Partners in Progress


A  Grant Program  of the IADG  Community  Foundation

For thirty years at Iowa Area Development Group, and for better than a decade, IADG IADG Community Foundation LogoCommunity Foundation, we have worked to create, discover, share and implement best practices and innovative ideas to advance business and community development efforts throughout the state. While we’re confident we have made significant contributions to the field of economic development and community philanthropy, we’re sure our partners have as well.

That is why we have chosen to strengthen and continue our grant program called “Partners in Progress.” At the heart of this grant program is our desire to help our IADG and IADG CF partners implement and share programs and initiatives that are new, innovative, and have demonstrated their contribution and value. As such, our grant program is all about sharing and replicating success. It is our intention to promote and encourage the notoriety and improvement of one organization’s innovative idea with a commitment and process for replication, improvement, and implementation at yet another.

With this objective, we are offering $30,000 in Partners in Progress funding for 2018/2019.  A maximum award of $10,000 is the upper limit.

A pre-application discussion with IADG/IADG CF staff is encouraged. All applications will ultimately be scored and awarded on the following basis with up to 10 points in each of the five categories outlined below:

  • Innovation and novelty of the concept or program to be developed, implemented and shared.
  • Impact at the original community or organization and communities or organizations which would benefit from sharing and replication.
  • Implementation (A detailed plan for implementing, improving, and sharing the concept with other communities or organizations, including a timetable and budget.)
  • Replication (How will sharing this initiative facilitate, streamline and make others more easily able to adopt or implement the initiative.)
  • Partners in Progress! (How will you collaborate with IADG and IADGCF to promote, publicize, and share your initiative so that it might enhance other communities or organizations.)   
Program Participation Guidelines and Timetable

Grant participation discussions can be commenced with IADG Community Foundation now through October 1, 2018.  A simple narrative overviewing the program or initiative you wish to share will be sufficient.  We will schedule a discussion of your proposal promptly.

Organizations submitting projects deemed suitable and worthy will be provided an application corresponding to the five categories of evaluation set forth above.

All projects submitted will be evaluated by an IADG Community Foundation committee.  The committee will convene for scoring and evaluation during the month of October.  Participating organizations may be called upon for a special presentation before their ultimate selection.

Successful program projects will be announced in early November.  Funding will be commenced and provided as dictated by the project and its milestones.  All grant recipients must be a qualifying tax-exempt organization, government entity, or provide for an appropriate fiscal entity.  All the recipients and their projects must be appropriate to IRS charitable funding guidelines.

IADG Community Foundation reserves the right to modify these guidelines, work with recipient organizations, and make program decisions and awards best befitting their “Partners in Progress” program.

Any “Partners in Progress” program questions should be directed to Rand Fisher, IADG Community Foundation CEO, ( or 800-888-4743.

Submit button to access Partners in Progress Grant Form

HousingPocket Neighborhood Rendering

East Central Development Corporation (ECDC) was selected for their “Pocket Neighborhood [Pocket Neighborhood artist rendering]  Housing Project in Maquoketa. Housing is a challenge across the state of Iowa. The pocket neighborhood concept will address the need for workforce housing in Jackson County for households at or below 100% of the County Median Income level.

The pocket neighborhoods, (Small-scale communities in a larger-scale world,) foster a sense of belonging and meaning. The pocket neighborhood concept features clusters of homes gathered around a landscaped common area with recreational amenities, creating a neighborhood setting and facilitate interaction on a daily basis with shared outdoor common space. The homes in this project will be single family, story-and-a-half bungalows that incorporate sustainable practices. Grant funds will support final blueprints and site layout, review and finalization of association covenants and support for replication.

Population GrowthIowa Lakes Five by Five Logo

Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is implementing the Five by Five (5x5)  [Five by Five Program Logo] Campaign, in effort to reverse chronic population loss and drive a 5% increase in population over a five-year period of 2017 – 2021. This extensive program included identification of skills and attributes needed to fill open positions. Community champions were recruited to spread the word through videos and other digital marketing channels. High-quality videos and digital marketing materials were developed to support the campaign. The IADG CF funds will be used to support the development of the technology “portal” that allows organizations to accumulate a database of prospects and to assist with refining of the marketing message and materials. The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation has already generated a lot of interest. They have shared information about their program with other Iowa communities and are interested in sharing their program throughout the state. 

Workforce DevelopmentRocket Manufacturing Group Photo

Rocket Manufacturing is a fully operational manufacturing business operating within the Rock  [Photo of Rocket Manufacturing Students] Valley High School. This is the first of its kind in Iowa. The community, School District, local companies, volunteers and students have all come together to make this project a success. Donated manufacturing equipment, welding stations, and other metal fabrication tools fill the new 10,000 sq. ft. expansion of the existing “shop class.” Local companies are sending smaller jobs to the students to test and work with the equipment.  Now in the second of a five-year plan, the community and businesses continue to show support.  This is real world work for the students.  Each semester the students take their position in the company. There is a manager, bookkeeper, sales people, marketing and other students working in the “plant” taking orders and making products.

The Partners in Progress program is in its early stages. Watch for more information and updates in the months to come.

Any "Partners in Progress" program questions may be directed to Rand Fisher, IADG Community Foundation CEO, (