Letter from the President
As I began writing this letter to all of you, I thought about the changes we have been through these last two years.
I took office as your president in the spring of 2021 from the darkness of my home office during a beautifully orchestrated Annual Meeting via Zoom. (Thank you Events Committee!) That was the first year we provided our grantees with the tools to take videos of themselves in their workspaces. We loved the opportunity to journey virtually into their projects and continued the process at our in-person Annual Meeting last year at Barber Park. We will continue with this wonderful new tradition again this year.
Our first in-person event was the celebration of our 20th Anniversary at the Idaho Botanical Garden. Since then we have been getting back to in-person meetings and events, usually with a hybrid option for those who have found Zoom to be more convenient. Zoom truly does serve as an excellent tool when life prevents you from being able to make it to a meeting––a little technological magic giving us the ability to be in two places at once.
And here we are today, having just wrapped up a renewal period. Thanks to all of you who renewed your IWCF membership, bringing our current membership numbers to almost 400 strong. $500 of your dues are going directly to our 2023 Pooled-Fund Grants. That means we have around $200,000 to fund at least six of the grant applications received from Southwest Idaho nonprofits this year. You will hear more about all the finalists (two from each of the six interest areas) at the upcoming Grants Ballot Question & Answer Session from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on March 10th. I hope you will join us.
When you renew your membership, there is also an opportunity to explore volunteering on one of our committees. It took me a few years after I joined IWCF to check the box which said, “I’d like to help with Marketing.” I have never looked back. Being involved with IWCF beyond the financial contribution is so rewarding! Our committees need your help and we would welcome your involvement.
The EVENTS Committee plans and supports many of the events our other committees offer. They bring your name tag, help with check-in, provide food and drinks, etc. The committee does not meet on a regular basis, but its members assist with events as needed.
The EDUCATION Committee plans seminars to increase awareness and understanding of the community’s needs and assets. The committee welcomes input from members for our education events on topics, contacts, and assistance in planning quarterly education events. If you have a program suggestion to help us fulfill our mission of educated philanthropy in one of our grant interest areas, please let them know! Better yet, join the Education committee and help them produce one of our quarterly education events! The committee generally meets in person on the second Wednesday of the month at 12:30 p.m.
The MEMBERSHIP Committee plans quarterly Member Orientations, the Holiday Party, Anniversary Party, Annual Meeting, and other gatherings throughout the year. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 4:00 p.m. over Zoom and in person.
The MARKETING Committee supports our website, produces the Quarterly Newsletter (like this one), the bi-weekly This Week email, our social media marketing, and other print marketing as needed. It meets monthly on the second Monday at 8:30 am in person at Broadcast Coffee.
The DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION Committee works to ensure that DEI is interwoven into all our decisions, activities, programs, messaging, and actions. The committee accomplishes this through a variety of education, programming, communications, and policies, all with the goal of creating informed philanthropy and Mission targeted outcomes for IWCF and our communities. The committee meets monthly as needed. The next meeting is March 6 and they would welcome anyone to the team, especially those with DEI experience.
In addition, we often need help in the office putting postage and mailing labels on our quarterly Calendar of Events and other mailings.
IWCF would not exist without the invaluable support of its most important asset—our members! Every one of you is vital to our mission. Your diversity of backgrounds and experiences brings critical insight to our organization and your participation in educational opportunities and our committees distinctly benefits our members. Click here learn more about our committees and volunteer opportunities.
I’m looking forward to seeing you at one of our events soon. Thank you for all you do!
Ballots are Coming!
By Trinjia Dell’Aglio, IWCF Grants Chair
During the past month the Grants Committee has been busy reviewing the proposals submitted by nonprofits throughout Southwest Idaho. On Friday, March 10 at 11:30 a.m. we will hold a Grants Q&A via Zoom and on the following day, March 11, we will all receive in our inboxes an email containing the 2022-2023 Grantee Ballot.
