"Make it Happen" is a learning cohort designed to examine ways nonprofit organizations can grow and better serve our community through philanthropy. Funded by a generous gift from D.A. Davidson, and facilitated by the Community Foundation for Western Iowa, "Make it Happen" is an 18-month learning program focused on all aspects of development within nonprofit organizations including: annual fund, boards and committees, volunteers, donors and stakeholders, individual strengths within the workplace, and more. The program consists of six-monthly meetings from January to June, and then moves to quarterly “Continuing to Make It Happen” sessions where participants are able to learn from subject matter experts based on their personal feedback and needs. Participants are selected through an application process.

Community Foundation Announces Application for 2022 Make It Happen Cohort;
D.A. Davidson to Sponsor 18-Month Training Series

The Community Foundation for Western Iowa, formerly Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, has announced that the Community Foundation is currently accepting applications for their “Make It Happen” nonprofit training program sponsored by D.A. Davidson.

The Community Foundation for Western Iowa created the “Make It Happen” program after witnessing an increase in requests for consultation in the areas of nonprofit agency endowments and fundraising. The Community Foundation was awarded an initial grant from the Iowa Council of Foundations in April 2019 to establish the 18-month training program designed to assist nonprofit partners in establishing solid fundraising tactics, building long-term relationships, and growing their sustainability. The program is unique, in that it expounds on emerging research from Dr. Jenni Frumer, PhD, and focuses on what motivates donors and stakeholders toward philanthropy. Additionally, the program leverages strengths-based management principles to build and solidify internal organizational strengths toward fund development success.

The Community Foundation is delighted to announce that D.A. Davidson is generously sponsoring the 2023 “Make It Happen” training program that will support nonprofit partners by increasing their ability to put a comprehensive plan in place that focuses on the benefits of a strong, endowed funding stream and will not only ensure the organization’s long-term viability and strength, but will also effectively create a widespread culture of philanthropy throughout the Community Foundation’s western Iowa service area.

“Supporting the communities in which we live and work is one of D.A. Davidson’s core values and we are pleased to support the Community Foundation’s “Make It Happen” initiative, which will ultimately benefit the communities of western Iowa,” said Larry Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of D.A. Davidson Companies. “As someone who was raised in Council Bluffs, it is particularly gratifying to support the community that means so much to me as well as many of my colleagues.”

The partnership with D.A. Davidson will enable the Community Foundation to deliver this comprehensive, full-service fund development learning program to western Iowa nonprofit and community partners in a cohort format, spanning an 18-month period starting in January 2023 at no-cost to the selected participants. The “Make It Happen” training program consists of six-monthly meetings from January to June, and then moves to quarterly “Continuing to Make It Happen” sessions where participants are able to learn from subject matter experts based on their personal feedback and needs.

The inaugural 2020 “Make It Happen” cohort consisted of eight area nonprofit organizations: Council Bluffs Schools Foundation, FAMILY Inc., Golden Hills RC&D, Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs, Historic General Dodge House, Midlands Humane Society, and Trivium.

“Thanks to the amazing generosity and kindness of our partners at D.A. Davidson, we are excited to offer this high-impact learning cohort to the nonprofit organizations of our southwest Iowa region," said Donna Dostal, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Western Iowa. "This will be our second offering of the cohort, with newly-added guest speakers and exclusive learning based on the research of Dr. Jenni Frumer, Ph.D, retired CEO of Alpert Jewish Family Services and The Levine Jewish Residential and Family Services of West Palm Beach Florida. Make It Happen is another way we feel the Community Foundation can help build knowledge and sustainability within our nonprofit community.”

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Make It Happen Cohort.