Letter from the President

Christine Avey

Spring is here and I warmly feel the optimism of the season. After the year we have all experienced (apart but together), this spring seems particularly sweet. Recently I was on a Zoom call with several other IWCF members, and someone shared how joyful she was to have just received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that morning. Several others disclosed that they, too, recently had received their vaccines and were looking forward to seeing parents, children, and grandchildren who they had not seen in many months. The days are growing longer, our spirits are brighter, and hope is blooming.

Reflecting on IWCF’s steadfast commitment to educated philanthropy during the pandemic, we have so much to be proud of. Like many other organizations, we had to evolve in how we planned in-person events and learn a new way to connect with one another. Our incredible committees came up with creative ways for us to continue our work of collective giving. Together we have become adept users of Zoom and enjoy the magic of breakout rooms!

My springtime gratitude to you:

THANK YOU for your membership renewal! We are so grateful that we still have 400+ members and appreciate your referrals that have brought NEW members despite a year lacking face-to-face events!

THANK YOU for caring about equity and social justice and attending the Unconscious Bias for Conscious Philanthropists workshops! We are all learning together and the DEI Committee is helping us become our most aware selves.  

THANK YOU for your involvement on the Grants Committee during this year’s pooled-fund grant cycle! What an amazing list of organizations and projects! Please take the time to read about our 12 finalists and VOTE for your favorites if you have not already done so.

THANK YOU for attending our virtual Membership & Education Events!  

  • The recent book review for Melinda Gates’ Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World was fun and engaging! Laura White Barton shared about her work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and members had the chance to connect in small groups to discuss the book and philanthropy.
  • If you missed this month’s event “Working Together During the Progressive Era: The Legacy of Women’s Clubs in Idaho,” I HIGHLY suggest you check out the recorded session on our website! State historian HannaLore Hein was interesting and informative; her enthusiasm sharing a historical perspective of the amazing work that women in Idaho have played was inspiring. As members of IWCF, we are part of that history!

As we learn how to navigate the next several months shifting from a pandemic lockdown toward more in-person events, please be patient. Everyone has their own level of comfort and we will try to find a balance of reconnecting and offering virtual alternatives. We also know many of you enjoy our virtual events because of ease of attending.

Together we will continue the mission of IWCF. Thank you for your ongoing support and involvement!

With hopeful gratitude,


It’s Grants Ballot Time!

By Jen Sampson, Grants Chair

It’s hard to believe that a year ago we were transitioning to a virtual grants process and today we are still zooming our way through that process. The grants committee received 93 applications representing over $2.5 million dollars from all 11 counties we serve in Southwest Idaho. 73 members of IWCF participated in the grants committee and spent time evaluating all the proposals. Special thanks to Pam Briggs, Sandy Lease, Sandy Parks, Lori Smith, Sue Speer, and Susan Tabb for their expertise and insight guiding the Business & Finance Committee and to Marilyn Bischoff, Teresa Broadus, Annette Christensen, Trinjia Dell’Aglio, Mary Hindson, Christine Keller, Treacy Liebich, Andrea Roope, and Mikel Ward for guiding the interest area committees. 

The committee has elected to send the following 12 projects to the ballot which is open now through noon on Thursday, April 1. Please make sure you VOTE and encourage your fellow IWCF members to do so as well. For more information on each ballot nominee, you can listen to the recording of our Grants Ballot Overview and Q&A.

Click HERE to vote now.

Boise Contemporary Theater ($30,000): BIPOC Play Reading Festival
Boise Contemporary Theater’s BIPOC (Boise Idaho Playwrights Of Color) Reading Festival will bring playwrights, actors, and directors from across the country to Boise to share their voices and stories with our community. The funds would cover their salaries, the rental of the Morrison Center, and housing for artists.

Cascade Cultural Arts Center ($30,000): Cascade Creates! A Yearlong Community Creative Placemaking Project 
After a year of event and art class cancellation, Cascade will engage their entire town in the arts through a year-long creative placemaking project. Cascade Cultural Arts Center will commission a public art installation that integrates seating and an information kiosk for the center of town.

Boise Art Museum ($30,000): Remote Learning Program for Schools
Boise Art Museum (BAM) will create a Free Visual Arts Education Program App for remote learning that will incorporate their robust, successful curriculum that is versatile, flexible, and provides synchronous and asynchronous learning modules.

Boise Public Schools Education Foundation: Boise Community School Expansion 
Boise Public Schools Education Foundation will expand the Boise Community Schools program to Capital High School. IWCF funds will be used for equipment, furniture, programming, and the Community School Coordinator’s salary.

