Positive Change Through Thoughtful Giving

About Us

Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation is a membership organization created to expand the number of women involved in philanthropy in Idaho and to commit its members’ resources to significantly impact the needs within the greater Treasure Valley.

IWCF was founded in 2001 to inspire women to become leaders in the area of philanthropy and to demonstrate the impact that pooled monies can have in bringing positive change to our communities. Anyone who is willing to commit to an annual membership contribution of $1,125 (the new membership amount starting in July 2019) for three years may become a member of IWCF. Half of your membership contribution goes into a pooled fund; the other half you may designate directly to the nonprofit entity of your choice, in your name, and in increments of $250 or $500. The remaining $125 goes to administrative expenses such as postage, rent, etc. The entire amount is tax deductible.

The majority of IWCF’s workload is administered through a base of dedicated member volunteers who are supported by part-time office staff. Our aim is to keep the philanthropy dollars in the community and to be sustainable at the same time. We pride ourselves on keeping our operation costs very low. We try to do it as simply as possible and with much thought to financial responsibility.

The funds are managed by the Treasurer under direction and guidance of the Finance Committee and the Board. All accounts are insured through FDIC.

Our founding members are from the Treasure Valley, and are most familiar with charitable needs and trends in this area. Additionally, we are able to monitor the accountability of our grants closer to this base. Specific information is available on our grant application which lists the eleven counties where we fund grants: Ada, Adams, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington.

IWCF funds diverse organizations – not just women’s and children’s groups. The Grants Committee annually researches area nonprofits’ needs and requests proposals from organizations in several broad areas of interest.

Several years ago, IWCF completed a challenge opportunity raising $150,000 in pledges and received matching funds to create the beginnings of the Susan Smith IWCF Endowment to support our operations. Today this fund has grown to $870,513. and is invested in socially responsible funds. We are excited about this fund because it allows IWCF to carry on our philanthropic efforts in perpetuity.

Membership

The collaborative giving concept leverages your membership contribution and those of other members to make a more significant impact. The educational component of IWCF allows you to become a more informed charitable donor. Additionally, your knowledge of the community can be shared with other members. You can continue to give to your own personal interests with the $500 as your individual grant designation (IGD.)  

The advantage of combining funds with other members allows your foundation or advised fund to participate in the significant impact of a pooled contribution. IWCF may also allow you to meet additional philanthropic interests not necessarily addressed in your private foundation or advised fund.

$1,125 per year, the entire amount is tax deductible.

  • $500 is credited to the pooled-fund for the grants process. 
  • $500 is directed to the nonprofit of the member’s choosing either in a single donation of $500 or two donations of $250 each as IGDs. 
  • $125 goes toward IWCF operating expenses.

** Now more than ever, our community needs the collaborative giving of IWCF! In response to the challenges of 2020, IWCF recognizes that individually you may be struggling as well. Thus, for this membership cycle we are piloting a new membership option at $625. As always, it will be fully tax deductible with $500 applied to the Pooled-fund Grants and the rest to IWCF Operations.

One purpose of IWCF is to help demonstrate the impact of larger donations. The $1,125 allows both for sizable donations to be made in your name from your individual account and contributes $500 to the pooled funds.

** Now more than ever, our community needs the collaborative giving of IWCF! In response to the challenges of 2020, IWCF recognizes that individually you may be struggling as well. Thus, for this membership cycle we are piloting a new membership option at $625. As always, it will be fully tax deductible with $500 applied to the Pooled-fund Grants and the rest to IWCF Operations.

While IWCF was initially formed as a group of women, we certainly do not discriminate against gender! Men are encouraged and welcome to join if they are committed to the goals and objectives of the organization.

Yes! It is such a powerful way to share and spread the spirit of philanthropy when members give the gift of membership to children, grandchildren, or friends!

We believe investing in our community is a rewarding journey. We encourage you to consider a three-year investment for this journey. Three years will provide you with a solid knowledge of the organization, enhance your experience, and show you the impact of your giving.

