From the President

We are excited to announce that nominations for Idaho Philanthropy Day are now open! This is your chance to recognize your favorite company or foundation, nonprofit, adult philanthropist and/or youth philanthropist. Click here to complete a nomination form, which takes about 10 minutes. Deadline for nominations is August 24.

This is the second year that we’ve partnered with the Idaho Nonprofit Center, Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation and the Idaho Association of Fundraising Professionals on Idaho Philanthropy Day and we are looking forward to three terrific events! We’ll be celebrating Idaho Philanthropy Day in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello in early November.

Karen Bilowith

We’d also like to remind you to register soon for our Central Idaho Luncheon in Ketchum. Interest is high in this event and we may sell out before the RSVP deadline! Details are below.

We are thrilled that Alice Hennessey will be our keynote speaker. Alice was on the Idaho Community Foundation Steering Committee that helped get us established back in 1988 and she has been our President and CEO twice. Alice’s steady leadership and influence are an important reason why we’ve been so successful in our 30-year history and we are honored to have her as our speaker.

We are also proud to recognize grants panelist, Legacy Society member and former board director Tricia Swartling as our Friend of the Foundation. We look forward to hearing from the Environmental Resource Center, Swiftsure Ranch and The Community Library as our On the Spot Grant presenters.

Hope you can join us and best wishes for the rest of the summer!

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Register now for Central Idaho Luncheon – seats are going quickly!

The ICF 30: Ford and Jean Elsaesser

Bistline Fund awards nearly $87K in grants for arts in southeast Idaho

Bonner County Fund for Arts Enhancement awards over $28K

Upcoming Deadlines

Upcoming Events

Newly Created Funds


New Legacy Society

Members of the ICF Legacy Society are generous donors who will continue to support Idaho communities through their estate planning after they’ve passed away. We sincerely thank them for enriching the quality of life throughout Idaho.

Click here for more information.

This month we welcome Tim Hamilton of Ketchum.

ICF's New and Renewing Members July 2018

New Member | Renewing Member

Sponsor ($250-$499)
Richard and Pamela Tucker, Hailey

Sustainer ($100-$249)          
Robert Barclay, Boise
Ron and Susan Rope, Idaho Falls

Supporter ($50-$99)
Laura Pickard, Ashton

Friend ($25-$49)
Scarlet Kelso, Dalton Gardens


Memorials and Honors

The Idaho Community Foundation welcomes gifts sent as memorials or in honor of individuals on their birthdays, anniversaries, retirement, or other special occasions. Such gifts may be added to any individual fund in the Foundation or to the Idaho Community Foundation Unrestricted Trust Fund.

The following gifts were received July 1, 2018 through July 31, 2018:

In Memory of Michael Harris
Idaho Youth Education Recycling Partnership

In Memory of Gary Mathiesen
Jennifer Frank

In Memory of Raymond Merryman
Idaho Youth Education Recycling Partnership

In Memory of Dean Rogers
Harvey and Myrna Bickett

In Memory of J. Richard Rogers
Diane DeChambeau
Bethine Kenworthy
Dan and Elizabeth Johnson
Judith Marineau
John and Patsy Richards
David and Marilyn Williams
Robert and Mary Kay Yuditsky

In Honor of Jeff and Maija Baehr
Andrew and Victoria Benoit
Richard and Lauren Maddox
Allison Moran

In Honor of Sydney Willenbring
Felicia Ottley
Ryan Sandu

Michelle Walker


Register now for Central Idaho Luncheon – seats are going quickly!

Our annual Central Idaho Luncheon is filling quickly and we may sell out! The event will be held on Wednesday, August 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Limelight Hotel Ketchum. Click to RSVP.

In honor of our 30th Anniversary, our keynote speaker is former two-time ICF President and CEO Alice Hennessey, who was on the Steering Committee that helped establish the Idaho Community Foundation in 1988.


Tricia Swartling will receive the Friend of the Foundation award. Tricia is a former ICF Board Director and currently represents Blaine County on our Regional Grant Panel. She is also a member of our Legacy Society, a group of people who will give to the Idaho Community Foundation through their estate.

Three local nonprofits who have been receiving grants from us for nearly all of our 30-year history will give brief On the Spot Grant presentations about their work in the Wood River Valley – Environmental Resource Center, Swiftsure Ranch and The Community Library.

Click for more information or to register.

The ICF 30: Ford and Jean Elsaesser

As a young man about to graduate from the University of Idaho School of Law, Ford Elsaesser was starting to get anxious about his job prospects. One of his classes was taught by a lawyer with a practice in Priest River and Ford boldly asked him if he might be willing to take Ford on as an associate.

The lawyer agreed on a few conditions, including that Ford had to pass muster with the lawyer’s wife, her mother, her father (who were all involved with the practice) and the office employees. He met with their approval and he and his wife Jean moved up there in December 1977.

Ford & Jean Elsaesser 

“It was a total fluke,” Ford recalls with a laugh. “But we never looked at moving anywhere else. We live in an idyllic spot. The town is great and it was a wonderful place for our kids to grow up.”

In the four decades they’ve lived in Priest River, Ford and Jean have been involved in numerous community organizations and they’ve both served on the ICF Board of Directors.

