. These stories highlight some of these grants and show the impact they make on our community. 

Recent Featured Grants
2018 Year in Review of the Iowa West Foundation

Grant Eligibility and Restrictions

Grant Eligibility and Restrictions

Applicants must be either a public charity or a governmental entity, and more specifically as follows: an IRS-approved tax-exempt non-profit public charity qualifying under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) as described in IRC 501(c)(3); and furthermore a “public charity” qualifying under Sections 509(a), and specifically under 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) [but not 509(a)(3)]; and, finally, specifically not a private foundation as described in IRC 509(a); or, a school or school district applying through the local area education agency, or another governmental entity. (The above information is contained in every agency’s formal IRS letter-notification of tax-exempt status.) No grant application will be approved that is inconsistent with the charitable tax-exempt status of the Foundation.

Ineligible Proposals/Organizations

The Foundation will not accept proposals that:

  • Seek to fund obligations (e.g., deficits, building costs, mortgages and other loans) incurred prior to grant notification.
  • Participate in, or intervening in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office [within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue  Code (“IRC”)].
  • Carry out propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation [within the meaning of section 4945(d) of the IRC].
  • Seek to influence the outcome of any specific public election or carrying on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive [within the meaning of section 4945(d)(2) of the IRC].
  • Make any “donative” grant (i.e., grants through a re-granting program) to any organization or individual (including scholarships).
  • Undertake any activity for any non-charitable purpose or to the extent that use of grant funds would constitute a “taxable expenditure” [within the meaning of section 4945(d) of the IRC] or in any other manner which would jeopardize or cause the Foundation to lose its status as an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC.
  • Discriminate against any individual or group based on race, religious beliefs, ethnic or national origin, or otherwise legally impermissible criteria.
  • Benefit for-profit businesses.
  • Support private foundations as described in IRC 509(a), as well as organizations qualifying under 509(a)(3).
  • Fund projects outside of Southwest Iowa or Eastern Nebraska.
  • Benefit church-affiliated organizations for religious purposes (however, support may be provided to non-religious programs like childcare, meal centers, etc.).
  • Provide support for benefits and fundraising events, such as but not limited to galas, golf tournaments, and school dinners.
  • Fund campaigns or any fundraising effort that supports and organization’s endowment.
  • Fund public safety facilities (police and fire stations) or public safety vehicles.
  • Fund medical facilities (including hospitals, assisted living projects, nursing homes, independent care, and extended care facilities); medical research; medical equipment; medical education; and/or, hospital charity care assistance.
  • Finance publications, films, books, seminars, symposia and conferences.
  • Fund proposals that were declined by the Foundation within the previous 12 months.

Take the Eligibility Quiz.


Proposals from schools/school districts

Proposals from individual schools, in our geographic area (see counties previously identified), must be submitted through the Green Hills Area Education Agency (formerly Loess Hills AEA 13). Proposals for capital improvements to school property will not be considered.

Regional proposals

IWF is committed to working across the region to develop a robust economic climate and amenities that are attractive to families and to business. To that end, the Foundation is primarily interested in focusing its support regionally in two of our strategic areas: Economic Development and Place-making. The Foundation recognizes the symbiotic relationship inherent to our metro area and is supportive of programs in the aforementioned strategic focus areas that both realize that interdependence and strengthen it.

Consecutive years of funding

Grantees may receive programmatic and general operating funds for up to six (6) years consecutively. Moreover, in any eight (8) year period of time, a grantee may only receive a maximum of six (6) years of funding. Additionally, the Foundation will work with grantees who apply for general operating or programmatic funding, annually and on an ongoing basis, to develop a plan to rely less on the Foundation’s funding in subsequent years.

Next: Important Grant Application Guidelines and Considerations >>

OUR VISION is a community where families choose to
live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its
quality of life and standard of living.

Iowa West Foundation    |    25 Main Place, Suite 550    |    Council Bluffs, Iowa    |    712-309-3000