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.
 

November 03, 2017

At Iowa West, we think it's critical that nonprofits engage in a process of learning about and improving their programs.

Read More
March 23, 2017

The Iowa West Foundation Board voted on Tuesday, March 21 to fund Phase I of the West Broadway Reconstruction Project as planned. The Foundation is unable at the present time to reach a decision on whether or not it can make a funding commitment beyond Phase I.

Read More
February 02, 2017

From the beginning, our goals for the field house were not only to provide access to southwest Iowa sports teams but also to drive economic development in the Mid-America Center and tourism in Council Bluffs.

Read More
December 20, 2016

Before we look ahead to 2017, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on all that happened in the previous 12 months. Several Iowa West Foundation initiatives were launched and expanded upon while a number of large grants with potential for significant impact were awarded in 2016. Let’s take a look at the year in review.

Read More
August 10, 2016

In preparing for this year’s annual report,it became clear that there were a number of major projects started in 2015 that are still in the works (at the Mid-America Center, the Riverfront, and West Broadway to name a few). Because the work on these transformational efforts is ongoing, our images primarily consist of renderings. We’ve themed this annual report “UNRENDERED” for two reasons. 1. We’re excited to be a part of the new Council Bluffs “UN” image campaign, which highlights that the city is “UNlike Anywhere Else. On Purpose.” 2. We are ready for the projects you’ll see in the renderings that follow to come to life over the next few years and thus become “unrendered.”

Read More
July 07, 2016

In the past, we have asked for transaction-level information about how our funding was used. Moving forward we are going to be asking grantees to provide summarized information in the form of an updated budget. For the majority of our grantees, this means a clearer, simpler system of reconciling the grants.

Read More
June 21, 2016

Once school is out and summer is in full swing, many children, especially struggling readers, forget some of what they learned at school – or they slip out of practice since they’re not in school each day. Summer slide is an issue that has serious implications for kids and for our community.

Read More
April 18, 2016

The City Council voted at last Monday’s City Council meeting to postpone the Fieldhouse/Hotel Project at the Mid-America Center so that they could receive additional public input. We would encourage you to contact your City Council members within the next week, prior to their making a decision at the next City Council meeting on April 25th, to let them know how they should vote.

Read More
April 11, 2016

“With great power comes great responsibility.” This adage comes to mind because I was recently asked “Isn’t your job just to give away money?” Well, yes and no. Yes, our primary “job,” is to award funding three times per year. But along with that comes the responsibility to be good stewards of our investments all year long.

Read More
January 22, 2016

The Daily Nonpareil featured IWF President and CEO, Pete Tulipana, as one of ‪Council Bluffs'‬ Community Stars of 2015 in their Year in Review. Read what he had to say about his greatest accomplishment, greatest disappointment, and greatest successes in the Foundation's focus areas of education, placemaking, economic development and healthy families.

Read More
November 17, 2015

Since the opening of the Mid-America Center and surrounding plaza, the hope was that the area would be bustling with shoppers and diners. The lack of vibrancy and action have been disappointing to all involved. Now we have reason to believe that the MAC area, situated next to one of the most highly-traveled corridors in the country, can and will draw people from all over the region.

Read More
October 30, 2015

In the past, residents have not turned out in large numbers for the city elections. If you enjoy the nice parks, the library, the bike/walking trails, the arts and culture activities and museums, and the swimming pools, we would encourage you to become actively engaged, to study the issues and the candidate’s positions, and to vote on November 3rd.

Read More
August 05, 2015

The Iowa West Foundation has been a catalyst in the development of the Riverfront from the beginning and with good reason. Our Board sees vast potential for economic development in this area that will benefit Council Bluffs’ and the greater southwest Iowa region. We want to help drive this opportunity.

Read More
July 09, 2015

The year 2014 was another historic year for the Foundation. We awarded $20 million in grants and initiatives to more than 69 nonprofits and government entities. Please take a few moments to read more about these impactful programs and projects in the 2014 annual report.