Members of the Grants Committee have been reviewing the grant applications, meeting as Interest Area Committees, and are currently in the process of conducting site visits to the organizations that may appear on the ballot.
This year we saw an overall increase in applications. Many of the grants are centered around bringing new and innovative educational opportunities to various members in our communities, and address the critical needs of our underserved populations. There has also been an uptick in applications that focus on the outdoors, whether it be recreation, art installations, gardens, greenhouses, etc.
Many, many hours of time, dedication, and careful review have gone into this process. Thanks to the generosity of each and every one of our members, we will be funding six grants, one in each of our Interest Areas: Cultural Arts, Education, Environment, Health, Financial Stability, and Rural Communities. Watch your inboxes and remember to vote by Friday, March 31st at noon!
A Look at our 2022 Grantees
By Pamela Briggs, Grants Liaison
Last year IWCF awarded nine grants totaling $220,000. We are excited at the progress that is already being made with so many of the 2022 grantees. Take a moment to read through the update below detailing the incredible work being accomplished by these local nonprofits.
Building Hope Today Foundation: Equipping Those Who Serve and Protect: Expert Training on Grooming, Delayed Disclosure, and Victim Care within Child Sexual Abuse Cases for Multidisciplinary Teams in Rural Southwest Idaho. ($29,834)
The grant for Building Hope Today Foundation will fund two intensive two-day trainings involving up to 240 multidisciplinary team members from 10 counties in rural Southwest Idaho. These trainings provide the specialized support teams need to improve effectiveness in all aspects of child sexual abuse identification, investigation, prosecution, and victim care. Attendees are from towns and unincorporated areas with a population of less than 30,000. Participants include prosecutors, detectives, school resource officers, child protection staff, forensic investigators, social workers, counselors, nurses, victim advocates, and victim-witness coordinators.
The initial intent of the grant request was to reinstate in-person training programs initially paused due to COVID. Due to budget cuts, reduced staffing levels, increased travel costs, and reluctance to be in crowds, the attendees were unable to come.
Building Hope Today would not be stopped by this obstacle. Showing true resilience, they chose to adapt by creating an online training platform to address the increased demand for services and changing operational needs. Instead of holding two in-person training events in rural southwest Idaho, a digital training platform will be developed to hold an online, live, interactive training conference. Building Hope Today will develop an “evergreen program” with highly interactive, pre-recorded training for multidisciplinary teams in these rural areas which can be used for years to come.
Council Elementary School: Roots of Self Reliance: Community and School Greenhouse Project ($26,000)
The Roots of Self-Reliance Community and School Greenhouse Project at Council Elementary School will provide a new greenhouse for elementary school students who are currently sharing space with the high school. The project provides a larger, year-round learning area giving elementary students the opportunity to collaborate and be active. It also encourages self-reliance and healthy living through horticulture. In the past, fresh produce from the garden has been used for the students at the school, “sold” for a donation to cover the cost of water, given to needy members of the community, and delivered to seniors.
The greenhouse kit has been purchased and a gravel pad constructed. Unfortunately, it was delivered late due to COVID shipping issues, resulting in the greenhouse not having been assembled before winter began. Concrete must be laid before the construction begins, and the combination of winter cold and the scarcity of contractors delayed the progress. Bids are being taken and plans made to finish construction in Spring 2023. In the meantime, the project continues to thrive in the high school greenhouse and in classrooms.
Global Lounge: Global Lounge Commons Marketplace ($30,000)
The IWCF grant to Global Lounge will help create the Global Lounge Outdoor Market, an art-infused outdoor gathering space. The pop-up market plans to attract consumers seeking experiences with global flavor and foster relationships across communities. Target audiences are low-income, refugee, and immigrant populations who will benefit from new economic and cultural exchange opportunities. Funds will support amenities to create an outdoor marketplace including sun shading sails, canopies/tents, folded tables, chairs, and structure/fence for portable restrooms. This project has experienced some setbacks due to permitting and availability of the items intended for purchase. A one year extension has been granted and we look forward to hearing how it progresses.
