Economic & Community Development Outreach in Iowa

The Institute for Decision Making (IDM) is the economic and community development outreach unit of Business and Community Services at the University of Northern Iowa.  IDM has a 30-year record of delivering tailored and innovative planning, technical assistance, applied research, and training to nearly 800 communities, economic development groups, chambers of commerce, state agencies/associations, convention and visitor bureaus, community planning groups and other similar not-for-profit organizations throughout Iowa.

IDM’s services include:

icon_hands   Strategic Planning and Facilitation

icon_megaphone   Marketing & Strategic Communication

icon_clipboard   Conducting Applied Community & Economic Development Research

icon_head   Guiding and Managing Organizations Effectively

icon_direction   Professional Development and Volunteer Training

icon_shake   Strengthening Regional Development Initiatives


“What I find most helpful is that the staff at IDM are economic developers who specialize in consulting services, not consultants trying to learn about economic development. That’s what made them a great fit for our project – they know the story we are trying to tell.”
Sharon Stroh, Executive Director, Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation
“I can’t say enough about the assistance and guidance that UNI’s Institute for Decision Making provided on our behalf to facilitate BCEGC’s Strategic Plan. Their experience in organizational planning played a huge part in developing a useful tool that will guide our board for the foreseeable future.”
Kurt Phillips, Executive Director, Boone County Economic Growth Corporation
“IDM has been a long-time partner to me and the organizations I have lead across Iowa. The highly competent IDM team of professionals provide exceptional service in a variety of fronts related to community and economic development. IDM brings grass roots economic and community development to life by helping people like me engage and empower local community leaders.”
Dan Culhane, President & CEO, Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development