Our Mission

The Iowa Women’s Foundation is committed to improving the lives of Iowa’s women and girls.

Our Work

The Iowa Women’s Foundation (IWF) has a primary focus on shattering the barriers to economic self-sufficiency for Iowa’s women and girls. We do this because when Iowa’s women and girls are successful, our businesses thrive, our communities flourish, and Iowa wins.

IWF is the only state-wide organization working to enhance and improve women’s economic self-sufficiency, using targeted research to uncover the biggest barriers to women’s success. These barriers are addressed through advocacy, research, education, collaboration, and grantmaking.

To achieve these goals and accelerate and expand impact, IWF brings together and invests in organizations and community partners across the state that work to remove barriers and support success for Iowa’s women and girls.

In the last 25 years, IWF has awarded $1.68 million in grants to more than 300 organizations statewide to improve the lives of Iowa’s women and girls in all 99 Iowa counties.

Money or individuals alone do not bring social change. Learn the key differences between charity and change in the PDFs below.

Our History

Celebrating Our Journey

On August 27, 1994, a group of 27 women met in Iowa City to discuss the needs of Iowa’s women and girls. They posed the question, “What if every woman and girl in Iowa had a fair opportunity to achieve her personal best?”

The meeting resulted in a unanimous vote to establish Iowa’s first statewide organization to address the barriers to success that women and girls face—The Iowa Women’s Foundation (IWF).

The founders wasted no time and began laying the foundation for a strong, flexible structure that has allowed the organization to become what it is today. IWF was incorporated in November 1994 and obtained 501(c)(3) status in October 1995.

Today, IWF remains the only statewide organization working to enhance and improve women’s economic self-sufficiency in a comprehensive way.

Tinted circular image featuring some of the original founders of the Iowa Women's Foundation