IWCF membership is held by individual persons only and is non-transferable, regardless of the source of payment for any member’s annual donation (e.g., a person other than the registered member, an organization, or other entity making payment on behalf of the member).  The individual member is the specific person who is identified as such in the completed member registration form. IWCF does not have an institutional or organization membership category.

Pooled-Fund Grants

IWCF members contribute dues each year to a pooled fund from which we collectively award grants to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and tax-exempt religious entities serving southwestern Idaho. The grants cycle begins in January and ends in May and is coordinated by the Grants Committee, open to all IWCF members. The committee researches proposals in six interest areas: cultural arts, education, environment, financial stability, health, and rural communities. After evaluations in each interest area, three to four proposals are selected for site visits, and projects are then narrowed down to two proposals for the member ballot. Ballots are then sent to the entire IWCF membership each spring for a vote on final funding decisions. The number of grants awarded and the total amount awarded depend on the size of IWCF’s pooled fund and the amounts sought by the finalist proposals.

Members may access an online ballot through their personal email. Hard copy ballots are also available by request or at Q & A events during the voting period.

Yes, votes are confidential. Only office staff will have access to the names attached to voting ballots.

Once the individual membership donation is paid, the amount the member contributes to the pooled fund for a given year will be awarded in accordance with the majority membership vote process for pooled grants. Each member only has the ability to control the IGD portion of their membership donation, directing it as either one $500 gift or two gifts of $250.

All members of the Grants Committee are required to disclose relationships they have with community organizations so that the committee can make a best-practice, informed decision regarding the member’s level of involvement in grants selections.

Individual Grant Designations (IGDs)

Each  member is requested to make their Individual Grant Designation (IGD) of $500 in a distribution of either two grants for $250 each or one grant for $500. IWCF will make contributions in each member’s name to those organizations qualified by the IRS as having 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, government entities such as schools, public libraries and park departments (as long as the grant furthers a public purpose), and religious organizations.

You may also designate to the IWCF Pooled Fund, Administrative Fund, or the Susan Smith Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation Endowment Fund.

This payment will be made for you, per your direction, to the organization(s) you designate as soon as you join or renew, or at the date of your specification. To make sure we get your money back to the community quickly, members have until March 31 to make their IGDs. If you choose to make your IGD to the current year’s pooled fund, please make your designation by January 31. Individual grant designations not assigned by March 31 will be transferred to the pooled fund.

There is no geographic restriction on these individual grants–except that they must be within the US.

We encourage you to designate as soon as you renew. Each year at renewal time we also include an Individual Grant Designation (IGD) form for you to fill out. We provide options for you to do this online or in hard copy. 

Each member is requested to make their IGD of $500 in a distribution of either two grants for $250 each or one grant for $500. IWCF will make contributions in the member’s name to those organizations qualified by the IRS as having 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, government entities such as schools, public libraries and park departments (as long as the grant furthers a public purpose), and religious organizations. There is no geographic restriction, within the United States, to these individual gifts.

You may also designate to the IWCF Pooled Fund, the IWCF Administrative Fund, or the Susan Smith Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation Endowment Fund. 

To make sure we get your money back into the community quickly, members have until March 31 to make their IGDs. If you choose to make your IGD to the current year’s Pooled Fund, please make your designation by January 31. IGDs not assigned by March 31, will be transferred to the Pooled Fund. Please call the office if you need special accommodation for your IGD.

Participation and Committees

IWCF members are ONLY required to make their annual contribution, including designating where to send their IGD, and vote on the distribution of the pooled funds. 

We appreciate all of our members and embrace each individual’s personal level of contribution. It’s okay if you don’t have time for IWCF events right now, we’ll still be here when you do.

IWCF does not conduct fundraising events. We may seek underwriting/sponsorships from individuals, businesses or corporations for specific purposes. The organization’s pooled grant funding comes only from your contributions. Members do have the additional opportunity to contribute to our endowment fund to support our long-term sustainability.

