News

Grant Writing 101 Successfully Transitions to Virtual Format

June 19, 2020

Grant Writing 101 is one of several programs from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) to be offered virtually. In the age of social distancing, CED specialists continue to adapt to the changing needs of Iowans.

Grant Writing 101 is a three-hour workshop that provides hands-on training in seeking and writing successful grant applications for representatives of nonprofits, local government, schools, and other organizations.

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Fundraising in a time of economic shortage

June 17, 2020

Nonprofit organizations, suddenly paralyzed by a new reality thrust upon them by COVID-19, are now asking the question: Can we fundraise? The short answer is yes and the longer answer is how.

You may have noticed how abruptly advertisements for products and services by the for-profit sector evaporated as the pandemic inflicted staggering pain and suffering on people and communities. Businesses and industries paused advertising even though they had at their disposal departments fully staffed with seasoned professionals. They too a breath to recalibrate for these times. Now you are witnessing the emergence of advertising for consumerism but with a much different tone and language.

Fundraising is critical for the survival of nonprofits and the mission work of many of them is now more important than ever as we attempt to move people through this life-threatening crisis and into recovery. Form a COVID-19 task force to make a comprehensive plan to transform your traditional fundraising campaign style.

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Housing Planning Takes On A Virtual Twist

June 16, 2020

Neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor pandemic can stop community leaders from envisioning a better future for their communities – even if they have to do it virtually.

Community leaders in Ida Grove are learning about their community’s need for housing while also learning new uses for platforms such as Adobe Connect, Mural virtual strategic planning software, Google Docs, Qualtrics surveys and, of course, Zoom.

Ida Grove is the inaugural community for the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment (RHRA) program that Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community Economic Development is providing through grants from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and their Empower Rural Iowa division.

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Appanoose, Henry Counties Successfully Complete Virtual Leading Communities Program

June 5, 2020

Leading Communities: A Place-Based Community Leadership Program provided by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) was offered virtually for the first time to three counties that had classroom instruction interrupted by COVID-19. These were Appanoose, Henry and Sac.

Local Food Producers, Businesses Move to Online Sales and ‘Contactless’ Delivery

May 15, 2020

Businesses across the state are trying new and innovative strategies to remain open and continue to serve Iowans. Farms and food businesses are also stepping up to meet the demand for local food products. Many farmers markets are moving to online sales and virtual options to continue to support customers and vendors in this trying time (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development (FFED); 2020).

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Leading Communities to Make Virtual Debut in Appanoose and Henry Counties

May 8, 2020

Appanoose and Henry Counties will be the first communities in Iowa to experience the virtual delivery of Leading Communities, the Place-Based Community Leadership Program offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED). In response to COVID-19’s requirement for physical distancing without losing social contact, CED specialists and faculty continue to adapt to the changing needs of Iowa communities.

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CED quarterly newsletter now monthly and available as e-publication in response to COVID-19

April 30, 2020

The goals of the Community and Economic Development (CED) program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach have always been to foster thriving, resilient Iowa communities and economies. These efforts matter now more than ever. For this reason, ISU Extension CED temporarily shifted its quarterly newsletter, Community Matters, to a shorter format delivered monthly. Community Matters Now highlights CED’s efforts to respond to these challenging times.

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Pandemic Checklist for Local Governments Now Available

April 24, 2020

The Iowa League of Cities and Iowa State Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) have developed a pandemic checklist to help local governments through response and recovery to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Whether local governments have already prepared an emergency plan or not, the goal of this document is to provide communities with some basic questions to think about as they handle pandemic issues.

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Ten Creative Ways to Help Your Business and Community Right Now

April 21, 2020

Travel experts predict a pent-up demand to hit the road as soon as people are able to get out. “Now is the time to get ready,” said Diane Van Wyngarden, tourism specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Van Wyngarden offers ten inexpensive ideas businesses and communities can use right now to help capture that eager market, avoid a tourism industry wipe-out, and build long-term success.

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ISU Extension and Outreach Joins Alliance to Provide Small Businesses COVID-19 Support

April 15, 2020

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and other organizations are joining ranks to uplift the small business community throughout the entire state by starting the Iowa Small Business Relief Fund. The other organizations in the alliance are The Director’s Council, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, League of United Latin American Citizens - Iowa (LULAC Iowa), One Voice, DREAM Iowa, and Iowa Community Capital.

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Intro to Planning and Zoning Workshops Resume in a Virtual Format

April 10, 2020

In an effort to continue to offer programming to local government officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development has resumed the previously canceled Introduction to Planning and Zoning Workshops in a virtual format.

The workshops will be offered via Adobe Connect and will be limited to 25 participants to start, so those interested in “attending” a workshop should register as soon as possible.

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CED Program Continues to Provide Service to Communities Virtually

March 23, 2020

The ISU Extension and Outreach CED unit is adjusting our services to continue to provide education and support while maintaining social distancing for the health and safety of our staff, participants, volunteers, and communities.

We are going to use our Midwest Planning BLUZ blog to post information and resources for our Iowa communities, including businesses, local governments, and other community groups.

Check out the blog here.

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Statewide Guide Training Cancellations

March 17, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ISU Extension and Outreach is canceling the statewide Guide Training workshops as we are prioritizing the health and safety of all. 

We will post future opportunities for training soon. We will be in touch with all those already registered as soon as we are able. Thank you for your understanding.

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Intro to Planning and Zoning Workshop Cancellations

March 17, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ISU Extension and Outreach is canceling the Introduction to Planning and Zoning Workshops scheduled for March 24 in Ankeny, March 26 in Okoboji, and April 7 in Carroll as we are prioritizing the health and safety of all. For now We are keeping the April 14 Decorah and April 21 Oskaloosa trainings open, but that may change as the situation develops.

We will post future opportunities for training soon. We will be in touch with all those already registered as soon as we are able. Thank you for your understanding.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman Joins Extension CED

November 13, 2019

Aimee Viniard-Weideman recently joined Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Community and Economic Development (CED) team as a leadership and community development specialist. Viniard-Weideman comes to ISU with a background in leadership, strategic communications, change management, and community relations.

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Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning accepting applications for the 2020 program year

August 12, 2019

Ames, IA - The Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program is currently accepting applications for the 2020 program. Eligible communities are those with populations of fewer than 10,000 residents, existing transportation-related issues and a committee of volunteers willing to dedicate their time and talent to the visioning process. Only communities located within one mile of a state or federal highway will be selected.

Read more here.

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ISU Extension CED Plays Important Role at Iowa Rural Development Council Summit

July 17, 2019

More than 370 people from 80 communities gathered in Grinnell for the third Iowa Rural Development Summit April 10–12, 2019. The summit was hosted by the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC), a statewide alliance of public and private partners focused on rural vitality.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is a member of IRDC, and ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) program director Gary Taylor is part of the IRDC leadership team. At this year’s summit, four CED staff made presentations. 

Read more.

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