Idaho Trails Association: Idaho Trails Association Youth and Women’s Trail Programs ($20,305)
The grant for the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) supports the evolution and growth of WOW! (Women’s Only Weekends and Weeklong programs) and expands the youth trail stewardship programs. ITA is a nonprofit that works with volunteers, organizations, and government partners to preserve Idaho’s incredible trail system through education, maintenance projects, and public lands advocacy. Grant funds also support two educational videos for ITA members and the public focused on preparing inexperienced participants for camping and trail work.
Through outreach and an expanded crew leader training program, five new women were added to the leader roster, for a total of nine strong women leading ITA trail crews and at least two more who expressed interest in leading in 2023.
The WOW program hosted five trips in summer 2022, with a total of 51 women participating. Although the number of participants did not quite meet the goals due to last-minute cancellations, ITC leadership felt the women were very engaged and are now advocates for maintaining trails and volunteering. They had long waiting lists for these trips but the short notice made it tough for those on the waitlist to change plans and participate.
This year, ITA hosted a total of 57 youths–55 on youth-specific trail projects and two more teens on open ITA trips. 10 young people were returning volunteers who came back for a second or third year; two brought younger siblings who were now old enough to participate. Seeing youth build on skills and confidence they gained the year before is inspiring, and a group of teens on the last trip of the year suggested ITA start a teen crew leader training where they could learn to lead with the support of an adult mentor. ITA plans to implement this in 2023 to continue to offer young people the chance to develop skills and leadership in public land stewardship.
The IWCF grant has a significant impact on both ITA and the participants of the programs. Melanie Vining, Executive Director, stated: “We feel so fortunate to cite IWCF as a partner. This support was instrumental in being awarded a grant from the Wood River Women’s Foundation and it has shown support from a respected Foundation in Idaho. Women volunteers we talk to are impressed to know there is so much support for trail stewardship, especially from a group run by women!”
Kessler Keener Foundation: Native Voices in Idaho II ($21,000)
Kessler Keener Foundation is developing Native Voices in Idaho II, an instructional resource package for Idaho schools including film, lesson plans, and bibliographic resources to improve teachers’, students’ and others’ understanding of the history and current lifeways of Idaho’s Indigenous people. Funds support the pre- and post-production costs for recording interviews of Native youth and adults throughout Idaho including travel, project management for interview preparation, recording, film editing, curriculum resource development, and distribution.
Good progress is being made in the Native Voices II program. A three-member team is working to complete the instructional resource package for Idaho Content Standards for Social Studies and History I-Eastern Hemisphere as related to American Indians in Idaho. At least 10 videos are in the final stages of editing, and 10 films/videos are in the process of post-production.
Without the support of IWCF, this project would not be available to the educators of Idaho, nor would it be available to the greater public. Veteran teachers are relieved to receive the lessons and supplementary resources and one educator stated, “This is going to be a great resource enabling me to teach about Native Americans in Idaho.” Several other educators have made similar comments.
“This project, put simply, would not have been completed without the critical funding provided by IWCF,” said Antoinette Cavanaugh, Board Member. “Further, this project will go far to providing free and accurate information about Indigenous history as it pertains to Idaho tribes. Beyond the scope of this project, this funding helps us to communicate to the public at large the validity of the work [Kessler Keener Foundation] produces. The support from IWCF increased the outreach and accessibility of the materials to the Idaho community and beyond.”
Living Independence Network Corporation (LINC): Direct Care Workforce Education & Awareness Campaign ($30,000)
Idaho is experiencing a significant crisis in the direct support professional (DSP) workforce. To address this shortage, Living Independent Network Corporation (LINC) is producing educational materials to raise awareness of this need. The goal of these materials is to strengthen and support direct care workers who help Idahoans with disabilities and older adults stay independent in their homes and communities. The IWCF grant supports in-depth interviews and professionally produced video, audio, and written content that tells the full story of these essential workers, who they support, why strengthening this workforce is critical to so many Idahoans, and the cost benefit of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS).
