Strengthening Nonprofits Through

Capacity Building

By offering free additional training, coaching, and support from national experts to executive directors and their board members, the Iowa West Foundation is bolstering the output and outcomes of nonprofit organizations in our community. Though their missions are diverse, each organization benefits from this best-practice program. See what they had to say below.

American Midwest Ballet Centro Latino Council Bluffs Schools Foundation FAMILY, Inc. New Visions Homeless Services Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment Pottawattamie County Community Foundation The 712 Initiative
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Iowa West Foundation’s commitment to capacity building in its community has evolved into a model program that should ideally be replicated by foundations all across America. They have found the right balance between supporting community-based programs and helping strengthen organizational capacity to help nonprofits become sustainable over time. What a great service for nonprofits in their community and the many individuals and families they serve!

Susan Meier Quote
Senior Governance Consultant, BoardSource

American Midwest Ballet

"The Iowa West Foundation is such a visionary leader for our community! The capacity building training has been a game-changer for organizations like ours, allowing us to plan for the future with confidence and make important strides as a company. The Foundation has been a tremendous resource, not only in terms of financial support, but as a partner in helping us succeed." -Erika Overturff, Artistic Director & CEO, American Midwest Ballet

Centro Latino

"Recent Latino immigrants are experiencing social discrimination, economic inequality and fear of being unwelcome. Iowa West Foundation continues to bring them hope by supporting our programs and services. Being a part of the capacity building program funded by Iowa West has helped us strengthen our programs and commitment to helping new Americans toward thriving, self-sufficient, and healthy lives." -Ramon Calzada, Executive Director, Centro Latino

Council Bluffs Schools Foundation

"The training Iowa West Foundation is providing has really changed how we operate as a board/executive director team. At each board meeting we discuss what we've learned, and how those lessons can be applied to our organization in the most effective ways. Through the process of learning together and participating in robust conversations we have developed more trust as a team, and we are thinking more critically and strategically about the future." -Chris LaFerla, Executive Director, Council Bluffs Schools Foundation


"Supporting the healthy development, safety and education of our children is one of the best investments a community can make for a better future. Ongoing support from Iowa West Foundation for our most vulnerable families demonstrates that commitment to our community and our future. The impact this investment has will last for years to come." -Kimberly Kolakowski, Executive Director, FAMILY, Inc.

New Visions Homeless Services

"As a result of this valuable resource, we now have a clearer road map to board recruitment and board retention while embracing the values of inclusion and diversity. We now have measurement tools that help us objectively measure our growth and progress on these and other values that we hold as an organization. These measurement tools further help us measure our mission, governance, and service delivery so they remain fully integrated. Through our work with Iowa West on this capacity building project, our strategic plan is integrated with our board member talents, our corporate structure, our development process, and our fundraising efforts as well as in all our programs to ensure we are meeting not only present needs, but are also able to see the future trends and adapt in a timely fashion." -Bob Sheehan, CEO, New Visions Homeless Services


"The BoardSource training facilitated by Iowa West Foundation is helping take our nonprofit leadership to the next level by helping strengthen and support our board performance. Nonprofit board education and training is a vital part of any board’s development and the courses helped PACE board members better understand their responsibilities in order to better govern our organization. It also allowed us to take a closer look at the board's practices, culture, and performance. The insight has been invaluable to PACE." -Danna Kehm, CEO, Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Pottawattamie County Community Foundation

At the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, our mission is to amplify the impact of donor-driven philanthropy in Southwest Iowa. With the invaluable support of the Iowa West Foundation, we have built our strategic capacity to help meet our objectives, and thereby better serve the needs of the greater community. Donna Dostal, President and Chief Executive Officer, PCCF

The 712 Initiative

"The commitment to capacity building has strengthen the foundation of our organization to better serve this community. Roles have been better defined. We are now able to better assess our performance among similar organizations and it has strengthen our leadership. We feel more confident as a group seeking to fulfill our mission with innovated solutions to increase the community’s economic vitality and quality of life." -Sheryl Garst, Chief Executive Officer, The 712 Initiative

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