The Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the charitable arm of the IRA, works to advance professionalism and career opportunities in the hospitality industry through education, scholarships, and community involvement.

The Iowa ProStart® Program does just this by shaping young people’s perception about exciting restaurant and foodservice careers and creating a pool of talent right here in Iowa. There are currently over 44,000 junior and senior high school students studying restaurant management in more than 1,200 classrooms in all 50 states and territories across the country – 24 schools here in Iowa with more than 700 students across the state. Students apply their coursework to real life by working in restaurant operations. Your donation can help strengthen the caliber of the future leaders of the restaurant and foodservice industry.

Along with the ProStart career and technical education high school program, the IRAEF also focuses on strengthening today’s workforce by providing educational opportunities for professional development and employee retention for those already working in the industry.

The IRAEF Needs Your Help!

Contributions and donations are needed to help enhance Iowa’s ProStart® program and fund IRAEF initiatives to support ProStart educators and students. Funding is also needed to support the Iowa ProStart State competition and send the winning teams to the National Competition.  These lifetime experiences offer opportunities for the students to earn scholarships to post-secondary institutions.

Since the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit foundation, any donation you would like to contribute would be tax-deductible.

Ways To Give

100% Tax Deductible
Donation to the IRAEF

 Or send a check made payable to:
Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation
1501 42nd St. Suite 294
West Des Moines, IA 50266

You will receive a letter thanking you for your charitable contribution to the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation.

Give to the IRAEF
Endow Iowa Fund


Your donations to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines can be earmarked for the IRAEF. Through Endow Iowa, you can both tax deduct your contribution and receive tax credits through the state. Contribute to the future of the Iowa hospitality industry and receive nearly full return through designated tax credits. Simply click the button above, search Fund Type: “Seed Funds”, Fund Name: “Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation Endow Iowa Fund”, and complete the form on the webpage.

Sponsor a
$1,000 Scholarship

Honor a family member, mentor, business leader, educator, or hospitality business person by sponsoring a $1,000 Named Scholarship in their name. With a minimum scholarship donation of $1,000, the IRAEF will name and present the scholarship in honor of the person, people or organization on your behalf. Some portion of your scholarship donation will be matched with funds from the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation – further expanding the reach of your generous gift.

If you would like to participate in sponsoring a $1,000 Named Scholarship, please contact
May Schaben; 515-276-1454;