Tailored to Transform

Vision. Planning. Collaboration. Execution. Instead of the reactive approach of grantmaking, initiatives allow for thoughtful cooperation amongst vested partners to develop things like pilot programs and large-scale projects that have the capability for major transformation. The Foundation’s strategic plan calls for us to serve as a convener, listener, and a leader. Initiatives allow us to fulfill that role. Below are initiatives from each of our focus areas that haven't already been mentioned elsewhere in this report.

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BLink (Economic Development)

The Foundation awarded $100,000 to expand the City of Council Bluffs' free Wi-Fi network to more neighborhoods in our community in 2019. Accessibility is a priority for IWF, which has contributed more than half a million dollars to this initiative since it launched in 2016.


Children's Mental Health (Education)

The Foundation awarded $160,000 to continue the mental health services offered within Lewis Central Schools by Heartland Family Services in 2019. Mental health is a priority for IWF, which has contributed more than half a million to this initiative since it launched in 2015.


SHARE Omaha (Healthy Families)

Omaha might be part of this nonprofit's name, but their offerings for southwest Iowa nonprofits are numerous. Launched in 2019 with the help of $50,000 in initiative funds from the Iowa West Foundation, SHARE Omaha is a connecting hub between nonprofits seeking goods and people seeking to do good.


Downtown Cultural Trail (Placemaking)

Downtown Council Bluffs is a dynamic location with a rich history. The Iowa West Foundation identified the opportunity to take the strong artistic and cultural amenities present there and unify them into a connected, cultural trail through the addition of murals and small-scale art. With $175,000 committed in 2019, murals were incorporated into all four of the crosswalks at Bayliss Park. This coincided with the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad, not only adding to the vibrancy in the downtown, but also building on efforts to advance walkability.

Media Coverage of Crosswalk Murals