Letter from the President
As I step into the role of IWCF Board President, I am honored and excited to lead this 400 member organization with its rich history of making positive change through thoughtful giving. In 2001, 34 women saw the potential impact of collective giving and in 2002 gave IWCF’s first grant for $19,750 to Terry Reilly Health Services for cervical cancer community education, testing and treatment in Marsing, ID. This year, our membership gave eight grants totaling nearly $210,000 across six different interest areas and eight counties in southwest Idaho. (Read more on these eight incredible organizations and their work below.) Since 2001, IWCF has given over $5.6M to nonprofits to support positive change through thoughtful giving.
In our twenty-two years, IWCF’s “What we do” hasn’t changed. It’s captured in our values: Significant-Pooled Giving, Education and Philanthropy. “How we work” is also reflected in our remaining values:
- Collaboration: The research on impactful teams is clear: when people with differences—perspectives, experiences, traits—work together with a shared commitment, they achieve better outcomes. IWCF will achieve better results as a collective group of members and grantee partners than we could do on our own as individuals.
- Inclusion: At IWCF we recognize and welcome the uniqueness of each individual. We seek to respect, listen and learn from each other to better understand, connect with and serve our community.
IWCF’s values form the stable foundation of our organization, and we know our members are supportive of our approach. 94% of respondents to our recent member survey (included at the end of our 2023 Grants Ballot) said they’d recommend IWCF membership to a friend, family member or colleague. What we do and how we do it works.
At the same time, our southwest Idaho community and world are experiencing constant change—whether we want it or not! At our May 10th Annual Meeting & Grants Award Celebration, I asked our grantees and attendees working in the nonprofit sector if they’ve seen their clients’ needs change during the last twelve months—post-pandemic. Their response was a resounding, “Yes!” The ways Idaho nonprofits meet the needs of people in our communities is evolving, which begs the question for us at IWCF:
How should we change—while remaining true to our values—to ensure we are best able to facilitate positive change through our thoughtful giving?
I’m excited to get curious with you—IWCF’s members, committees, board and our community partners—as we consider this question and the future possibilities for IWCF together.
If you’re an IWCF member, I want to personally thank you for being a member. You are a critical part of our collective work and belong in our IWCF community! Thanks to those of you who volunteer your time and talents to IWCF on committees, at events, on projects, and as current and former board members. (A big thanks to Mikel Ward for leading IWCF these past two years!) Collaborating with you is what makes IWCF fun and an important part of my life. I’m grateful to those of you who support the sustainability of IWCF through one-time donations, annual Individual Grant Designations [IGDs], and as legacy donors gifting a part of your estate to IWCF through GIFT (Giving It Forward Together). You can learn more about these opportunities here. I am also grateful for the collaboration with our past and current grant-recipient nonprofits and other nonprofits/community partners. This African proverb captures the spirit of what we can all achieve when we work together: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Let’s continue to go farther on making positive change in our community and world together.
IWCF Members Continue to Make a Major Impact Through Collective Giving
By Trinjia Dell’Aglio, Grants Chair
Once again, IWCF members have joined forces to make a huge difference in our community. This year, we will be investing over $209,683 back into nonprofits throughout southwest Idaho bringing our total donations in the last 21 years to $3,119,094. Eight grants will be funded in our six interest areas—Cultural Arts, Education, Environment, Health, Financial Stability, and Rural Communities. We are so excited for the creative, innovative work these nonprofits are doing to make an impact. Choosing our grant recipients is never an easy task. This year we received over 60 applications requesting a total of $1.6 million. Thank you to every single member of the grants committee who invested time, talents, energy and tears into this process. We could not have done it without you.
A Peek at our 2023-2024 Grantees
By Pamela Briggs, Grants Assessment
Boise Rock School Venue Completion – Boise Rock School ($30,000)
Boise Rock School will complete the last portion of their new building remodel, transforming a 2,500 square foot storage space into an all-ages performance venue. Boise does not currently have a dedicated all-ages arts venue and Boise Rock School believes this type of space empowers youth by giving them a venue for sharing their art, increasing exposure to various art forms, and allowing the opportunity to be directly involved in the curation and operation of a performing arts space. The space will also be available for use by other local cultural arts organizations. Funds will support construction costs including drywall, painting, flooring, electrical, plumbing, and installation of a garage door.
