Introducing Energize Clinton


A Community Heart & Soul® Effort Empowering Clinton Residents to Shape Their Future Together

What do you love about Clinton? What do you value? What would you like to strengthen?

The River Bluff Community Foundation is partnering with Grow Clinton and Clinton Hometown Pride to launch a new initiative that will give residents the opportunity to share their responses to these questions, revealing what matters most to the people who live here.

Energize Clinton is powered by Community Heart & Soul®, a resident-driven process that engages the entire community in conversations about what is unique and valuable in their hometown. Local leaders can draw on these conversations, and the resulting values statements created through the process, to make informed decisions that impact the community. Across Eastern Iowa, the Heart & Soul process has led to successful locally-driven efforts like bond issues for education, grants for innovation labs, and more.

By encouraging active participation from every resident, this program aims to create an authentic and lasting connection between the community and its decision makers. The launch of this initiative signifies a new era of collaboration where all voices will be heard and all perspectives respected.

“Community Heart & Soul is an incredible opportunity to engage the entire community and unify us by lifting up what matters most and learning what will make our community even better,” said Tara VanDerLeest, president of the Foundation board. 

“We want to engage more than the same handful of people who show up to ‘official’ meetings and talk with each other about what we love most about our community, what future we want for it, and how to achieve it,” said Alethea Cahoy, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “As we work toward a rich, shared vision for our community based on those conversations, we will become a stronger, more close-knit community where people want to live, work and play.” 

The first phase of the Community Heart & Soul program will begin with a wide-reaching survey, designed to gather insights and opinions from all corners of Clinton. This data will help identify shared priorities and values, laying the foundation for a cohesive vision that reflects the hopes and dreams of the entire community.  To participate in an online survey, visit  

Residents also have the opportunity to share their personal stories during various story-gathering events, which include one-on-one interviews, where individuals can express their unique experiences, challenges and aspirations. 

Through Community Heart & Soul, Clinton is embarking on a journey to shape its own future with heartfelt input from its residents. Clinton will become an even stronger, more connected, and thriving city for generations to come.

Community Heart & Soul conversations will lead the River Bluff Community Foundation immediately to an initiative offered by their host foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, called Small Town Dreams. This challenge grant opportunity from an anonymous donor will help build a sizeable endowment fund to benefit Clinton for generations to come. Based on insights gained from the Heart & Soul/Energize Clinton process, the Foundation will be able to make annual grants from the fund to organizations addressing the community’s most pressing issues. 

To learn more, contact Executive Director Alethea Cahoy at 563-321-0317 or