Ada Soil & Water Conservation District ($20,000): Treasure Valley Pollinator Project
The Treasure Valley Pollinator Project will plant 64,000 flowering species specifically chosen for encouraging pollinators, and provide education to thousands of community members about what makes a pollinator habitat successful. IWCF funds would be used to hire a part-time entomologist to provide field day education, assist in pollinator identification on social media, and help with citizen science engagement. Funds will also be used to design educational materials, for event promotion, and to cover the cost of printing materials.

Land Trust of the Treasure Valley ($21,918): Harrison Hollow Erosion Control
This project will erect additional fences in hard-hit areas and increase the plantings of native sagebrush and grasses. An Americorp worker will provide education for approximately 400 students from 15 elementary and high schools in seed collections, planting, and eventually replanting their seedings in Harrison Hollow Reserve. 

Jesse Tree ($30,000): New Security Deposit Assistance Program
IWCF funds would be used to develop a Security Deposit Assistance Program (SDA) for informally housed/gap clients to prevent homelessness.

The Idaho Foodbank ($30,000): Forklift
The Idaho Foodbank is in need of a second forklift. The current one is old, in need of frequent repairs, and may not have much life left.

Lutheran Community Services Northwest ($25,000): Safe Families for Children-Treasure Valley
Increase client capacity in order to provide concrete support to vulnerable families at critical times. Funds will be used for community outreach to generate referrals and coordinate with community partners, mileage for staff travel to outreach locations, and expenses around partner church coordination in terms of ongoing administrative/technical support and data tracking. The salary for a Family Coach who will host home screenings, provide volunteer/client support, and coaching will also be included.

The Phoenix ($28,205): The Phoenix Outdoor Program Equipment
The Phoenix is a national organization which focus on healthy, physical activities for those recovering from addictions. They are asking for funds to expand their offerings of healthy outdoor activities to give adults in addiction recovery more options of surrounding themselves in a sober supportive community environment. IWCF funds will cover the purchase of ten gravel bikes, ten paddle boards, and six sets of backpacking equipment plus the training of two new instructors to lead the outdoor excursions. 

Family Health Services Corporation ($30,000): Expanded Health Services in Frontier Camus County
Family Health Services will provide access to much needed mental health and counseling services to those living in the unique mountain communities in Camas County and to provide easy access to affordable digital imaging at the Fairfield dental clinic.

Idaho Humane Society ($30,000): Providing Access to Medical Care at Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Owyhee County
This project addresses pet over-population in the underserved and economically disadvantaged Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Owyhee County through spay and neuter surgeries, rehoming of surplus companion animals, and providing basic veterinary services.

Progress from Payette Children’s Forest

By Pam Briggs

Wilderness Science Education is one of the many partners of the Payette Children’s Forest whose primary mission is to inspire young people to connect to the natural world through education-based adventures that spark curiosity, stewardship and a love of the outdoors. The projects include education and conservation of long-billed curlew, monarch, bee, and bat populations.

The project has created or improved six pollinator gardens, six habitat restorations, and four monitoring projects. All the habitat projects are ongoing, providing invaluable place-based education resources. Children have participated in restoration projects such as Fisher Pond, rain gardens, and pollinator gardens. To date, 328 total participants have had hands-on habitat enhancement involvement.

Bats generate a lot of interest from students and community members. The attendance on bat walks alone is now over 1,000. Bat Awareness Week reached an additional 1,000 students and adults in Donnelly, Meadows Valley, Cascade, and McCall through school programs, social media, and a community presentation.

The project has the support of diverse organizations, educators, and the community. Ten educators participated in summer place-based training. McCall Outdoor Science School graduate students and U.S. Forest Service agency personnel assisted 24 educators.

IWCF funding has connected PCF to many additional teachers and organizations, which helped build capacity to deliver high quality environmental education. The grant was also beneficial in obtaining additional funding from two other foundations and the Environmental Protection Agency.



Thinking Creatively

By Linda Riley, Membership Chair

2020 was an incredibly challenging year, calling on all of us to rethink, refocus, reimagine. For the Membership Committee, it was important for us to remain connected, even if it couldn’t be via in-person gatherings. First and foremost, we wanted to check in with everyone, see if there were needs brought on by COVID-19 that we could help meet. We appreciate the entire board stepping up to help with this immediate task, and we were happy to discover that most of you were able to adapt to the changes with your usual panache.

Next, it was on to the world of virtual gatherings. We decided to dive in and bring forth a variety of offerings to meet the various interests of our members including a book share, grants panel, night with Opera Idaho, self-care session, online holiday party, member event with Dr. Marlene Tromp, and a book review. We were delighted to see so many members participate in the virtual events and even discovered some of you may like them even more.

