Skip to main content

Strategic Framework / Vision

Foundation Mission:

Strengthen and transform the health and smiles of all Iowans.

2025 Vision Statement 

Robust community systems and partnerships empower and engage all Iowans to have optimal oral, vision, and overall health.

The Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation adopts a systems change approach to its work. The Foundation pursues this mission over the next five years through investments in oral health, integration of oral and overall health, and overall health through an equity lens.

Our history:

Throughout our history the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has been a leader in promoting oral health across Iowa. Our work has catalyzed efforts to promote improved oral health for the state’s most vulnerable people.

  • We partnered with stakeholders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as part of our effort to lower barriers to access oral health care for older adults.
  • We worked with partners to innovate new models in pursuit of our vision that every Iowa child be cavity free and every older Iowan have access to care.
  • We supported the efforts of practitioners, schools, researchers, nonprofit organizations, and many other stakeholders as part of our goal of eliminating the incidence of cavities among Iowa youth.

The work we engaged in elevated the profile of oral health within the philanthropic sector, improved health outcomes for thousands of Iowans, and established the Foundation as a leader in oral health philanthropy in Iowa.

How we approach our work:

Our new strategy is intended to build on our past success and reach into related areas that correspond to Delta Dental’s growth as a company. In an era where health care practices are increasingly integrated and in which patients seek holistic health care solutions, the Foundation will extend its grant making to areas of wellness and vision and in ways that relate to oral health, which will, as always, remain at the center of what we do.

How we define our work:

Oral health – Activities that ensure healthy smiles for all Iowans
Oral and overall health integration – Activities that promote tighter connections between dental, physical, and behavioral health
Overall health – Wellness, vision, and related activities that enable Iowans to live healthy and active lives

Guiding principles

  • The health and vitality of our nonprofit partners is crucial to our success. We are interested in building the capacity of the sector, enhancing relationships between organizations, and supporting general operations.
  • As a systems funder, we understand that the changes we seek may require time. 
  • Because our reach is statewide, we recognize that we serve and support a broad spectrum of stakeholders that show up in their communities in diverse ways. 
  • Given the range of oral and overall health issues that Iowans face, we understand that working in partnership with others is how we will achieve change. We believe the achievement of real change within and across systems requires the coordinated action of multiple stakeholders.
  • Grantmaking is one of the many tools we utilize in our work – we also aim to support collaboration within and across sectors, to curate opportunities for transformation, and deploy our relationship capital in support of our work. As a leader in the field, it is our responsibility to step up.
  • As a catalytic funder, we seek to spark change. In doing so we are open to building and piloting new ideas. 
  • We work on behalf of all Iowans, with a particular focus on those who fall between the cracks of the various systems that provide them care. We know that optimal oral and overall health of Iowans is only possible if it is a goal that everyone can achieve.