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Leadership Notes

Welcome to the Iowa West Foundation. The purpose of this website is to share ideas as we work together to transform our community. Through this blog I’ll share my thoughts and ideas and invite your feedback. Please check back frequently. Your thoughts are important to me, and to creating the community we all envision.

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The difference between Grants and Initiatives

June 10, 2015

For years, the Iowa West Foundation has been known as a “Grantmaking” organization. Since 1994, we have awarded approximately $320 million in grants to hundreds of nonprofits in communities throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. In the past few years, in addition to awarding grants, we’ve begun to invest in what we call “initiatives.” These […]

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Housing Strategy and Priority Projects

April 16, 2015

In preparation for creating a new strategic plan in 2013, the Iowa West Foundation engaged in a series of listening sessions in the community. Housing emerged as a major theme of these discussions. The final report from these sessions states: Housing was a huge issue, manifesting as a need for quality housing across all price […]

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What is Placemaking?

March 20, 2015

The American Planning Association recently named Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs one of its 10 national “Great Places in America” for 2014. It’s a high honor, but it begs the question, what makes a place a “great place?” Is it the location and the physical attributes? Or is it the feeling you get when you’re […]

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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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