Thanks to the dedication of our hard working friends and supporters, IWF had a busy and productive 2018. So in the spirit of the new year and moving forward, we decided to take a look back on all the things you helped us accomplish this year, and rank our top ten accomplishments. We can’t wait to compare this to next year’s list!




10. New Operational Efficiencies

In 2017, we hired Ann Parker part-time to help with day-to-day operations and provide additional support while we’re out on the road. Having Ann around made a huge impact on the organization and our ability to communicate with our various partners, volunteers, and grantees. Because things wouldn’t be the same without her, this year, we were happy to bring Ann on full-time as our Assistant Director of Operations.

 9. Engaging a New Generation of Iowa Women

We continued to kindle our partnership with the University of Iowa’s Women in Business (WIB), a student-led organization connecting young business students with professional mentors and career development support. This year, we were proud to be recognized with the Hawkeye Award for “Outstanding Community Partner” by the University for our work with WIB.

 8. Honoring Iowa’s Unsung Heroes

The 5th edition of Ovation: A Tribute to Iowa Women and Girls honored more than 100 women and girls from across Iowa who have made a difference to their families, professions, and communities. Family and friends coordinated in secret to surprise honorees at unveiling ceremonies held in Cedar Rapids, Fort Dodge, Des Moines, and Cedar Falls. (Submit your tribute for the 2019 Edition here.)

7. Another Successful Awards Luncheon

We hosted our 23rd (!) Annual Awards Luncheon, where we focused our attention on child care issues and their impact on the six barriers to women’s economic self-sufficiency. More than 700 attendees showed up to congratulate our 2019 Grant Partners and hear our keynote speaker, journalist and NPR political correspondent, Danielle Kurtzleben.

6. Bringing Child Care Issues to the Foreground

Increased public relations efforts and social media outreach helped us raise awareness for the various child care initiatives IWF and our partners are working hard on. Not only did we release a new video demonstrating how child care issues impact Iowa businesses and families (watch the video here), we reached out to journalists throughout the state to supply them with information, facts, and quotes to help them shine a spotlight on the topic and rally public support for our efforts. In 2018, we saw some of our best press coverage yet.

5. Creating a Roadmap for Real World Solutions

As a part of our Building Community Child Care Solutions tour, we created toolkits to help businesses, current and prospective child care providers, and community members explore and implement various solutions to Iowa’s child care crisis. Solutions include building new and expanding existing child care centers, incentivizing businesses to offer more child care benefits to employees, expanding before- and after-school programs, and more.

 4. A New Legacy

We officially launched stage one of our Legacy Campaign, a new effort to build a sustainable financial structure for our organization while allowing us to increase staff, upgrade technology, and enhance our marketing and advocacy efforts. So far, we’ve managed to secure 35 pledges of $2,000 each. Funds from the Legacy Campaign will ensure that IWF continues to make an impact on the self-sufficiency of women and girls well into the future.

 3. Making an Impact Through Targeted Grantmaking

In 2018, we awarded $90,000 in grants to 18 wonderful organizations committed to improving the lives of Iowa’s women and girls. Additionally, we awarded $20,000 to three child care organizations from our Child Care Solutions Fund, bringing our total to $110,000. Click here to see our 2019 Grant Partners.

 2. Growing Support

This year alone, thanks to the tremendous support from our friends and communities, we were able to raise $393,849, compared to $295,881 at this time last year—an increase just shy of $100,000! We are grateful to everyone who helped us increase our grantmaking capacity in 2019.

 1. The Power of Collaboration

Establishing the Building Community Child Care Solutions (BCCS) initiative and taking it on the road has been a labor of love, but one of our proudest accomplishments to date. Impressively, the tour made stops in 20 cities across our state in a single year! But even more heartening, over 500 volunteers showed up to lend their hand to help solve Iowa’s child care crisis. It is inspiring to see communities embrace their power to lift each other up. The success of BCCS proves what we have long believed to be true: that we are stronger when we work together!