Letter from the President

Christine Avey

We have just wrapped up our membership renewal period and I want to express my sincere GRATITUDE to all of you for renewing your membership. I know it is a significant contribution and a vote of confidence in IWCF when you send in your membership renewal. We do not take this for granted and want to say thank you for believing in IWCF’s model of collaborative and educated philanthropy! Together we are transforming communities through both our pooled-fund and individually designated grants, and through the education that inspires every one of us to be more thoughtful philanthropists. If for some reason you have not yet renewed, please know we welcome you to rejoin at any time.

Currently, we are in the midst of grants season and many of you are involved in assessing the nonprofits that have applied for funding. Thank you for your role in this important job! In a couple months we will ask you to educate yourself on the finalists and vote for the organizations which you believe are most deserving of the 2020 grant awards. We want every single member to take part in this core of our mission. Please, please vote!

I was recently on a flight from Boise to San Francisco and found myself seated next to a woman who was on the way to Guadalajara. We started chatting almost as soon as we were airborne, and before long I was drawn to her vivid personality and interesting life. I should not have been surprised when I found out that she is a member of IWCF! She shared stories about her travels, her family, her career, her history with nonprofits, and her varied degrees of involvement with IWCF over nearly 15 years. I enjoyed hearing her perspective on what she loves about IWCF as well as ideas and suggestions for how she believes we can improve. I was fortunate to have spent over an hour getting to know her and sincerely look forward to continuing our conversation (and hearing about her trip!).

I love when I have an opportunity to get to know our IWCF members individually and I hope to get to know more of you at our upcoming IWCF events. Or let’s meet up for a cup of coffee, a walk, or a chat on the phone. I want to hear about your experiences with IWCF and I appreciate when you are willing to be candid and share concerns or ideas you have that could make our organization better. If you have something on your mind, please reach out–I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being IWCF!

Christine Avey


More Than Just a Van

How 2019 Grantee Desert Sage Health Centers is Changing Lives One Drive at a Time

By Robyn Gee Tucker, Marketing Committee

In May 2019 IWCF awarded a grant to Desert Sage Health Centers (DSHC) for the purchase of a van to transport patients to Boise. Logistics, delivery of the vehicle, and the inability to hire the person they’d hoped to drive the van slowed down the original timeline. But the team pushed through the challenges, secured and wrapped the van, and currently have their Quality & Risk Coordinator driving most patients.

Last month Amber Jordan, Chief Operations Officer of DSHC, had the opportunity to drive the van. It’s not officially in the job description of a COO to be a shuttle driver, but DSHC is small and everyone does it all. No one is above any task. 

The patient she drove was Jerry*. He was sick over the holidays and had missed several dialysis appointments. He wasn’t feeling well, it was too expensive to drive to Boise, and his eyes were giving him trouble due to missing so many appointments. Amber was thankful to be able to clear her schedule and take him. 

As they took off, Amber asked him how long his appointment was supposed to take and he said probably four hours. She asked if he was going to need food for such a long day. “No,” he said. “I ate a bowl of cereal before we left.” 

The ride started out quietly. Jerry is a man of few words and it was a little challenging to get him to open up. Eventually he began to talk and the 90 minute, round trip drive gave Amber a small glimpse into his life.

When Jerry was young, his mother had a stroke and he took care of her. At age 14 he dropped out of school to work cows and just two years later his mother died of an aneurysm. A cattleman and his wife with a ranch in the Owyhees took him in and said he could stay with them if he went back to school. Eventually he became a rancher with 1,000 head of cattle in a remote part of Idaho. But when Jerry got sick he had to sell his cows and the ranch to pay his medical bills. He misses being outdoors with his horse and cows, doctoring the animals when needed, and the privilege of working hard on a ranch.

“What do you do now that you’re not ranching?” asked Amber. 

“Mostly just dialysis,” was his haunting response. He has been on dialysis for the last eight years and is tired most of the time, especially after a treatment. 

