DonorConnect: Collective Vision for a Resilient and Strong DSM

Apr. 1, 2021 null

It was an honor to host our panelists at DonorConnect: Collective Vision for a Resilient and Strong DSM for an inspiring discussion about how we continue on the road toward not a new normal, but a better way of being.

Watch the full DonorConnect recording below and read on for highlights from the event.

Reflections from the Panelists


"I've been so inspired by the creativity of our community overall, but in particular our cultural sector. Everyone was creative and came up with new ways of doing things, even if they couldn't produce, they took care of back-end projects that couldn't be completed if audiences were in the building. I think that's a stunning level of creativity in our community that needs to be recognized. The thing I'm most looking forward to is getting back together—whether it's for a music festival or an art exhibit—art is something that, for me, is amplified when experienced together." 
Sally Dix, Bravo Greater Des Moines executive director and Cultural Capital co-chair 

"One of the things that I'm very proud of is the way that many nonprofits across the sector really dug in. We helped families stay in their homes, we dealt with food insecurity, we kept kids in school, we addressed mental health issues and joblessness. It's the work of so many of my peers in this space that created avenues for us to get through the pandemic and still thrive. But we also had what I consider a pandemic on humanity. We were resilient and we worked together, but another side of what happened last year that builds resiliency is trying to understand how we're going to navigate a world that still has a lot of uncertainty around inequities. We have to address that; we have to not be silent to it." 
Renee Hardman, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Central Iowa CEO and DSM 4Equity Collective tri-chair

"I'm amazed as we look back on the pivots that were made in our region to deal with some very, very challenging situations. Some industries faired better than others and we know there are a lot of things we need to work on. But that being said, I think as we look forward there's a lot to be excited about. One of the things that sets Greater Des Moines apart is that it continues to invest in itself—I'm not sure of any other region in the country that has the level of big projects that we have moving forward—and as we look at a post-pandemic world, placemaking has never been more important than it is right now." 
Jay Byers, Greater Des Moines Partnership president and CEO and Capital Crossroads co-chair

"We really saw that our already strapped nonprofit sector had to pivot and get creative in so many ways to operate their programs. When you think about the toll that took on those organizations, we knew that our nonprofits would need us more than ever. I'm hopeful there is a greater understanding that right now we don't have equal opportunity for all in our community to thrive, and until we all believe that, we cannot move this community forward. We've all made great progress on so many things, but I hope social unrest and heightened awareness has brought that to the forefront." 
Elisabeth Buck, United Way of Central Iowa president and Human Capital co-chair

"In those early days of the pandemic, I was often asked how I thought our community would respond to the almost paralyzing challenges we were faced with. The answer came easily, our community was far from paralyzed. Thanks to trusting relationships, a commitment to planning and a shared vision of the importance of generosity, I could confidently say, we were made for times like these. Not that the road of recovery wouldn’t be long or the obstacles wouldn’t be many, but, again, we were made for times like these."
Kristi Knous, Community Foundation president and Capital Crossroads co-chair