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Iowa West Foundation Awards $6.4 Million in Grant and Initiative Funding

March 14, 2019

(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $6.4 million in grants and initiatives funding to 35 nonprofit organizations and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

Funds to address homelessness and the cycle of poverty in Council Bluffs were a central theme of the first cycle of 2019. New Vision Homeless Services received $100,000 for general operating funding, Omaha Bridges Out of Poverty received $100,000 for an initiative in Council Bluffs, and Micah House received $90,000 in general operating funds.

“One of our goals has been to help to stabilize the systems for our most vulnerable populations,” said Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation.

This approach includes multi-year funding, which was renewed this year. Launched by IWF in 2016, multi-year funding is designed to provide essential general operating funds over a three-year period rather than one year, which allows organizations the capacity to focus more heavily on their missions. The first cohort included human services organizations: Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, FAMILY, Inc., Heartland Family Service, Immigrant Legal Services, Lutheran Family Services and the MICAH House, as well as Green Hills AEA. All of the organizations also received professional capacity-building training. The same multi-year funding model was expanded in 2018 to include arts organizations: American Midwest Ballet, Durham Museum, Iowa Western Community College (Performing Arts Center), Joslyn Art Museum, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha Children’s Museum, Omaha Symphony Association, Opera Omaha, Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment, and The Rose Theater.

“The multi-year funding commitment eases the burden on nonprofits to allow these organizations to focus on building their capacity to better achieve their mission,” Tulipana said. “The training is designed to help nonprofits understand their strengths and weaknesses when examined next to best practice in the industry.”

Another facet of the Foundation’s support of philanthropy for local nonprofits is through the Pottawattamie Gives! and Share Omaha platforms. Omaha Community Foundation and Pottawattamie County Community Foundation are gearing up for the 24-hour online giving day, Pottawattamie Gives!, on May 22nd. This year, the Iowa West Foundation is awarding $29,000 in matching incentives, funds which are specifically set aside for nonprofits based in Pottawattamie County (or provide services full time) and meet the Foundation’s qualifications.
A new volunteer and donation platform, SHARE Omaha, which includes Pottawattamie County nonprofits, also received $50,000 in general operating funding.

Lastly, as part of its ongoing commitment to rural southwest Iowa communities, the Foundation awarded grant funds to four rural Pottawattamie County fire departments. Carson, Hancock and Treynor Volunteer Fire Departments each received $10,000 for EMS equipment and the Underwood Volunteer Fire Department received $8,650 for thermal imaging equipment

About the Iowa West Foundation

The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $484 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program. Funding for the grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contractual fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA is the license sponsor for Ameristar and Harrah’s and the license holder for Horseshoe-Bluffs Run. The Foundation targets resources into programs and projects that focus on economic development, education, placemaking and healthy families.

2019 Cycle 1 Grants and Initiatives

(*denotes Multi-Year Funding Grantee)

*American Midwest Ballet
General Operating Funding

*Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands
General Operating Funding for Council Bluffs Club

Carson Volunteer Fire Department
Personal Protective Equipment

City of Council Bluffs
Furthering Interconnections, Revitalization, Streetscapes, Transportation, and Aesthetics for a Vibrant Economy

City of Council Bluffs
Loessfest 2019; River’s Edge activation

Council Bluffs Soccer Club
Iowa West Sports Plex

*Durham Museum
General Operating Funding
Exterior Restoration Initiative

General Operating Funding

*Green Hills AEA
Preschool funding

Hancock Volunteer Fire Department
Gear and Equipment

*Heartland Family Service
General Operating Funding supporting Iowa Family Works, substance abuse services, and homeless services

*Immigrant Legal Center
General Operating Funding supporting immigration legal services in southwest Iowa

Iowa Legal Aid
Community Stabilization Project

Iowa West Foundation Initiatives
Downtown Cultural Trail
Riverfront Revitalization

*Iowa Western Community College Foundation
General Operating Funding for the Performing Arts Center

*Joslyn Art Museum
General Operating Funding supporting Joslyn’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program

*Lauritzen Gardens
General Operating Funding
Railroad Days

*Lutheran Family Services
General Operating Funding to support child abuse prevention and sexual abuse treatment in Council Bluffs

Manning Betterment Foundation
Playground Safe Surfacing Update

*Micah House
General Operating Funding supporting homeless families

Neola Betterment Corporation
Senior Housing

New Visions Homeless Services
General Operating Funding

Omaha Bridges Out of Poverty
Council Bluffs Poverty Alleviation Initiative

*Omaha Children’s Museum
General Operating Funding supporting field trips, outreach visits and low-cost memberships for families in southwest Iowa

Omaha Community Foundation
Pottawattamie Gives! Incentives

Omaha Development Foundation
Entrepreneurial Development for southwest Iowa

*Omaha Symphony Association
General Operating Funding supporting Adventures in Music for southwest Iowa students

*Opera Omaha
General Operating Funding

Pheasants Forever, Inc.
Strengthening Quality of Life and Rural Economies through Growing Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

*Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment (PACE)
Harvester II Arts & Culture District

Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors
2019 CITIES Program
Art on the Frontier Trails (ArtFITS)

General Operating Funding for Pottawattamie County launch

The 712 Initiative
General Operating Funding/Placemaking Consortium

*The Rose Theater
General Operating Funding for School Field Trip Program for southwest Iowa students

Treynor Volunteer Fire Department
Ambulance Cot

Underwood Volunteer Fire Department
Thermal Imaging Camera

United Way of the Midlands
Community Care Fund

Media Inquiries:

Nicole Lindquist
Director of Communications
w: 712-309-3004
c: 402-981-2289

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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