Amber dropped Jerry off at the dialysis center and went home to telecommute for the afternoon. She made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and packed a few snacks for the return trip. Five and a half hours later she picked up Jerry and began the drive back. He told her they took nine pounds of fluid out of his system, but he is still 16 pounds over where he should be. He would have to go back the following day for another four hour dialysis session. 

The next day Brett, the CI manager, took Jerry to dialysis. She found out more about Jerry, including the fact that he lives on $900 a month and cannot afford most of his medications, even with Medicare and Medicaid. Brett promised him they would help find out if he qualified for any medication assistance programs. Jerry confided in Brett that when it was his time, he wanted to be cremated and his ashes spread in a remote part of Idaho that could only be reached on horseback. 

On January 7, the Quality & Risk Coordinator took Jerry to Boise for yet another dialysis treatment. The staff member returned to Mountain Home alone when Jerry was transported to a local hospital for gastrointestinal bleeding discovered during his dialysis session. Jerry died in the hospital that night. 

The team at DSHC knew Jerry didn’t have family, so they set to work finding someone who could help with his affairs and ensure his final wishes were met. They even had a group of staff members ready to help pack up his apartment because the landlord wanted to rent it immediately. Amber was so thankful they were able to serve Jerry in his final days as well as those after. 

One of the biggest takeaways from Amber’s short time with Jerry is that people don’t just need rides to Boise. They need a sense of purpose and joy. You don’t think about these things when you’re reading a grant application for a van to take patients to Boise, but this is what it has turned into for Desert Sage Health Centers. This is the mission. 

Now, when the van isn’t being used for transport, Desert Sage Health Centers has visions of taking dialysis patients fishing, helping lonely elders in the community get connected with others, and making sure community members are well. In fact, rather than just hiring a driver, they’ve decided to expand this role into a full-time position called a Community Health Worker. This person will drive patients to appointments but they will also coordinate wellness activities, check on patients recently discharged from the hospital, visit patients in their homes, and connect people with the resources they need for food, electricity, housing and more.

The van is more than just a means to get to Boise. It’s a way to connect with patients in a way that a doctor can’t, find out what people really need to be healthy, and help them find joy in their lives again.

*To protect patient privacy, names and photos are representations.

Another Exciting Season for Grants

By Jen Sampson, Grants Chair

It’s Grant Season and the committee has been working diligently to provide us with the best candidates for the April ballot. 59 proposals were received this year and after an in-depth screening and review from the Grants Steering Committee, 40 of those proposals were moved forward for further review and consideration.

We have six Interest Area (IA) Committees meeting this year: Cultural Arts will be evaluating seven proposals; Education is currently evaluating six; Environment has four; Financial Stability and Health each have eight; and Rural Communities will be considering seven. These will be narrowed down to two proposals per IA and presented on the ballot for membership voting. 

There is a Grants Education Session on Wednesday, March 11 at Ahavath Beth Israel Synagogue. If you participated in the Grants Committee this year or would just like to learn more about the proposals that will be going to the ballot, please join us! For more details or to RSVP, visit We will also have two Q&A sessions to discuss the grant proposals that make it to the ballot. These will be held on Thursday, April 2 (5:30 p.m., Step Ahead Idaho) and Tuesday, April 7 (12:00 p.m., Boise Watershed). While attendance at any of these events is not required for voting, it does provide an opportunity for a more in-depth look at each proposal. 

If you haven’t served on the Grants Committee before, make it a priority to sign up next year. There is really no better way to understand the heart of IWCF’s mission. It is incredibly rewarding to see the process through to the conclusion and provides a beautiful snapshot of the exciting things the Treasure Valley nonprofit community is already doing and is dreaming of achieving in the future. No experience is necessary! You will be partnered with a wonderful team of people and guided through each step of the process.