Thank you all for participating in these gatherings. They really keep us connected while we are learning. We will continue to seek out interesting offerings, and if you have any ideas, please send them to Linda Riley at Most of our events came from members with special interests and talents!

One final note of thanks to all of our IWCF members for your dedication to our mission. We anticipated that it would be hard to maintain our membership numbers based on the impact of the past year. However, between new and renewing members taking advantage of the alternate $625 membership, and the rest who are maintaining their standard membership, it doesn’t appear that we will lose any ground. This also means that we will be able to maintain our level of community support through or pooled funds. Cheers to us all!

Looking forward to a beautiful 2021 where we will continue to think creatively and may even be able to meet in person. Until then, be well.

 Two Achievements for the Endowment in 2020

By Debbie Johnson, Endowment Committee

The Susan Smith Endowment reached a milestone in 2020 when our socially responsible investments exceeded one million dollars. Our stock portfolio screens investments against rigorous criteria of the companies’ actions relative to environmental, social, and governance standards, thus extending our values to our investments. 

The Endowment was established in 2009 to ensure sustainability of IWCF and our ability to provide grants for our community partners and social service agencies in Southwest Idaho. We are well on our way to achieving this goal and beyond. Thank you to all of the IWCF members who have participated in this effort.

At the end of 2020, we announced GIFT: Giving It Forward Together for those members who plan to leave a bequest to IWCF and the Susan Smith Endowment. If you intend to name the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation Susan Smith Endowment in your will or other estate plans, we’d love to add your name to the growing list of GIFT participants. Please take a moment to complete this short online form

Your bequest can be of any amount and of any planned-giving mechanisms, including beneficiary of a life insurance policy, bank account, or retirement account, as well as your traditional will designation. GIFT participants will be recognized and be sent periodic information about the Endowment and how it is enriching IWCF activities.

Welcome to IWCF!
IWCF is excited to welcome the following new Blue Ribbon members. Thank you for joining our mission!Evin Bask
Ingrid Brudenell
Therese Brunelle Clifford
Caren DeAngelis*
Joan Edwards*
Suzanne Gore
Linda Haley
Lexi Keller
Peyton Keller
Riley Keller
Denice Liley
Mary Mandell*
Meg Mulhern
Ali Rabe
Sharon Rembowski
Liza Roeser*
Jessica Rolph*
Elizabeth Schneider
Tabatha Simmonds
Lauren Tassos
Nancy Vinsonhaler*


Thank you!

Thank you to Tricia and Bill Manning for their donation in honor of Sue Kimes, sister of IWCF member Donna Wetherley.

In Memoriam

Longtime IWCF member Doris M. Talbutt passed away on January 23, 2021. Our sincere condolences to her daughter and fellow IWCF member, Glenda Talbutt.



Working Together During the Progressive Era:

The Legacy of Women’s Clubs in Idaho

By Molly Harder, Education Committee

 As part of the IWCF celebration of International Women’s Day, the Education Committee presented a webinar exploring the legacy of women’s clubs in Idaho. HannaLore Hein, Idaho State Historian (and first woman to hold this position), explored the circumstances that allowed for the development of women’s clubs in the United States. Her information-packed presentation led viewers through the history of The First Great Awakening of the 1730s-1740s and the Second Great Awakening of the 1790s-1820s. Initially with religious foundations, women began to organize and fuel suffrage, abolitionism, and the temperance movement.

Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, National American Woman Suffrage Association Records

As a result, women’s volunteer associations and organizations emerged in earnest during the early 1800s. During this period, women faced opposition from the “Cult of Domesticity” which imagined women in their domestic roles of daughter, wife, mother, widow. Hein explained the differences between these Benevolence Clubs on the east and west coasts and their different sets of challenges. The work became more community focused in either case, and less church-oriented.

In Idaho, a suffrage bill was introduced in 1870, but ultimately died in a 11-11 tie. While many would be surprised by Idaho’s early consideration of this bill, the logic was simply practical and followed neighboring Wyoming—in order to be considered for statehood, a territory needed to meet a certain population requirement. Suffrage was used as a draw to get people to move to Idaho. Partial suffrage was approved in 1879, not long after Idaho became the fourth state in the U.S. to pass it into law.

Photo Credit: Idaho State Historical Society

In 1890 the General Federation of Women’s Clubs was founded, and from then through the early 1900s women’s clubs gained momentum and validity. By the mid 1900s, there were 130 affiliates of the Idaho Progressive Era clubs throughout the state. The Columbian Club was a leading women’s club during this time, and our own Carol Hoidal is currently the president of the Idaho chapter.

