Madison County Heart & Soul is an apolitical, grassroots initiative that aims to connect our citizens with what we love most about our community.

The Madison County Heart & Soul initiative is based upon the Orton Family Foundation’s Community Heart & Soul program. The Orton Family Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), 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 is 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 support community committees throughout Madison County. The purpose of Madison County Heart & Soul is to honor the ideas and values of incorporated communities, rural areas, and neighborhoods. The goal was to seek all voices to learn and share what matters most in our county and communities.

The County Leadership Team implemented the Community Heart & Soul Principles to:

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

Based upon these principles, The Heart & Soul process identifies characteristics that make communities special. It pinpoints what needs to be protected or enhanced. With this collective knowledge and understanding, residents are equipped to steer change rather than to simply cope with it. The ultimate goal of the Heart & Soul project is to create a permanent shift toward more effective, engaged decision making in Madison County, guided by what matters most.

Embrace our Future with Heart & Soul

Madison County and its communities hope that the future holds prosperity but also know there are changes on the horizon. Community members are expected to make important decisions that could either embrace or resist these changes. The resources on this website provide support for civic and community decision-makers as they build consensus and take action based upon the community’s heart and soul.

“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