panelists at the 2021 nonprofit event

TS Bank hosts successful nonprofit educational workshop

October 13, 2021 | TS Bank

TS Bank believes in helping people DO MORE - including the mission-focused work of our local nonprofits. The Impacting Nonprofits: Investing for Progress educational event held Tuesday, October 12, 2021, was geared toward nonprofit leaders and employees focused on rising resilience, navigating grants and sharing collaborative success stories.

The morning retreat ran from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center at 1001 S. 6th St., Council Bluffs, Iowa 51501 and included breakfast from Heirloom Fine Foods and lunch from Bald Brothers Brewery & Catering, both Kitchen Council members.

The event was hosted by TS Bank and sponsored by TS Community Foundation, Community Foundation for Western Iowa and TS Prosperity Group. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Southwest Iowa Impact Fund with TS Community Foundation.

First Session: Navigate applying for grants, appropriate project scopes and more

Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of Southwest Iowa Nonprofit for Collective Impact
Brenda Mainwaring, President and CEO of Iowa West Foundation
Jennifer Green, Operations and Grant Manager of Charles E. Lakin Foundation, Inc.
Donna Dostal, President and CEO of Community Foundation for Western Iowa

Moderator: Lisa Fox, President of Fox Creek Fundraising

panelists at the 2021 nonprofit event

Takeaways from the first session included:

Ask Questions
Before diving into the grant process, be sure to visit the granting organization’s website for additional background information and reach out with a phone call or email to ask more questions about the process and ways to set up your grant proposal for the most success. Workshops, helplines and staff are available to help answer any of your questions. Iowa West Foundation, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation and Charles E. Lakin Foundation each have these resources. Though Southwest Iowa Nonprofit for Collective Impact (SINC) does not give out grants, they do take suggestions and are open to community development and economic vitality needs. Be sure to share your suggestions on their future website, coming soon.

Strong Proposals
Complete the questions thoroughly and do your research. As a follow up to the first takeaway, be sure this grant is not the first time the committee is seeing your documentation. It helps if the committee has more touches and as much background on your project as possible. Be sure to double check grammar, budget figures (include both revenue and expenses) and demonstrate sustainability beyond this initial asking of funds. Also, write your proposal as if the committee has never heard about it before and avoid industry jargon. Know that if your nonprofit program or project does not get funded, it’s not personal. There are just only so many items that can funded each cycle and items that are not always a mission match with the granting organization.

Community Needs
Be sure to collaborate on liked-minded services to strengthen your case and be sure there is not duplication of services. Discuss how your niche will provide transformational changes in the southwest Iowa community. The panelists shared that rural economic vitality, homelessness, food insecurity, income gaps, immigration, increased early educational opportunities and access to quality healthcare were current needs in our local communities and by banding together we can help move the needle on these issues.

Second Session: Collaboration success stories

Danna Kehm, CEO of Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment 
Mike Hornacek, President and CEO of Together
Ramon Calzada, Executive Director of Centro Latino of Iowa
Alexsis Fleener, Vice President of SHIFT ATL

Moderator: Lisa Fox, President of Fox Creek Fundraising

panelists at the 2021 nonprofit event

Takeaways from the second session included:

Tell Your Story
Community members want to see that nonprofit organizations have a strong mission and story they can be part of; this is how nonprofit fans are created. From there they will engage others from within the community on your behalf. To amplify your word of mouth efforts, increase your social media metrics or to leave a potential legacy gift with your organization, it’s important that others understand your mission and that your mission will live on for many years. 

Build Relationships
Everyone (donors, granting entities and the community) also like to see nonprofits bring other partners to the table. This means as a nonprofit leader serving on other nonprofit boards, being involved in community efforts and connecting with those inside and outside of your field is important to gain traction with your mission. Donors and community members want to have confidence in the leadership and sustainability of a local nonprofit, as well as have an active board and a solid, strategic plan.

As a special treat on behalf of TS Bank, each attendee was gifted with artwork from Ann Brugenhemke, a PACE studio artist which included the theme statement “rising resilience” as a reminder to continue to recover quickly from difficulties and demonstrate toughness.

We believe that nonprofit organizations align with our company’s mission and values, which is why we love to serve them as our clients! If you would like more information on similar upcoming events, interested in our nonprofit products and services, or learn more about our community reinvestment efforts please email for more information.

At TS Bank, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Bank. TS Bank has eight locations in central and southwest Iowa. For more information, visit or call 844-487-3030. #igniteprosperity