The work of club women at the turn of the century supported various facets of the community including health, education, the arts and humanities, and political and civic engagement. Members of organizations such as the Junior League of Boise and the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation owe much to these courageous women leaders.

If you didn’t have a chance to join us live, or would like to re-watch the webinar, you can find the video online at

IWCF’s “Unconscious Bias for Conscious Philanthropists” Workshop

Sponsored by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee

By Deb Eisinger, DEI Committee

“The workshop was thought-provoking and challenged me to seek out ways to experience and promote diversity so that inclusion isn’t an event, but a way of life.”
~ Response from a participant following the workshop

Nicole Patterson and Denise Carruzi of the IWCF Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, have created a live (and lively) interactive, virtual workshop for IWCF members who want to consider the personal and social impacts of unconscious bias, as well as the role of structural bias in our institutions, and new approaches for philanthropy. Participants also discussed IWCF’s new model for “Taking Action as Conscious Philanthropists” and identified one action they would commit to taking after the workshop. This was all done with compassion, humor, and information to provoke thoughtful discussion and insight. 

As one participant responded to her experience: 

“This material is deeply important at this time in our lives! The ideas and activities were presented so clearly that I felt engaged the whole time. We all need to wrap our heads around inequity in our country. This was very helpful!” 

Seventy-nine members have participated and 96% would recommend the workshop to other IWCF members (see the detailed analysis of participant feedback). Future workshops will be held in March and May of this year. 

As the DEI Committee updates these workshops, we continue to evolve the conscious culture of the organization and consider how diversity, inclusion, and social equity imperatives affect our work.

We hope to see you at a future workshop! 

Unconscious Bias Workshop 
March 29; 7-9:30 p.m.

Unconscious Bias Workshop 
May 6; 1-3:30 p.m.




IWCF Celebrates 20 Years

By Mikel Ward, VP Membership

Twenty years ago, a small group of women, inspired by the Washington Women’s Foundation’s concept of women’s large-scale, collective grant making, determined that together they could make a significant difference in our community as well. They dreamed of an organization whose mission was to educate women about the power of collaborative philanthropy.

2005 IWCF Board of Directors

The first meeting took place on September 12, 2001, just one day after the horrific attack on our nation. Thirty-four motivated women joined during that inaugural year. And the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation was born.

IWCF is currently a member of Philanos which began as a group of eight organizations around the country and was also modeled after the Washington Women’s Foundation. In 2009, Philanos gathered in Boise to celebrate the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation’s first million dollars in grantmaking. Today, IWCF is more than 400 strong and as we have grown, so has our ability to make a difference. We have invested more than $4.8 million dollars through both pooled-funds and Individual Grant Designations (IGD).

On September 12, 2021, we will gather for brunch at the Idaho Botanical Garden to celebrate our 20 years of collaborative philanthropy. Please mark your calendars; we hope to see you there!

English Garden | Idaho Botanical Garden

2021 Symposium is now the 2022 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 bi-annual symposium is an event our members, and many in the community, look forward to. The opportunity to gather, learn, and celebrate our mission and understand how our shared philanthropy can improve our community is valued by so many.

When our committee began planning for the September symposium last fall, we hoped things would be back to “normal” by now. There has been much progress made toward that end, but many questions remain. Can we host an event for 500 people? Should we? Are if yes, how? When faced with the choice of trying to meet our 2021 date or choosing to postpone, we considered many factors. These included potential venue restrictions, sponsor support, and formal and informal discussions with IWCF leadership and members. Thanks to the 93 respondents who provided valuable feedback in our membership survey, we were able to make a decision. The results indicated members preferred either an all in-person event (when safe to do so) or a postponement. The third and fourth choices were a hybrid or virtual event. These rankings reflect the importance for our attendees to gather in person, rather than virtually. In addition, it’s difficult to ask for sponsor support without knowing exactly what the parameters of a large gathering will be in September, and for some it’s too soon to support this type of an event.

Unfortunately, after much discussion, the symposium committee has determined that there are still barriers in place that make it difficult to produce an event with the outcomes we aspire to. So, although we won’t be meeting this fall, we will be working to put together a substantial agenda for our October 2022 Symposium. We have sponsors willing to extend their support for another year, and we have rescheduled our speaker and venue. We look forward to our celebration of women changemakers in philanthropy, and hope you will join us then!

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Molly Harder, symposium chair, at

Mark Your Calendars


Unconscious Bias Workshop 
March 29; 7-9:30 p.m.
via Zoom
Members Only


Unconscious Bias Workshop 
May 6; 1-3:30 p.m.
via Zoom
Members Only

Annual Meeting & Grants Presentation
Tuesday, May 11


IWCF 20th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, Sept. 12
Idaho Botanical Garden


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