Members Pledge $210,000 for 2020 Pooled-Funds

By Linda Riley, Membership Chair 

Positive change through thoughtful giving starts with you. We would not be able to do this work in our community without each and every one of our members. Thank you for your membership and for responding to our renewal request by January 31. The deadline enables us to know the actual amount of pooled-funds available at the beginning of the grant cycle and each year we rely on your continued commitment to IWCF. This allows our talented grants committee to get to their work of vetting applications and bringing us another slate of worthy grant applicants.

Currently, IWCF is 392 members strong! If you plan to renew but have not yet been able to do so, we encourage you to still “pledge” your membership by completing the online renewal form and listing the date we can expect to receive your contribution in the comments section at the end of the form. This is still very helpful in planning the amount of grants we will fund for this cycle.

The second part of your renewal is the Individual Grant Designation (IGD). This is the portion of your donation which you designate to the charity(ies) of your choice. You have until March 31 and can also do this online. IGDs not designated by March 31 will be allocated to the Pooled-Fund. 

Once you’ve renewed and designated your IGD, our last request is to please remember to vote for our grants and our board of directors. Grants ballots go out Wednesday, April 1 and are due on Wednesday, April 15. The Board ballot opens Monday, April 20 and closes on Friday, May 1.

We are so thankful to have each and every one of you as a part of IWCF. Together we are making a difference in our community!

Is Committee or Board Service for You?

By Laura Simic, Leadership Development Committee Chair

Your kids are in school, you have more flexibility at work, you’ve found yourself with a couple of free hours during the week, or you’d just like to be more involved in helping our community thrive. You might enjoy serving on an IWCF committee or on the Board of Directors.

Your Leadership Development Committee works year-round to assess lWCF’s leadership needs, slate board positions, and develop a pool of willing candidates for board and committee vacancies. If you think you’d like to take a more active role in IWCF now or in the near future, you have particular expertise you’d like to share, or you think someone else would be perfect for a position, please let us know. You can indicate your interests and skills on your membership renewal form, fill out the volunteer form on our Members Only website, or contact any member of the Leadership Development Committee. (See Members Only website or DirectorySpot for committee members.) 

Board and committee positions are always evolving to serve the current needs of IWCF and its members, be responsive to our community, and do-able by busy women with varying strengths. There’s plenty of room for creativity, flexibility, and influencing the future of IWCF. And it’s FUN!

We appreciate all of IWCF’s dedicated volunteers who serve in leadership positions, participate on a committee, or help with a one-time project. The sustainability of IWCF depends on you.  Thank you!

$870,000 and Counting!! A HUGE THANK YOU!

By Dana Kehr, Endowment Committee

In 2009, thanks to a $150,000 gift from an incredible donor, IWCF was able to launch an endowment fund and begin planning for the future. Members quickly matched that amount and we had our start for sustainability!

The Endowment now stands at more than $870,000 and has been contributing to our operations for the last four years. This, partnered with a minimal (yet mighty!) staff and some super technology, allows us to continue the important work in our community and provide a quality experience for our membership. Few nonprofits can match that.

Many members contribute to the growth of our Endowment, so we’ve now established an Endowment Committee as a subsidiary of the Finance Committee. They are shepherding this fund, recognizing the potential of the Endowment to sustain our organization and maximize future possibilities. Your combined and ongoing financial gifts are making a difference.  

We would not have this future without your donations to the Susan Smith Endowment. A huge thank you! 

Member in Memoriam 

Marlys Anne Hughes Saltzer (1939-2020)

Marlys Anne Saltzer, 80, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 26 of natural causes. Born in Nampa, Idaho, she was a fourth generation Idahoan on both her maternal and paternal sides. The family moved several times during her childhood, living in Mackay, Lewiston, Sandpoint, and Hailey before returning to Nampa where she was elected Honored Queen of Job’s Daughters Bethel #49, attended Idaho Syringa Girls State, and was co-salutatorian of Nampa High School’s Class of 1957.