The stories collected and produced will be used to educate the general community, decision makers and key agency staff. Through this process LINC will also identify natural leaders in the DSP workforce.
LINC has worked through the content creation process with Stoltz Marketing Group and they have produced the first longer-form introduction video that incorporates all of the interviewees. The next set of videos will include vignettes of each of the direct care workers/consumers they support with a specific angle on the direct care workforce crisis. These videos will be shorter and more applicable to social media. The website and content will also be used to help stand up a coalition of direct care workers and organizations to support recommendations from a new Legislative Office of Performance Evaluation report on the direct care worker crisis.
“The power of the video stories can’t be understated,” explains Jeremy Maxand, LINC Executive Director. “We have a mix of individuals with different experiences, different backgrounds, different conditions, different ideologies, and the emotional impact from the introduction video really pins down what we’re talking about. We’re excited to share this with the community! The only struggle was finding the right mix of people to be interviewed. In-home care is very personal and many people are apprehensive about inviting people into their homes and talking about their care. However, the interviews we have done so far have been incredibly powerful.”
National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI): Mental Health Support for Southwest Students ($23,500)
NAMI Idaho (National Association of Mental Illness) is a volunteer-driven national organization that is an alliance of more than 600 local Affiliates and 48 State organizations who work in communities to raise awareness and provide support and education to those in need of mental health services. The IWCF grant is helping establish and oversee the launch of NAMI Idaho’s signature Rose Bud program for youth ages 12-17. It is a peer-led support program for youth and young adults on four SW Idaho college campuses and in at least 50% of Idaho high schools in Southwest Idaho counties.
Unbeknownst to NAMI at the time of their application, the State Department of Education (SDE) was requiring schools to implement Sources of Strengths (SOS) in the 2022-2023 school year. This left fewer resources and no bandwidth for teachers or counselors to be involved in the NAMI program until the 2023-2024 school year. SDE officials now acknowledge the prospective benefits of Rose Bud, and support NAMI’s efforts to complement SOS.
“As a former member of IWCF for nine years, the fact that we received an IWCF grant has been a point of personal pride for me,” said Beth Markley, Executive Director. “I took on this new role with NAMI Idaho, an organization that has a critical mission in Idaho and for me personally, and we have been gratified to see our efforts result in an increase in the number of people we serve in Idaho by 10x.”
Planned Parenthood: Ultrasound Machine for Planned Parenthood Meridian Health Center ($26,000)
The IWCF grant to Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK) Meridian Health Center provided for the purchase of a new ultrasound machine. This essential equipment has already resulted in improved and increased access to reproductive care for patients.
The ultrasound machine purchase was initiated immediately upon notification of the grant award from IWCF. Providing the total grant award in one payment made the logistics of purchasing the ultrasound machine much easier, and it has been in use since August 1, 2022. In addition, the IWCF funding had a direct and critical positive impact on PPGNHAIK obtaining grants for three other health centers in their region.
The new ultrasound machine has greatly helped the Meridian Health Center with their patient flow and volume. The machine produces higher quality images, improving the providers’ ability to diagnose early pregnancy complications, such as ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. This allows them to expedite treatment and care options, thereby improving patient outcomes and satisfaction. The machine has also improved their ability to train staff in ultrasound techniques.
The IWCF grant also has a direct impact on staff who find having support from their community incredibly uplifting. “We are so grateful for the opportunity IWCF gave us to have such a great piece of equipment in our clinic to help support our community and staff,” said Ashley Cassy, Meridian Health Center Manager. Brenna Jensen, Clinician Manager, also said, “I am so appreciative of this amazing gift and the support we received from IWCF!”
