“When a community takes the time to get to know itself, it gains a sense of identity and purpose that informs decisions about its future.”
– Lyman Orton, founder and chairman, Orton Family Foundation

All across America, small cities and towns struggle to prosper and are often ill prepared to deal with change. Changes in surrounding areas, as well as within the state (and even the nation and across the globe) can impact all the communities within the county.

The Orton Family Foundation created Community Heart & Soul to focus on building stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America. Madison County is focused on all the communities of Madison County, Iowa, and one of the few county-wide projects of Community Heart & Soul.

Endorsed by the Madison County Board of Supervisors, volunteers started organizing in 2017 to have community committees throughout Madison County to seek all voices sharing What Matters Most in our County and communities.

The Community Heart & Soul Principles

  • Involve Everyone
  • Focus on What Matters
  • Play the Long Game

The 4 Phases of Community Heart & Soul

Phase 1) Lay the Groundwork
Phase 2) Explore Your Community
Phase 3) Make Decisions
Phase 4) Take Action

For more information, see the Heart & Soul Field Guide from the Orton Family Foundation.