Canyon County Youth Empowerment – Breaking Chains Academy of Development ($20,000)
Breaking Chains Academy of Development will provide at-risk youth and their families in Canyon County with the tools and resources needed to deter them from criminal and gang activity. Breaking Chains Academy will help these youth successfully transition into adulthood through the implementation of prevention and educational services. The IWCF grant will support educational services and mentoring activities including student exam costs, diploma fees, student breakfast and lunch expenses, hygiene products, recreational expenses, and mentoring.
Outdoor Education STEM Yurt Lab – Basin School District 72 ($30,000)
Basin School District 72 will build a large yurt in the middle of the school’s 86 acres of forest to provide a STEM lab for their outdoor education program in Idaho City. The yurt will provide a space to stage STEM equipment to run forestry, geology, botany, soil, snow, and water tests throughout the school year and summer camps for 1,000 students, 80 teachers, and numerous community members. Students will grow salad greens for the salad bar, vegetables for the community garden, and plants for pollinators.
Securing the Future of Agricultural Land in Southwest Idaho – American Farmland Trust ($27,960)
American Farmland Trust (AFT) will conduct outreach and education for farmers, ranchers, and agricultural landowners about opportunities to protect their land from development to ensure it transfers to the next generation. AFT will deliver education and technical support for municipal government staff engaged in long-range planning about strategies to preserve agricultural land and economic viability through the planning process. They will also engage food consumers and rural residents to build broad grassroots support and demand for agricultural protection. Funds will cover staff time to plan, conduct outreach for, and host meetings and trainings with community partners and stakeholders; travel to the five target counties; and supplies for at least five workshops and learning events with partners and stakeholders.
Housing Stabilization for Seniors, Veterans, and People with Disabilities via Critical Home Repairs – Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity ($23,354)
The Critical Homes Repair Program enables low-income seniors, veterans, and people living with disabilities to remain safely in their homes by providing home repairs, such as ramps and other minor projects. Funds support a fully outfitted work trailer that would operate as a mobile workshop with a specialized ramp, railing materials, and tools necessary to fully complete the equipment needs of the program. The trailer and tools will enable them to serve up to 100 individuals and families per year and fills a critical gap for low-income individuals and families who would not be able to have these repairs done to their homes due to financial and/or physical limitations.
Expand Access to Citizenship Education Classes – Community Council of Idaho ($25,623)
Community Council of Idaho will expand access to Citizenship Education Classes offered as part of the Familias Unidas immigration services program. Funds support a specialized Paralegal/Case Manager to provide assimilation case management with a sensitivity to women who may be victims of domestic violence. The paralegal will act as a mentor and work with students individually to develop a legal plan for citizenship throughout surrounding areas including Canyon County, Owyhee County, and Payette County.
Cascade Medical Center Safe Room for Patients Experiencing Mental Health Crisis – Cascade Medical Center ($30,000)
Southwest Cascade Medical Center (CMC) got to work as soon as they heard they were selected as an IWCF grantee and their project is already complete! CMC converted an existing patient room into a safe place to house patients who come into the Emergency Room experiencing a mental health crisis. A safe room minimizes the ability of patients to harm themselves or others and protects both the patients’ well-being as well as the safety of the staff. They moved walls, laid a new floor, painted, and replaced all fixtures (TV, door knobs, toilet grab bars, sink, etc.) with items that are now ligature incompatible. The moveable items, such as the bed, can be relocated as needed for each individual patient. A window to bring in outside light was retained and replaced with tempered glass. CMC also cut a window into the door so staff can keep an eye on patients while still giving them a sense of privacy.
No-Till Drill Equipment and Education for Small Acreage Landowners in Valley Soil and Water Conservation District and Neighboring Areas – Valley Soil and Water Conservation District ($23,746)
Valley Soil and Water Conservation District will expand the reach of this conservation program by purchasing a new smaller-sized no-till drill and a trailer to haul it. A no-till drill is a piece of farming equipment that is attached to a tractor and pulled through a field or an area to be seeded. The drill allows a person to aerate the soil and seed simultaneously. It doesn’t disturb the topsoil and helps to maintain the root systems of existing plants. This will benefit small acreage farms that might not have access to this type of conservation practice or knowledge of best management practices but are interested in becoming better stewards by improving the health of their land. The drill will be available to both Valley and Adams County farm owners.
Board of Directors
The Leadership Development Committee wishes to extend sincere thanks to those retiring from the Board of Directors for their outstanding dedication and service.