Sharing your time and talents are a great way for you to make a personal impact and to more deeply understand this organization. Members find that when they are involved it greatly enhances their enjoyment of IWCF. There are many small ways to participate only if or when you choose:

  • Attending educational programs throughout the year focusing on the areas in the community to which IWCF makes grants, philanthropy and personal leadership development.
  • Participating in social events to get to know other IWCF members and to introduce potential new members to the organization.
  • Celebrating our grantees at the Annual Meeting.
  • Being an on-call volunteer to assist as needed with office-related projects.

Serving on a committee is welcomed and rewarding. We have spots available to accommodate you for a little or a lot of time.  Please contact us by email:  Information@IWCFBoise.org or (208) 343-4923 or fill out our online Volunteer form.  

 Committee:

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: Helps foster a culture within IWCF that actively seeks and celebrates diverse backgrounds so we can better understand, connect with, and serve our community.
  • Education:  Presents events on informed giving and our community’s charitable needs. 
  • Events:  Coordinates logistics of IWCF events.
  • Finance:  Advises and plans for the organization’s financial stability and sustainability.
  • Grants:  Researches and nominates the nonprofit finalists for the pooled-fund grant ballot.
  • Grants Assessment:  Evaluates grant project progress.
  • Grants Steering: Provides continuity and long-term strategy for grants
  • Leadership Development:  Slates the Board of Directors for election and helps members get involved in IWCF committees.
  • Marketing & Communications:  Develops strategies for increasing public awareness and for keeping members informed about IWCF events and activities.
  • Membership:  Hosts events for members, plans activities for attracting new members and communicates pertinent voting deadlines, to enhance member engagement.
  • On-call volunteer: Assists as needed with office-related projects.
  • Symposium:  Plans the theme, program and logistics, and raises community support for this  biennial education event.

It is important to the Events Committee who plan and organize our IWCF meetings and events. We want to make sure that we have adequate food, beverages, chairs and handouts. Lunch is offered for most mid-day events. Even if you opt out of lunch, please let us know that you will be attending so we will have a seat and your IWCF name badge ready for you. 

We ask that you send your payment in advance with your RSVP via the IWCF website, the link in the electronic communication, or by mail, if applicable. We strive to get members in the door quickly without needing to wait in line.

Members are almost ALWAYS encouraged to bring guests, but whenever you see the “Plus 1” logo (below), please know that you are especially encouraged to do so. The best recruitment method we have found is word-of-mouth with a personal invitation (let us know if you need help – we can send them more information or meet with your guest if that will help).

Only members may attend the Grants Site Visit, Ballot Decision Meeting and Grants Q&A events.

Spouses and significant others count as guests and we love for them to share in all of the good works. Please invite them to our events.

All members receive a name badge with the year they join. We collect the badges from members at the conclusion of each event so that they can be stored in the office and available to you at subsequent events.

Renewal and Payments

Renewal contributions can be given at any time during the year, but our annual renewal cycle is November 1-January 31, allowing members to select the tax year that works best for them. Renewal letters will be emailed (unless you request a hard-copy packet from the office) to ALL members each November requesting member payment and contact information updates. Renewals must be postmarked or hand-delivered to the office by December 31st in order to receive a tax deduction for the current year. We ask for your renewal by January 31st so we will know how much will be available for the pooled-fund grants.

YES! You can pay online at our website with PayPal using a credit or debit card for a small fee. We also accept payment by check or transfer of publicly traded securities. Instructions for the transfer of a gift of stock is here.

Company matching is encouraged and gratefully accepted! It is up to the member to determine if a company matching gift is to help pay for a portion of her membership fee or is intended to be an additional gift to be directed toward the pooled-fund, endowment fund, or an unrestricted gift to IWCF.

Yes. The next payment plan option is available for the 2021-2022 renewal year starting February 2021 and going through January 2022. The cost is $100/month for a total of $1,200. You must pay with a PayPal account or through automated payments from your financial institution.

More questions, comments or suggestions:  

We’re always here for you! If we don’t have an answer we can help send you in the right direction. Information@IWCFBoise.org or (208) 343-4923. 

Thank you for your support!