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Press Release

October 23, 2014

Jerry Mathiasen, Senior Vice President

Iowa West Foundation Announces Improvements to Grants Policies


(Council Bluffs, IA) Iowa West Foundation officials today announced changes to the Foundation’s grants policies and procedures, a move they believe will improve the process for its applicants. Among the improvements is going from quarterly grant application periods to three grant cycles a year.

“Following unprecedented community outreach for our strategic plan and the responses from a grantee perception survey, we heard about community priorities, and learned that grantees wanted more time with us to produce quality requests and provide more information,” said Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “We listened to our community, recipients and partners. This change to three cycles will give our staff additional time for their due diligence work and prevent overlap between grant periods.”

Tulipana said the changes would go into effect on January 1, 2015, and he also explained the annual grant amount would continue to be approximately $20 million. He highlighted other significant improvements:

  • As a result of the community outreach, the strategic plan—with its focus areas of economic development, education, place-making, and healthy families—will be part of the guidelines;   
  • The policies will better clarify the difference between grants and initiatives, which will include the Foundation’s partnership philosophy and task force methodology;
  • In addition to the improved due diligence, the additional time between cycles will allow for appropriate grant and initiative evaluations to assist both the grantees and Iowa West;
  • Transparency continues to be a Foundation priority, and the new policies and procedures will be accessible through the Iowa West website at  

Other improvements cited include:

  • Programmatic and general operations grants will be limited to six years in any eight year period of time;
  • To allow for improved review of information, the letter of inquiry (LOI) period is now two weeks and the application period is four weeks;
  • Organizations may submit applications a maximum of two grant cycles per calendar year beginning in 2015;
  • In-kind support may be used as leveraging, but will be limited to 15% of the total program/projects costs in the application.  

For more information about the Iowa West Foundation, visit

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