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*Iowa Community Foundations Initiative Program* 2020 Connect Community Foundations Virtual Conference

September 22 @ 10:00 am - September 30 @ 12:00 pm


September 22 – 23 Content Sessions via Zoom
September 29 – 30 Peer-Learning Circle Sessions via Zoom

*Registration closes September 15*


ICoF’s Annual Connect Community Foundations Virtual Conference will be held September 22-23 and September 29-30 via Zoom.  Join colleagues from around the state to learn from regional and national experts about trends in philanthropy and best practices for community foundations. This conference is designed to provide a framework for thinking about how local community foundations can create positive change in their region and give volunteers and staff an opportunity to learn from one another. This is a free opportunity sponsored through the Iowa Community Foundations Initiative and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Idea Implementation Grants up to $1,500 per community foundation will again be available this year but will look a bit different due to the Conference being held virtually. We will share more information about this year’s grant process during the opening Connect session on September 22.

Below is a detail of our conference agenda. When you register, please indicate which sessions you plan to participate in, so we have an idea of how many people will be participating in each session. We will provide all of the information you need to connect to the Zoom platform in an email that will be sent prior to the conference. Please contact us with any questions!



10 – 11:30 am Conference Welcome + Legislative Update 
Kari McCann Boutell, Iowa Council of Foundations
David Adelman, Cornerstone Government Affairs

Join us for this session as we launch the 2020 Connect Community Foundations Virtual Conference! You will learn more about the conference agenda and grant funding opportunities available for your community foundation. David Adelman will provide a legislative update and preview of the 2020 election. You will also hear from community foundation colleagues around the state regarding their COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

1 – 2:30 pm Affiliate Session Part I
Boards on Fire: Creating an Environment Conducive to Leadership
Susan Howlett, Nonprofit Consultant and Author
Designed for affiliates. Hosts and standalones are welcome!

These days, we really need our board and advisory committee members to be strategic leaders, compelling ambassadors, and powerful fundraisers, but they struggle with these roles if systems aren’t in place that foster success. You’ll leave this interactive conversation with simple structures you can initiate immediately, without spending precious money or time.



10 – 11:30 am Affiliate Session Part II Finding the Good Ones: How to Build a Pipeline of Model Board Members
Susan Howlett, Nonprofit Consultant and Author
Designed for affiliates. Hosts and standalones are welcome!

We’re all looking for great leaders to populate our boards and advisory committees, but suitable nominees can seem elusive. This highly interactive conversation will uncover how to generate a waiting list of excellent candidates – who truly represent your community – ready to land running when they get on your board or committee.

1 – 2:30 pm Embracing Trust-Based Philanthropy to Advance Equity in Your Organization and Community

Shaady Salehi, Trust-Based Philanthropy Project
Pam Ross, Central Indiana Community Foundation

Designed for host and standalones. Affiliates are welcome!

The demands for racial justice following the killing of George Floyd and the loss of many other Black lives, amidst a global pandemic that has illuminated health disparities, has many community foundations exploring their roles in advancing equity and justice. Community foundations play a unique role in advancing equity through their grantmaking, community leadership and donor development efforts. Evidence shows relationships with grantees, partners and donors are stronger when they are built on the foundation of trust. Using a lens of trust-based philanthropy enables foundations to proactively address power imbalances with their grantees and partners and to foster relationships that will allow for deeper learning, understanding and, ultimately, more effective organizations and outcomes.

This session will dive into the core values and principles of trust-based philanthropy, how you can put them to work in your community and foundation, and strategies to engage and educate your donors to understand how they too can redistribute power and support equity through trust-based practice. The session will feature Shaady Salehi, Director of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, and Pam Ross, Vice President of Opportunity, Equity & Inclusion at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. We will also highlight examples of how community foundations in Iowa have already embraced these principles and are working to advance equity in their own communities.

These peer-learning circle conversations will provide an opportunity for you to pose questions to your peers at other community foundations throughout Iowa. Iowa Council of Foundations staff will monitor the conversations and you will be asked to submit questions in advance to help guide the conversation.


  • 9 – 10 am | Finance Staff
  • 11 am – 12 pm | Marketing & Communications Staff 
  • 1 – 2 pm | Affiliate Staff, Contractors, & Volunteers


  • 9 – 10 am | Development & Fundraising Staff
  • 11 am – 12 pm | Grants & Program Staff

You are welcome to participate in more than one Peer-Learning Circle. Please indicate which Peer-Learning Circles you would like to join in your registration.


September 22 @ 10:00 am
September 30 @ 12:00 pm
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Kari McCann Boutell


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