Iowa Public Radio features Community Heart & Soul®

In a discussion on Iowa Public Radio’s “Talk of Iowa” program, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s Jason Neises shared how the foundation is leading initiatives across Iowa to help residents of rural areas revitalize the places where they live.

In leading the Community Heart & Soul® initiative in small towns across Greater Dubuque, the foundation empowers residents to build on their towns’ strengths in planning for the future, said Neises, community development coordinator for the foundation.

The Heart & Soul approach, Neises said, is different from how towns often plan. “A lot of strategic planning processes are very data-driven," he said. "Heart & Soul is also very data-driven, but our data is stories. It’s the stories of why people care about their communities and what assets they have.”

Also joining the discussion were David Leckey, executive director of the Orton Family Foundation, which developed the Heart & Soul process and supports the Community Foundation’s work in Iowa, and Sheila Tjaden, a volunteer with the Heart & Soul project in Monticello.

Listen to the show