Peggy Runcorn, Treasurer
Jennifer Dunmire Parks, Marketing & Communications
Linda Riley, Membership
Sheila Hennessy, Member-at-Large
Shawn Del Ysura, Member-at-Large
My Cup Runneth Over
By Linda Riley, Outgoing Membership Chair
I have served as your membership chair for the last four years. What an adventure it has been! Having previously sat on the committee for a couple of years, it seemed like an obvious transition, but boy did I have a lot to learn. IWCF leaders and office staff helped me get up to speed and provided institutional knowledge that I did not have, still being a new member. For that, I am truly grateful.
As I reflect on my time as chair, and as a member of the Board of Directors, I realize how much I have learned and grown. Had it not been for the incredible talent and work of the committee, we would not have been able to respond as well to the twists and turns brought by the last few years.
Of course, there were challenges along the way as well, but the way we, as an organization, responded to them speaks to our leadership skills and members’ professionalism and dedication to our shared mission. I am so proud to be part of a group of smart, focused, can-do people, working together to serve our community.
I will not go on any longer, except to tell you that you are in great hands. Kathy Scott has been an integral component of the membership committee for a long time, and I have come to rely on her to complete our work. Thank you is not enough, Kathy. It will be my pleasure to now serve on her committee, alongside the others who have been so vital to our team success! Thank you for allowing me to serve in this way. It has been my honor.
IWCF Members: Supporting the Community through Pooled Funds and IGDs
By Beth Schattin, Marketing Committee
Many thanks to all of you for being members of IWCF! Your membership provides support for hundreds of community, national, and international nonprofit organizations through our pooled-fund giving as well as your Individual Grant Designations (IGDs). Both of these membership components are at the heart of the mission of IWCF.
IWCF Members can join in one of two ways:
- $1,125 Option: This provides $500 to the pooled fund, $500 to a designated nonprofit of your choice (called an “Individual Grant Designation”), and $125 to the administrative fund.
- $625 Option: This provides $500 to the pooled fund and $125 to the administrative fund.
The only distinction between the two avenues is the inclusion of an Individual Grant Designation (IGD) in the first option. Which begs the question, why include the IGD?
The original intent of IWCF was to encourage women to think big with their money and make contributions to improve our communities. They considered having a larger pooled-fund contribution instead of incorporating individual designations. However, it was thought that IWCF could attract more members if individuals could use part of their membership to donate to their own philanthropic passions and IWCF would facilitate that individual giving. IWCF serves as the conduit for these individual donations, and organizations are asked to acknowledge the member as the donor. In the last 22 years, $2.4 million has been given to more than 600 nonprofit organizations through IGDs.
However, it was also understood that the inclusion of the IGD was not desirable to everyone and, in 2020, the $625 membership was instituted as a means to attract new members to IWCF and retain existing ones. No matter which option you have selected, thank you for supporting the mission of IWCF!
By Dana Kehr, Endowment Committee
Greetings! With the close of the IWCF 2022-2023 renewal period, we find ourselves humbled by the many members who have recently contributed to The Susan Smith Endowment. As of the end of Q1 2023, our balance stood at $1.07 million, meaning we continue to maintain our goal of a $1,000,000 Endowment balance, while being able to supplement the IWCF budget, as needed.
More than 30 members supported the Endowment during this renewal period. That number includes many new donors as well as numerous who continue to contribute every year, either from their IGDs or through separate donations. We are immensely grateful and appreciative of your support. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much to everyone who has contributed over the years.
Welcome to IWCF!
IWCF is excited to welcome the following Blue Ribbon Members to IWCF!
RBG and Idaho’s Role in Women’s Rights
By Jena Vasconcellos, Education Committee
“Reed vs. Reed was the signal case coming out of Idaho having an impact on the law in this nation, and indeed, transforming American law for women,” began Dr. David Adler in his presentation the evening of March 8 to an overflowing crowd of 104 IWCF members and guests.
For over an hour, he held everyone spellbound with the story of Sally Reed, her commitment to justice and equality in the law for women, and the role that the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) played in her early years to help win the case before the United States Supreme Court. Dr. Adler is currently completing a book on Reed vs. Reed, and was able to personally interview RBG about the case, which she said was her favorite case and a turning point in American law.
