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CFNEIA Grants $435,000 to Nonprofits Serving Black Hawk County

October 5, 2023

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA) held its 2023 second cycle grant awards celebration at the Waterloo Center for the Arts on Oct. 5, announcing the distribution of 25 grants totaling $435,000 to organizations serving Black Hawk County.

“Nonprofits are the heart of our community, providing services to people to create vibrant places where everyone can thrive,” said Kaye Englin, CFNEIA’s president and CEO. “It is an honor to be part of their work and stories. We are only able to make this impact because of the vision of generous people who love this place we call home.”

Grant recipient organization, what the grant will fund and grant amount is listed below by funding area.

Arts & Culture

  • Grout Museum District, General Operating Support, $20,000 
  • Waterloo Community Playhouse and Black Hawk Children's Theatre, General Operating Expenses for 2024 Season, $15,000
  • Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Operational Support, $10,000
  • Youth Art Team, EXPAND, $10,000

Community Betterment

  • 415 Walnut Collective Fund, Phase 1 Planning - 415 Walnut St. Revitalization, $25,000 
  • Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity, Operations Funding - Black Hawk County, $30,000 
  • The River ARC, The River ARC, $5,000

 Education & Youth Development

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley, Project Learn, $30,000 
  • Cedar Valley Preschool and Child Care Center, Building Bright Futures, $15,000 
  • Growing Minds Early Learning Center (formerly Grin and Grow), Quality Child Care for the Working Poor and At-Risk Families, $25,000
  • Hawkeye Community College Foundation, Hawkeye Community College Family Literacy Program, $10,000
  • Leader Valley Foundation, Leader Valley- Leader in Me, $10,000 
  • Little Knights Learning Center, Little Knights Learning Center -- La Porte City Campus, $35,000 
  • RIYO (formerly EMBARC), RIYO - Community-Based Support for Refugee and Immigrant Youth, $15,000


  • Allen College, Allen College Engagement – Salvation Army Partnership (ACE-SAP) Free Clinic, $15,000
  • SuccessLink, SuccessLink, $20,000

Human Service

  • Exceptional Persons, Inc, EPI's Employment Services, $15,000 
  • Friends of the Family, Black Hawk County Housing Project, $15,000 
  • House of Hope, House of Hope, $25,000
  • Iowa Food Bank Association, Iowa Food Bank Association SNAP Outreach, $5,000 
  • Jesse Cosby Center, Amelioration of No One Without a Home (Operations Support), $25,000 
  • Lutheran Services in Iowa, Healthy Families America-HOPES in Black Hawk County, $15,000 
  • Riverview Center, Crisis Response Program, $10,000
  • Waypoint Services, Waypoint Domestic Violence Victim Services Program, $5,000 
  • YWCA of Black Hawk County, Multicultural Services, $30,000

Grants are awarded through CFNEIA’s competitive grant process. Decisions on grant awards are determined by CFNEIA’s grant distribution committee, which consists of volunteers from Black Hawk County. Committee members include: Nancy Beenblossom, Stacie Brass, Nadene Davidson, Kaye Englin, Susan Entriken, Andrew Finnegan, Chawne Paige, Jeff Seamans, Eashaan Vajpeyi, Sherman Wise and ReShonda Young.

Grant applicants must be a 501(c)(3) designated organization or government entity serving Black Hawk County in order to be considered for funding. Requests can be made for operations, programming, materials, equipment and capital projects. Priority is given to funding requests that align with the Foundation’s community initiatives of advancing racial equity, expanding child care, enhancing the arts, strengthening workforce readiness, and building nonprofit capacity, or address its areas of focus including arts and culture, community betterment, education and youth development, environment and animal welfare, health and human service.

The 2024 Black Hawk County first grant cycle opens November 15, 2023. The grant guidelines and application will be available when the cycle opens at For questions or to discuss a project’s eligibility prior to submitting a proposal in Black Hawk County, contact Angie Widner, vice president of community impact, at 319-243-1355. 

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