You can book Deb today!

Take a look at the different ways you can work with Deb below, then give her a call at 641-580-0103 or email She’ll talk through it with you and help you decide which is the best way to provide the most value. This page also has different funding options you may be interested in. Book Deb today!


They are generally one hour in length (although this can be adjusted) and are prepared for you — it’s not the same keynote you’ll hear down the road. Each presentation has been designed for your community, because that’s important.


These are done in groups you design – who do you want at the workshop? What topics do you want to cover? How can Deb be of the most assistance to you and your group(s)? Generally workshops range in length from one hour to half a day. Do you want to do two one hour workshops in one morning with two different groups? That can be arranged.


Webinars vary in topics covered, and we often recommend you just work with Becky McCray and Deb both at This cost varies, and they can work through it with you.

Embedded Community Experience

This is where the rubber meets the road. Deb will actually come to your community and do a walk through of your town (or drive through), ask a lot of questions and visit with small businesses, community members and groups and organizations. The final evening there will be a presentation to the public based on her findings. The last morning she will sit down with groups you want her to work with, meet with your board, have a hands on workshop and hammer out what needs to be discussed.

Because research has been done and your key players have been talked with, Deb will have an idea of the types of things you’d like to hear more about. You’ll receive this in a presentation style event. Sometimes it’s strictly a presentation, sometimes it is interactive – depending on your community!

In an embedded community experience you’ll begin the process of Gather Your Crowd and learn how to use the Idea Friendly method. You are encouraged to bring together positive people to crowd-source the future of your town. The old way of deciding the future was done by organizations and government, our new way is done by everyone. The old way had someone in control, our new way is to get as many people as possible trying new things.

Deb says, “If it sounds informal, that’s because it is. Intentionally. Because I want you to have practical steps you can put into action right away. I don’t show up with a template and tell you what to do. I’m not there to help you create a master plan that then goes back on a shelf to be dusted off 5 years later and rewritten. I want everyone in the community who wants to participate to be valued and welcomed. Each embedded community experience is tailored to the needs of your community and what works for you.”

What happens after a visit or presentation? 

People often say they wish more of their town could have heard one of these presentations. Any audience member can sign up for a 30 minute video featuring Becky McCray and Deb Brown found at  The videos change each month and address rural challenges. Megaphone Members have access to all of the videos. Plus they’ll get weekly email newsletters to reinforce the important concepts and generate more discussion locally.

 Could this be your town? 

Reach out and contact Deb!

Cell phone: 641-580-0103


Facebook: /buildingpossibility

Twitter: @debworks

Instagram: @debrainiowa and @SaveYourTown






Are you looking for funding to bring us to your community? 

Local sponsors and regional partners

The place to start is with local sponsors. As you already know, your banks, utility companies and local development organizations are a good place to start looking for sponsors. They know you and are most likely to say yes to a community-developing request like this.

You might also cooperate with neighboring towns or county-wide groups to share costs. You might do a single event and invite everyone, or we can arrange a bit of a tour stopping at multiple towns.

You can try these resources: 

Laura Jane Musser Fund

You’ll have to dig to find any local-only sources, like community foundations, local economic development funds, tax set-asides designated for community or economic development or your local utility companies. Electric companies especially may have some economic development funds or know where to find some. 

AARP Community grant 

New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

EQT Grants for Eastern Ohio, Southwestern Pennsylvania, and Northern West Virginia

Zion Bank grants for Idaho, Utah and Wyoming

Small grants (up to $7000) from Clif Bar Foundation

Once or twice a year I take on a community and project at a reduced cost. Are you doing something ridiculously cool and I want to be involved? Small towns are my passion, and I want to help. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you want, and let’s talk! … Deb