Read More
June 17, 2015

I know that some of our applicants have a bit of trepidation when it comes to asking the “What are you looking for?” question. It’s normal to feel that way. And, the good news is we do not want it to be a mystery! I actually really enjoy the opportunity to help grantees think through how they can strengthen their projects. However, the due diligence meeting is too late for me to be of any help with the current application. It’s far better that you reach out when you are considering applying and we can discuss the elements of a strong project. Even better than that – I can give you some useful tips right here.

Read More
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.”

Read More
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 levels, but particularly in the low to middle income brackets, with an emphasis on the need for more quality rentals available and single family dwellings.

Read More
March 20, 2015

In 2014, the Iowa West Foundation shifted the name of one of our focus areas from Community Development to “Placemaking,” to be more reflective of our vision: making Council Bluffs and the southwest Iowa region a desirable place for families to live and work and businesses to locate. However, you may be left wondering what exactly “placemaking” means.

Read More
December 10, 2014

Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park is now home to a 75’ 8’ steel sculpture that goes by the name of “Big Mo.” Designed by world-renowned artist Mark di Suvero - whose works are all over the United States as well as in Germany, France and Japan - Big Mo is painted di Suvero’s signature “Spacetime Orange.”

Read More
October 28, 2014

Now that fourth quarter grant applications have been submitted, we are ready to inform our stakeholders about changes to the process that will take affect in January of 2015. You can read about the changes in depth in the Grantmaking section of our website, but we’d like for you to have some context as you do that.

Read More
September 18, 2014

Hopefully by now you’ve heard about the new local branding effort highlighting the tagline, “we don’t coast.” It speaks to the area’s forward momentum and the pride Midwesterners have in their communities. The slogan actually ties in perfectly with another major ongoing initiative, funded by the Iowa West Foundation: Advance Southwest Iowa.

Read More
August 12, 2014

Iowa West Foundation has completed its first two grant rounds since announcing a new strategic plan focusing on education, economic development and place-making in Council Bluffs and surrounding communities.

Read More
June 09, 2014

During 2013, Iowa West announced $20 million in grants for projects and programs in our community, surpassing the $300 million mark since the Foundation’s inception 20 years ago in 1994.

Read More
March 24, 2014

On behalf of the Iowa West board members, we would like to thank you for the tremendous input provided to us during the past year. Your comments, suggestions, and concerns were central to the formation of our new strategic plan.

Read More
February 20, 2014

On January 3, 2014, business, community and elected leaders joined by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman commemorated the formation of a two-state, regional economic development organization — an unprecedented collaboration between southwest Iowa and southeast Nebraska.

Read More
January 31, 2014

On behalf of the Iowa West Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce a three to five year strategic plan for the Foundation.

Read More
January 09, 2014

I am proud to announce the hiring of Kathleen Rapp of Omaha, Neb., as Vice President of Grants & Initiatives and Matthew Henkes of Washington, DC, as Director of Grants Programs.

Read More
October 01, 2013

It’s not often that an opportunity like Heartland 2050 comes along. In fact it’s unprecedented. This is the first time that all eight counties in our metropolitan area have joined together to create a vision of what our region’s projected growth could mean for us all.

Read More
July 29, 2013

In February, the Iowa West Foundation kicked off an unprecedented process to reach out to the citizens of Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County. The purpose of the outreach was to share information about the investments made by the foundation and to listen to your thoughts about what is important as we plan for the future.

Read More
June 26, 2013

In 2012, Iowa West announced grants of nearly $16 million for 165 projects and programs in our community. Read the 2012 Annual Report to learn more about the wide range of grants that were awarded.

Read More
May 22, 2013

This month Iowa West Public Art has been featured in Sculpture, an international, monthly magazine dedicated to all forms of contemporary sculpture.

Read More
May 07, 2013

At not quite 20 years old, the Iowa West Foundation’s grant program has recently passed an incredible milestone: $300 million in grant awards. Those funds, leveraged with matching dollars, represent $600 million invested in our communities throughout the region. It is truly astounding to think about the impact on the quality of life of our region and the children and families who reside here. We celebrate this milestone with the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contracted fees from casino operators Ameristar and Harrah’s.

Read More
March 12, 2013

As I celebrate my one-year anniversary as president and CEO of the Foundation, I look forward to my work with the Iowa West Foundation with tremendous energy and sense of optimism.

Read More

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