Saltzer attended Whitman College and the University of Idaho where she was elected to Mortar Board Honorary Society and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, graduating in 1961. In that same year, she married Jerry Saltzer, the other co-salutatorian of her Nampa High School class, and moved to Newton, Massachusetts where they lived for the next 45 years. When Jerry retired in 2006, they returned to the Treasure Valley, settling in Boise and spending summers in McCall with family. Marlys joined IWCF in 2014 and was a member for the last five years. 

Marlys loved to travel, particularly enjoying six months living in Cambridge, England, where Jerry took a sabbatical. During her lifetime she also visited Japan, India, Colombia, Israel, Greece, Berlin (before the wall came down), the Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, France, Italy, and Russia.

Her friends describe her as elegant, gracious, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, vibrant, articulate, treasured, a respected leader with impeccable judgment, and a dear friend. She will be deeply missed. It was her wish that there be no funeral or memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to McPaws Regional Animal Shelter ( in McCall. Her complete obituary can be read online in the Idaho Statesman.

Welcome to IWCF!
IWCF is excited to welcome the following new Blue Ribbon members. Thank you for joining our mission!IWCF | New Member Name TagMary Ann Arnold
Kathryn Baerwald
Zoe Brunelle
Cathy Colman
Karen Coppess
Kelly Gevaert
Mary Kreizenbeck
Lynn Neil
Kim Shansby
Becky Verity
Susan Whiting

Thank you!

IWCF would like to recognize the following people for the generous gift of time, support, and resources.

Education Committee Members for an outstanding program on mental health in Idaho on November 6
Karen Bilowith
Molly Guenther
Molly Harder

Spring Postcard Mailing Party
Karen Coppess
Tricia Kennedy
Cec Lojek
Sue Speer
Donna Wetherley

Robyn Gee Tucker




Leaving a Legacy:

Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Progress

By Beth Schattin, Marketing Committee

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be

denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

~Amendment XIX, August 26, 1920

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment protecting a woman’s constitutional right to vote. On January 9 the Membership Committee hosted an evening event commemorating this historical centennial. Held at the Idaho Black History Museum, the event served as both an opportunity to acknowledge the progress that has been made toward advancing equality for women and a reminder that each of us can affect continued positive change. Members and guests were treated to informative presentations and discussions from Kathy Scott, IWCF Member, and special guest, Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb. 

Scott pointed out that although the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920, Idaho was a forerunner of this movement granting women the right to vote 24 years prior in 1896. Idaho was the fourth state in the nation to take this momentous step in the women’s suffrage movement and was joined by a total of eleven other states prior to 1920. Other significant legislative events since the 19th Amendment include:

O’Connor being sworn in Sept. 9, 1981. (AP Photo/John Duricka)
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963, a labor law aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on gender.
  • Title IX, a federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibited discrimination on the basis of gender in all federally funded education programs. 
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965 which prevented racial discrimination in voting and the 1975 Amendment which expanded voting rights to protect language minority groups.
  • Selection of Sandra Day O’Conner as the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981.

Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb is a fifth generation Idahoan and first African American legislator elected to the Idaho House in 2010. She is an advocate on behalf of Idaho schools, diligently lobbies for improvements in Idaho’s economy, and is a leading voice in the fight against discrimination. Buckner-Webb engaged the audience in a thoughtful dialogue about women who have made a difference in our community and how we can build on these foundations. The 19th Amendment was not brought about by a singular event, individual, or group. Instead, it was women and their allies, working together for decades, who fought and won the constitutional right to vote. In the same way, we must work together, leverage our power, support one another, and continue to take responsibility to further the equality for all. Only in this way will progress continue. Only in this way will we make a difference.

The Shoe that Grows

By Megan Orthmeyer, Education Committee

On January 28, a group of IWCF members and friends gathered at the Library! at Bown Crossing for a lunch and education program featuring Kenton Lee, founder of Because International and the creator of The Shoe That Grows. In 2007, Kenton worked at an orphanage in Kenya. One day, he was walking down a dusty road when he noticed a little girl in a white dress walking next to him. As he looked down at her feet, he was shocked to see her shoes were so small she had to cut open the front to let her toes stick out. That day, the idea for The Shoe That Grows was born.

