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Grants at Work

Tenisha Vawser was 23-years-old when she got passed over for a management job at a toy store. She had experience, took p…


Leading transformational change through vision, planning and collaboration

In the past few years, in addition to awarding grants, the Foundation began to invest in “initiatives” in the areas of education, economic development, placemaking and healthy families, essentially the building blocks of a stronger, more resilient community.

Initiatives have included Riverfront development, the Pottawattamie Promise scholarship program, neighborhood revitalization in Council Bluffs, children’s mental health, an inter-connected trail system throughout Pottawattamie County and improvements to West Broadway.

The vision, insight, planning and collaboration that initiatives require allows for everyone to look at the big picture with the hope of finding a longer, collaborative solution to create an agreed-upon impact. Where there aren’t existing service delivery models in place, initiatives seek to partner with key organizations to transform the delivery of services, often by creating a new model. Instead of a wait and see approach, initiatives are proactive and involve ongoing conversations with community leaders as well as data-driven research to lead change.

With initiatives we ask, what is currently available? What has worked in other similar-sized cities? Who needs to be at the table for this discussion? What is the most efficient, effective way to do this? The Foundation’s community-based 2013 strategic plan called for us to be more strategic and serve as a community convener and a leader. Initiatives allow us to fulfill that role.

Focus Areas

Economic Development
Healthy Families

Search the recent grant recipients in these areas in the Grant Archive.

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