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DSM Forward: Ask the Nonprofit Experts

Nonprofit Webinar

The Greater Des Moines Partnership DSM Forward webinar series offers insight on moving the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region forward in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As plans are made and businesses reopen, The Partnership has put together resources for employers at DSMpartnership.com/DSMForward.

The “DSM Forward: Nonprofit” webinar focuses on issues pertaining to the region's community nonprofit organizations. Partnership Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives Mike Colwell speaks with Sally Dix, executive director of Bravo Greater Des Moines, Elisabeth Buck, president of United Way of Central Iowa, and Kristi Knous, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, to get their thoughts on moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Long-Term Challenges

Dix says that because Bravo is heavily reliant — 99% funded — on hotel/motel tax, the arts and culture organization is looking at a long-term impact. Buck explains that COVID-19 has impacted everything United Way does. In early March, United Way became the hub for the COVID-19 hotline. 2-1-1 calls have seen a 330% increase in the volume of calls since that time. Knous notes that after pivoting to remote work, currently half the staff in now working in the Finkbine Mansion at a time. She says they are seeing many donors contributing and setting up new funds, and The Foundation continues to pump out information to nonprofits across DSM.

The Silver Lining

Dix says, “We’ve all learned that we can be nimble and take risks and be wrong but learn as we go. It’s been trial by fire but we have all been reminded that we can do hard things without all the information or time or certainty we want and still serve our missions, partners and community in important and meaningful ways.”

Read a recent blog from Dix touching on resources for arts and culture organizations here.

Buck and Knous acknowledge the strength of the DSM community. “This pandemic has shown the strength of our community and the collaborative spirit we have with nonprofits, business, schools and government. I believe that together we can create an equitable recovery that will be better for all individuals and community,” Buck says. In This Together

Knous says, “I am encouraged by the better together spirit I’ve witnessed and experienced during the last few months. I know our community can and will come together to embrace the challenges and the opportunities ahead of us. I am also encouraged by the trusting relationships that have grown deeper, supported vulnerability, offered grace and lifted up. There have been many glimpses of the silver lining that give me confidence in the future and in each other.”

Watch the entire webinar below:


Learn more about nonprofit impacts and trends.

See COVID-19 resources at the links below:

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.