Iowa Public Radio secures funds to develop innovation projects

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Iowa Public Radio received $250,000 to fund research and development of new ideas and projects.

The Heartland Mitzvah Fund, created by an anonymous donor, will provide money for IPR to create and draw on an innovation fund over the next five years.

“The media landscape is rapidly evolving and this is an opportunity fund that will allow us to test and develop new ideas and projects that have the potential to make a big impact for our listeners,” said Myrna Johnson, IPR executive director, in a press release.

IPR leaders have not yet identified projects that the fund will support, but intend to encourage staff to submit their ideas, Johnson told Current through a spokesperson.

The innovation fund provides IPR with “a degree of flexibility in encouraging, supporting and benchmarking initiatives outside of the normal budgetary process,” Johnson said. “IPR employees have had a lot of creative ideas, but not a lot of time and resources to develop those ideas. This fund will provide opportunities to strategize and to put creative ideas in motion.”

The fund could support a broad range of ideas within the organization, such as improving a content delivery channel, developing new programs or supporting outreach efforts, Johnson said.

Iowa Public Radio operates 26 radio stations, with news, classical and Triple A formats, throughout the state.

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