St. Vincent de Paul: Provide Additional Support Services for Women Recently Released from the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Facility ($24,000)
The IWCF grant to St. Vincent de Paul supports services for women recently released from the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center. It provides funding to expand a six-month coaching, trauma therapy, and education program already in place called Recovery Continued (ReCon) Services. The grant provides these services for up to an additional six months to those women who need more support to help them transition to a sustained, contributing role in the community. These services are personalized and include recovery coaching and follow-up. The grant helps ReCon facilitate the reinstatement of occupational licenses, career training, education, and the offering of Equine Assisted Trauma Therapy, and Trauma and Addiction Counseling.
As of the end of October 2022, twelve participants are enrolled in the ReCon program. One participant received QuickBooks Certification and is now employed at a local small business. Another was able to reinstate her Occupational License and has received the supplies and materials needed to return to her career in cosmetology. A third received her GED while enrolled in the program.
Looking at things from a broader lens, 91.67% of participants remained drug or alcohol-free six months after their program entry. 83.33% of participants had a job with a living wage. In addition, 50% of participants with children have established a situation-appropriate relationship with their children. The remaining participants with children are currently in the process of establishing that relationship.
Thank You For Your Membership!
Linda Riley, Membership Chair
As I write this we are nearing the tail end of another membership renewal period, and we are very close to reaching the 400-member level again. That’s pretty unbelievable!
At a time when our world continues to bring challenges by way of world events, economic implications, employment issues, our personal lives, and so much more, you continue to make your community a priority. By renewing your membership with IWCF, you enable us to make an impact in our interest areas as well as your personal philanthropic interests. Thank you!
If you are interested in getting even more involved in IWCF, your participation is most welcome. We have several committees, and all of them can use help. There are always so many ideas to explore and more committee involvement means we are able to bring more of these ideas to fruition. Please visit the IWCF website to see a listing of committees. The chairs of these committee are always eager to hear from anyone who might be interested in volunteering or would like more information on what that committee does. It’s an opportunity to use your talents, learn new skills, make and deepen friendships, and help us make an even bigger impact. Many hands make lighter work––and more progress!
It is encouraging that we are getting together in person more often while also offering virtual meeting attendance and recordings available to those who are unable to join us. We have a few more opportunities to gather in person throughout the Spring and Summer. I hope to see you there!
Susan Smith Endowment–Sustaining Our Future!
By Dana Kehr, Endowment Chair
As of December 31, 2022, our Susan Smith Endowment stood at $1,010,626 per the report from our portfolio management firm, Headwaters Wealth Management. And all while concentrating our investments on holdings that fit within a strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) philosophy.
We owe this to our forward-thinking members who see the value of investing in the long-range sustainability of IWCF. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who contributed to the Endowment. 2022 was a difficult year in the market, but the Endowment has yielded a 7.9% average annual return since the current investment account was opened in July 2017.
Just as we look for sustainability when considering our grant applicants, we also must consider sustainability for ourselves. The Susan Smith Endowment Fund is our path to providing for the sustainability of IWCF––our way of “walking the walk.” The Endowment was originally established to subsidize our operations, and it’s done just that. The policy, established in 2009, allows us to withdraw a maximum of 4% of the balance, averaged over three years. We have, in fact, drawn from the Endowment several times since its inception to subsidize our operations, allowing us to support the organization while keeping dues low. Our Board has not needed to authorize a withdrawal for the past couple of years, since our activities, and therefore our expenses, have been lower than usual.
Curious how you can help provide for the sustainability of IWCF?
- Designate a portion (or all!) of your Individual Grant Designation (IGD) to The Susan Smith Endowment.
- Make a one-time contribution to the Endowment.
- Become a member of GIFT (Giving It Forward Together), the group of members who have included IWCF in their wills or other estate-planning instruments and have notified the office of that legacy.
