Recent Leadership Grants

Through strategic Leadership Grants, the Community Foundation supports projects that create significant impact on community needs and opportunities by providing nimble funding and centering grant awards around equity. Leadership Grants are made possible thanks to generous contributions to the Better Together Fund.

Below are a few examples of recent Leadership Grant recipients. View all 2023 Leadership Grant recipients here, and additional grantees here.

YSS focuses on providing hope and opportunity for youth by putting them first, focusing on education, stability and counseling services for the youth of Iowa. Ember Recovery is an experiential recovery treatment program for teenagers and had previously operated out of various homes throughout the Des Moines metro area. However, the program found itself outgrowing those homes, which led them to imagine the Ember Recovery Campus which sits on 50 acres of land that includes a main hub, cabins and outdoor recreational spaces.

Stowe Heights Challenge Course is the first accessible ropes course in the Midwest at Stowe Elementary School. The course is managed by Community Youth Concepts, a youth development organization that engages middle and high school youth in programming directed at healthy behaviors, life skills and sense of purpose.

With over 150 miles of water trails and over 86 access sites, ICON Water Trails looks to reconnect Iowans with our river roots. The project intends to drive economic development, workforce and tourism goals – as well as address water quality and river utilization in new ways.

The work of collaboration on behalf of our community is sometimes hard, it is sometimes winding, but it is always worthwhile. Nowhere is this more evident than the north side of Des Moines and the 6th Avenue Corridor as neighbors are dreaming, planning, building and investing in the future of the place they call home. We're excited to partner with DART On Demand River Bend, IHYC's Sixth Avenue Flats,  Des Moines Parks and Recreation's Reichardt Community Recreation Center, and Center At Sixth.