Because International believes small things make a big impact and the impact of this project continues to flourish. It took six years to work on the idea but eventually Kenton and his friends succeeded in developing a shoe that can grow five sizes and last for years. Now there are over 300,000 pairs of The Shoe That Grows on the feet of children in over 100 countries.  

Since the beginning there has been a commitment to a high-quality shoe that lasts for years. Over 1.5 billion people suffer from soil transmitted diseases worldwide. Without shoes, children are especially vulnerable to these diseases and parasites that can cause illness and even lead to death. The Shoe That Grows is fighting back. Individuals and community partners report these shoes help kids be healthier, attend school more often, and be more confident.

Because International is currently expanding the impact of The Shoe That Grows as well as other programs. Manufacturing has moved from China to Kenya, bringing jobs to the local economy and saving on shipping costs. Additionally, they have opened a new pathway for innovators to find small ways to create a large impact. The Pursuit Incubator, a free business accelerator, seeks out entrepreneurs living in poverty who have an idea for a life-changing product and helps make these ideas a reality. 

The power of small things is one that connects the story of The Shoe that Grows and the mission of Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation. IWCF grants move the ball forward to improve the community around us. They might not completely solve every problem, but our grants are changing the landscape for those in our community in need of help. Will shoes end poverty abroad? No, but it is one step in the right direction. 




2020 IWCF Fall Symposium

By Molly Harder, Symposium Chair

Jessica Jackley, Microlender, during TEDGlobal 2010 Session 8: Adventures in Fairness, July 2010 in Oxford, England. Credit: James Duncan Davidson / TED

IWCF’s biennial symposium, Entrepreneurial Philanthropy: Celebrating Change-Making Women Past, Present, Future will be held on Tuesday, Oct.13. The day-long event will feature keynote speaker Jessica Jackley, co-founder of KIVA, the world’s most successful microlending site, and the author of the book Clay Water Brick.

A series of morning workshops will emphasize the impact of women in our community through philanthropy, as well as honor the centennial of women’s suffrage. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how local organizations are, as Jackley will address, both doing good and doing well. Speakers will cover a range of topics including the history of philanthropy in Idaho, current success stories, opportunities for the future, and how our members can envision their role in continued philanthropic efforts. Prior to the Symposium, our education committee will be hosting a book club featuring Jessica Jackley’s Clay Water Brick. Please watch for details to be announced in May.  

Individuals, businesses, and foundation sponsors underwrite approximately 60% of the cost of the event. If you are interested in being a sponsor or table captain, please visit the for complete event sponsorship information. Individual tickets will be made available for sale later this spring.

We hope you’ll save the date of October 13, 2020 and join us in this celebration of the powerful impact of educated philanthropy.

Mark Your Calendars


Grants Education Session: Ballot Decision Meeting
Wednesday, March 11; 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel
11 N. Latah Street, Boise
Optional Lunch $15/person or purchase the 2019-2020 Meal Plan
Members Only

Deadline for Individual Grant Designations
Tuesday, March 31


Grants Voting Begins
Wednesday, April 1

Grants Ballot Q&A
Thursday, April 2; 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Step Ahead Idaho
5248 W. Overland Rd, Boise
Members Only

Grants Ballot Q&A
Tuesday, April 7; 12-1:30 p.m.
Boise Watershed
11818 W. Joplin Rd., Boise
Optional Lunch $15/person or purchase the 2019-2020 Meal Plan
Members Only

Voting Deadline for Pooled-Fund Grants
Wednesday, April 15; 12:00 noon


Voting Deadline for Annual Meeting Ballot
Friday, May 1; 12:00 noon

Annual Meeting and Grants Awards
Tuesday, May 12; 6:00 – 8:30 p.m., 

1000 W Myrtle St, Boise       



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