This 2021/2022 IWCF Annual Report covers a time of coming out of the darkness of Zoom and into our first in-person meeting in nearly two years–our 20th Anniversary Celebration outside at the Idaho Botanical Garden on September 11, 2021. Included in the report is a recap of our education events, summary of the grants awarded, updates on the Susan Smith Endowment Fund, financial overview, and more. The report may be viewed online at IWCFBoise.org.
Welcome to IWCF!
IWCF is excited to welcome the following new and returning Blue Ribbon Members to IWCF!
Elizabeth (Betsy) Dudley*
Diana Malatesta Parker
Peggy Ann Rupp
Caile E. Spear
Caregiving Part 1: Supporting Caregivers in Our Community
By Robyn Gee Tucker, Marketing Committee
There are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers. Caregiving is universal.
~ Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States
Many people do not identify as a caregiver and yet one in four Idahoans support a friend or family member of any age with physical, cognitive, mental health, and/or chronic needs. A key element to preventing abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults is to ensure that the caregiver has access to the support and information they need to stay healthy and resilient. Caregiving is often invisible and by supporting caregivers, we can also improve the lives of the people they care for.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25 members of IWCF and their guests were treated to an educational event outlining the need for additional support for those serving as caregivers as well as information on the many resources available in Idaho. Guest panelists included:
- Sheila Weaver, Lead Navigator and Program Coordinator for the Family Caregiver Navigator Project at Boise State University’s Center for the Study of Aging
- Marilyn Sword (IWCF member), Coordinator for the Idaho Caregiver Alliance and former Executive Director of the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities
- Lynn Fyanes, Program Specialist at The Idaho Commission on Aging and Adjunct Faculty in Boise State University’s School of Public and Population Health
- Adrian Rodriguez, Bilingual Intake Navigator with the Family Caregiver Navigator Project and graduate student in the Master of Public Health program at Boise State University
Marilyn Sword opened the event with an introduction of the Idaho Caregivers Alliance. Their mission is to advance the well-being of caregivers by promoting collaboration that improves access to quality supports and resources, including respite for family caregivers across the lifespan. This is accomplished through a variety of channels and their robust Resource Library contains a list of more than 200 resources.
Sheila Weaver briefly touched on the topic of elder abuse, outlining seven different ways in which it manifests: physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, abandonment, and self-neglect. Elder abuse is severely under-reported and she provided a list of signs we can all be watching for (see image). Weaver also emphasized the immense stress and pressure experienced by caregivers. 57% of caregivers reported clinically significant levels of stress, anxiety, and depression and many developed coping mechanisms—14% turn to alcohol, 18% to medicine (both over-the-counter and prescribed), and 50% turn to food.
While caregiving can be challenging across the spectrum, Adrian Rodriguez highlighted some of the unique obstacles facing the Hispanic population. These included socioeconomic status, legal status, language barriers, cultural competencies on the part of the provider organizations, healthcare cost, lack of healthcare insurance, and cultural values that encourage selflessness, commitment to family, and strong interdependence. While Rodriguez specialized in the Hispanic community and his presentation addressed that specific population, it was clear the information could also be applied to numerous cultural groups in the area.
If you missed this presentation or any of our other Educational Events, you can now view a recording online.
Mark Your Calendars
Education Event: RBG & Idaho’s Role in Women’s Rights with Dr. David Adler
Wednesday, March 8; 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
2900 W Chinden Blvd
Garden City, ID 83714
Grants Ballot Selection
Thursday, March 9
Grants Ballot to Membership
Friday, March 10
Grants Committee Celebration Luncheon
Thursday, March 16; 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
First Congressional United Church of Christ
2201 W Woodlawn Ave.
Boise, ID 83702
New Member Orientation
Monday, March 27; 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Harris Ranch Clubhouse
Voting Deadline for Pooled-Fund Grants
Friday, March 31; 12:00 noon
Individual Grant Designations Deadline
Friday, March 31
Annual Meeting and Grants Awards
Tuesday, May 10
Barber Park Education & Event Center
4049 S Eckert Rd, Boise