Dr. Adler is a Constitutional Law professor and scholar, lectures nationally and internationally, and is published widely. He is President of the Alturas Institute, a nonprofit organization created to defend American Democracy by advancing the Constitution, gender equality, equal protection of the law, and civic education. IWCF was fortunate to have him speak on a date that was coincidentally “International Women’s Day.”
The case began when Boisean Sally Reed’s sixteen year old son died in 1964, and the probate judge at the time named her estranged husband as administrator of the small estate, as mandated by a 100-year-old law enacted by the Idaho Territorial Legislature, which, as Adler stated, said the nod must go to the husband “because a man has a better head for business than a woman.” (This elicited quite a gasp from the audience.)
Sally, although uneducated, had held various employments, but she did not have the funds to hire an attorney to challenge this injustice. After denied assistance by 16 other lawyers, Boise attorney Allen Derr agreed to take the case “pro bono” because he believed in equal rights for women. They appealed their case to the Fourth Judicial District. The District Court Judge, Charles R. Donaldson, ruled the law violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, the boy’s father then appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, which overruled the District Court. And thereafter, Sally and Derr decided to make a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
RBG at this time was “unknown” and teaching law students. She offered to work for women’s rights with this case, learning about it through her work with the ACLU. She and Derr collaborated in the writing of the brief, and Derr presented the oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in October 1971. In November that year, RBG and Derr were informed they had won the case. Donaldson, by then, was a Justice on the Idaho Supreme Court, and his ruling was thus vindicated. Sally’s response was a simple, “The Court did the right thing.”
An interesting side note Adler discovered in his research is the story of Pauli Murray, whose name appears on the brief with RBG’s. She had been a law student at Howard University, and as a Black American, had written a paper in 1941 comparing the discrimination against African Americans with that against women. She argued that an “accident of birth” should not be the reason to deny a person’s rights. RBG and Derr used this argument with the Court to say they should do for women what the Court did for African Americans in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, relying on the equal protection clause in the U.S. Constitution.
Adler ended with the encouraging conclusion that this case shows “how relatively ordinary people can do extraordinary things for their nation, and change the face of the nation.” He stated that gender-based discrimination laws across the country were forever impacted by the ruling in the Idaho case of Reed vs. Reed.
Moderator Sheila Hennessey did an excellent job of facilitating audience questions on a range of topics. In answer to one, Adler described his meeting with RBG in Sun Valley (at age 84 and who had been up all night because of a delayed plane flight) and their “45 minute interview” that lasted an hour and 45 minutes. He is planning to finish his book on Reed vs. Reed in a few more months. Comments from the online survey afterward included:
“Dr. Adler is a great storyteller. His personal interaction with RBG makes it better.”
“The content and the speaker’s mastery of the subject were tremendous.”
“Dr. Adler’s professionalism, familiarity with a very detailed unfolding of events, command of language, the way he tied together a long story.”
“This was a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day!”
2023 Annual Meeting & Grants Presentation
By Robyn Gee Tucker, Marketing Committee
Nearly 150 IWCF members, guests, and grant recipients shared smiles and laughter at Barber Park Events Center as we celebrated $209,683 in pooled-fund grants. We welcomed four new board members–Nicole Patterson, Sandy Lease, Jena Vasconcellos, and Evin Bask–and bid a grateful farewell to the five Board members who were completing their terms. Thank you Sheila Hennessey, Jennifer Dunmire Parks, Linda Riley, Peggy Runcorn, and Shawn Del Ysursa for all you’ve done during your time on the Board.
Trinjia Dell’Agio introduced each of our eight grant recipients and presented videos which highlighted how our contributions would be used to serve critical needs throughout Southwest Idaho. If you were unable to attend the Annual Meeting, you don’t have to feel left out! You can still watch the videos created by each of our eight grantees on the IWCF website. It’s amazing to see the work that can be accomplished when we all come together through collaborative giving. And since laughter is the best medicine, Trinjia ended the grantee presentation with a quick joke:
Why don’t oysters donate to charity?
Because they’re shellfish.
Special thanks to Margaret Gorrissen for providing the beautiful flowers, Heather Webster for photographing the board, grantees, and the event, and all of the members who volunteered to make the evening a success.
Mark Your Calendars
Idaho Shakespeare Volunteer Evening
Sunday, June 18, 2023
4:45 – 10:30 p.m.
Idaho Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater
5657 E Warm Springs Ave, Boise
New Member Summer Dinner
Monday, June 29, 2023
Home of Susan Smith
(For members up to three years)