Iowa Rural Development Council is a non-profit organization with public, private, and non-profit partners from all over the state. They are focused on supporting rural communities and encouraging rural development across Iowa. IRDC had a great deal of information they wanted to make available to the public, and that was a priority in their search for a website designer. Happily, Big Imprint and Creative Mellen partnered to create a website that shares IRDC’s important information in an attractive, accessible way.
If you want to get involved with the Iowa Rural Development Council, it’s easy—just let them know! You’ll be added to the mailing list and invited to meetings. Groups, businesses, schools, and associations can also be members. Sustaining members contribute funds which help the IRDC pay staff, create websites, host the Annual Iowa Rural Summit, and offer other events. All of their members contribute to the success to the organization.
The Iowa Rural Development Council was formed in the 1990s and has gone through several phases. Ten years ago, organization got a boost of new life. Their number of core attendees grew from five to eighty people and they’ve added two hundred people to their mailing list. The IRDC has recently partnered with the governor’s office and supports their work in creating and empowering the rural Iowa Task Force.
The IRDC was not spared the impacts of COVID-19. Their 4th Annual Iowa Rural Summit, to be held in April 2020, was moved to August 2020 and held completely online, which provided a whole new challenge for the organization. The Summit ended up being a rewarding experience and was able to reach many participants from all over the state, allowing rural leaders to bring important issues to the table. The IRDC is now planning their 5th Annual Iowa Rural Summit. Information about that offering, and more, can be found on the website.
The IRDC was starting from scratch when looking to create a website. They knew rural community leaders were looking for information on how to get projects going, address issues in the community, and address housing and other needs. The IRDC also knew they wanted a company based in a rural community to create their new website. Big Imprint was fortunate to rise to the top of their list.
Bill Menner, the Executive Director at IRDC, said, “Big Imprint did such a great job and had such a compelling story, and we as an organization love West Liberty. We wanted to have a website that could be easily updated and kept fresh by someone who isn’t experienced with websites, and Big Imprint delivered that.”
Once they saw the site come to life, the IRDC loved it. They appreciate the fact that everything about the site is uniquely Iowa, from the photographs to the content. When asked, Bill identified multiple aspects of the website that are his favorite. He loves that he can easily update content on the website by himself and create a post where everyone can see it. On the homepage, he likes the six colorful boxes that let people know where to go for specific information and the rotating logos at the bottom that display the names of sustaining members.
They are always thinking ahead at the IRDC about issues that are important to rural communities. At the top of their list are rural access to emergency services, healthcare, and access to capital for small businesses. They will continue to elevate issues of importance and draw the attention of policymakers to make good things happen for rural Iowa. We at Big Imprint are excited to see what the Iowa Rural Development Council does next!