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Belonging Mini-Grants

About Council Bluffs Belonging Mini Grants 

When we asked what you loved about living here – you said the sense of hometown pride and belonging. We agreed! In fact, we believe that when you feel like you belong, your community connection and engagement grows. For that reason, we are happy to invite you to participate in our Council Bluffs Belonging Mini Grants program.

If you are a Council Bluffs resident and you share a passion or interest with others in the community, this program can help! Grants are available to support projects that build community and strengthen connections. So, tell us – what is your idea about how to bring people together to share a passion, hobby, or interest? Please see our eligibility and application information below.

How to Apply

The Iowa West Foundation has partnered with a handful of trusted community organizations who will be administering the Belonging Mini Grants to groups of at least three unrelated people who reside in Council Bluffs. This program is a pathway for people and projects unaffiliated with a nonprofit/business to receive a grant of up to $200 that can help get their ideas off the ground.

Applications meeting the eligibility requirements will be awarded on a first come, first served basis through the following community organizations who are administering the program. All you need to do is get at least two other Council Bluffs residents (they can’t be part of your family) to join you and submit an application through one of the following: 

Requests are reviewed regularly, so you will know if your application was approved within 2-3 weeks of your submission. 

Share Your Story 

Once you complete your event or activity, you just need to tell us how your project went by sharing your project/event/activity on social media.  Simply tag #LoveWhereYouLiveCB on Facebook or Instagram, with your photo and project summary as a short post or video – be creative. Feel free to tag Iowa West Foundation and your partnering community organization as well. We will be sharing more Belonging Mini Grants as they happen. 


For more information, contact Stacey Goodman, Program Officer with the Iowa West Foundation.


What kinds of projects are accepted?
  • All projects must be based in Council Bluffs.
  • Good projects are ones that will connect you to others by sharing a common interest or passion – what better way is there to feel like you belong?
  • Some common types of projects include sharing a hobby or interest, but there are also many unique projects that don’t fall into these categories. So, if you have an idea, don’t hesitate to apply – we’ve made the application simple.
  • Any product, service, or event created with the support of a Belonging Mini Grant must be free to attend and participate in.
What types of activities are not supported?
  • This is all about sharing and connecting. It is not about making money. To that end events your event may not be a good fit if you are trying to:
    • fundraise for other projects and/or organizations during the event;
    • sell products or services at the event; or
    • gain financially from the project.
What can I use the money for?
  • Grant money can be used to offset expenses needed for the project such as promotional costs, food/beverage, supplies, services or facility rental.
    Usage to date includes:
    -Grocery items
    -Drinks (non-alcoholic)
    -Gift cards for prizes
    -Space rental
    -Sewing materials/supplies
    -May basket materials
    -Mahjong sets
  • Grant money may NOT be used for the following:
    Purchase of alcohol; or
    -Expenses before the award date (sorry, projects will not be supported retroactively).


Who can apply?
  • You need a minimum of three Council Bluffs residents. That’s you and two others! But, they can’t be related to you.
  • Eligible Iowa West Foundation grantees and businesses may NOT apply. 
What should be included in my application?
  • A description of your activity/event, including its purpose and key goals. 
  • The proposed date of your event or project.
  • Who you want to reach with your idea.
What costs should be included in my budget?
  • Make sure to include a basic breakdown of your planned usage of the grant money (i.e. promotional costs, food/beverage, supplies, services or facility rental). 
  • If we can’t understand your budget, we can’t approve your project! So, we’ll need some detail.
After I apply, when will I receive my grant?
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, you will hear back from us within two weeks. 
  • Typically, you can expect to receive your grant via check within three weeks of your submission.
Can I apply for more than one project at a time?
  • We want to reach as many people as possible, so we will look to fund others before we consider refunding a past recipient.

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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