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What We Fund

Eligible Organizations

Iowa West Foundation funds two types of organizations:
-501(c)(3) Public Charities
-Government entities

We do not fund individuals, private businesses, or 501(c)(3) private foundations.

Geographic Focus

Our vision is a community where families want to live and businesses choose to locate because of its quality of life and standard of living. To accomplish this, the Foundation implements a grants program that addresses key strategic priorities in economic development, education, healthy families, and placemaking.

Iowa West Foundation serves an 18-county area including southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Our primary focus area is Pottawattamie County, Iowa. The map highlights our entire funding area. Please note that the Foundation’s geographic area does vary by program area. See each individual portfolio for additional information. If you have questions about the eligibility of your particular project, please contact the program officer responsible for that portfolio.

Funding Areas

Economic Development

A strong economy with access to good jobs is critical to the health of our community. We fund work that seeks to increase the standard of living and economic competitiveness of southwest Iowa and the Council Bluffs-Omaha metropolitan area. Work that falls under our Economic Development portfolio may include grants that:

  • Develop a world-class workforce
  • Promote job readiness and workforce training/preparedness
  • Foster strategic job creation
  • Encourage entrepreneurship
  • Support the development of new businesses in the region

We fund economic development throughout our geographic area. However, if your grant request is focused on the Omaha metro area, we only consider grants that include Council Bluffs/southwest Iowa as part of the metro area. Projects that exclusively serve Nebraska residents are not eligible.

Education

Education is one of the greatest tools we have to address the root causes of poverty in our community and prepare our residents for success. The Foundation’s overall goals in education are intended to: (1) increase kindergarten readiness and decrease educational inequity due to socioeconomic factors; (2) ensure children are reading on grade level by the third grade; (3) increase high school completion rates; and (4) increase post-secondary opportunities. To achieve these goals, the Foundation supports:

  • Preschool
  • Early childhood development
  • Children’s mental health
  • Summer school
  • Post-secondary readiness and access

Our educational portfolio is focused primarily in Pottawattamie County, however we do make limited grants to programs in Southwest Iowa. Individual schools are not eligible to apply for grant support, however we do partner with districts on transformational investments through our initiative process. We encourage superintendents to reach-out to discuss about the opportunity partner with us.

Healthy Families

Our Healthy Families portfolio is focused in Pottawattamie County. The Foundation places a priority on programs that strengthen families, foster essential life skills and address critical human/social service needs in our community while helping individuals reach their full potential. Examples of such programs include proposals that address:

  • Family stability
  • Hunger
  • Emergency/transitional housing
  • Adolescent health projects
  • Child abuse
  • Mental health
Place-making

Iowa West Foundation invests in creating world-class places in our community and activating those spaces with excellent arts and cultural programs. Our investments in developing our community include:

  • Arts and culture programs
  • Beautification
  • Community infrastructure
  • Preserving important environmental spaces
  • Housing
  • Recreation
  • Rural development

We fund placemaking throughout our geographic area. However, if your grant request is focused on the Omaha metro area, we only consider grants that include Council Bluffs/southwest Iowa as part of the metro area. Projects that exclusively serve Nebraska residents are not eligible.

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.

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