Ford served during our early days, beginning in 1997 after being invited by ICF Founding Donor Harry Magnuson of Wallace and David Slaughter, an ICF Board Director from Priest River.

Longtime ICF supporter and former Board Director Richard Hutter of Sandpoint suggested Jean for a position on the ICF Board and she served a nine-year term, finishing her service in 2017.

Ford recalled his time on the board as a period when ICF was working hard to establish itself throughout the state and build a critical mass of charitable funds to support Idaho nonprofits. When Jean joined years later, the foundation was well established and was focusing on helping small rural communities through the Together Idaho community affiliate program.

Together Idaho helped local residents establish an endowment funds to benefit their community. Participating communities have their own advisory boards that make local grantmaking decisions. Today, there are Together Idaho community affiliates in Priest River, Grangeville and Lemhi County.

Priest River already had a “Helping Our Hometown” annual gala that raised money to support projects and programs in the town. But Jean saw that they could do so much more with an endowment. 

“Having an endowment and becoming the Priest River Community Foundation made a big difference,” Jean said. “People love being part of our community and knowing that their support will last forever.”

Ford and Jean have been married for 45 years and have three children and two grandchildren. Ford is still practicing law and their daughter Katie has joined the practice. He also teaches at the University of Idaho School of Law and St. John’s University in Queens, NY. He received the University of Idaho Hall of Fame Award in 2016, which honors alumni who have achieved national or international distinction by their accomplishments and leadership.

Jean is a CPA and sits on the West Bonner Library Board and is a member of Friends of the Library. She is also on the Priest River Community Foundation Board and is a member of the Priest River Chamber of Commerce.

The ICF 30 is a special series recognizing those who contributed to the success of the Idaho Community Foundation in our first 30 years. To see more of the stories, click here.

Bistline Fund awards nearly $87K in grants for arts in southeast Idaho

The F.M. and Anne G. and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation is providing nearly $87,000 in grants to arts-focused nonprofits in southeast Idaho.

The Bistline Fund, which became an ICF fund in 2011, gives grants twice a year. Previously it was the F.M. and Anne G. and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation, a private foundation founded in 1999 by Pocatello philanthropist Beverly Bistline and named in honor of her parents.

The Comedy Project Pocatello The Comedy Project in Pocatello received a $10,000 grant to purchase a new sound system

Recipients of the spring grant cycle are:

American Falls Theatre Guild – $5,000 toward the purchase of a new roof.

Blackfoot Performing Arts Center – $5,000 to purchase LED stage lights.

Blackfoot School District #55 – $6,819 to buy student performance chairs and storage carts for the Blackfoot High School Band.

Empower Humanity (Pocatello) – $3,000 to provide a four-week Summer Theatre Program to up to 80 children in the region.

Empower Humanity (Pocatello) – $9,959 to purchase sound equipment to provide quality tools for students and instructors for rehearsals and performances.

Grace High School – $2,500 to buy single lens reflex Nikon cameras.

Idaho Falls Arts Council, Inc. – $5,000 to support transportation, staffing, and supplies for field trips to ARTitorium on Broadway from schools in southeast Idaho that otherwise would not be able to visit.

Idaho State University (Pocatello) – $2,092 to offer a week-long music instruction to pre-college pianists and string players.

Idaho State University (Pocatello) – $10,000 to secure the services of Bill Evans, internationally recognized dance educator, choreographer and dancer to create and/or re-stage a choreographic work and provide master classes and community workshops as part of a guest artist residency.

Idaho State-Civic Symphony Association, Inc. (Pocatello) – $5,000 to support the Painted Violin project, a collaborative environment where the visual arts and musical arts will combine to celebrate Idaho.

Malad Elementary School – $2,200 to purchase metallophones, drums, mallets and music for the school’s music program.

North Gem Education Foundation (Bancroft) – $1,357 to enhance the music program in grades 1-3 by providing ukuleles for music class.

Opera Idaho (Boise) – $5,250 to bring opera performances to elementary/middle schools in Bannock, Bingham and Franklin counties over a week-long period in March 2019.

Pocatello Art Center – $2,700 to support the Children's Art Yard and music for the Sagebrush Art Festival.

Snake River Education Foundation (Blackfoot) – $3,500 to support a community-wide performance by Evie Claire in fall 2018.

Snake River New Horizons Band (Pocatello) – $5,615 to purchase a baritone saxophone, related equipment and music.

The Cabin (Boise) – $2,000 to provide underwriting support for the Cabin Writing Camp for youth of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes living on the Fort Hall Reservation.

The Comedy Project, Inc. (Pocatello) – $10,000 to purchase a new sound system.

Bonner County Fund for Arts Enhancement awards over $28K

The Bonner County Fund for Arts Enhancement is for projects that demonstrate how the arts encourage creative and critical thinking, stimulate economic vitality and enhance the quality of life in a community. It awarded $28,250 to five organizations including:

Academy of Northwest Writers and Publishers – $4,000 to host Montana Shakespeare in the Parks in Sandpoint.

Arts Alliance, dba Creations for Sandpoint – $750 to provide low-income local children with art class scholarships, and partner with Team Autism 24/7 to teach local children with special needs in the Discovery Through Art class.

The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint received $6,000 to expand its Music Matters! program.

Festival at Sandpoint, Inc. – $10,000 to support programs including the 5th Grade Outreach Program, Instrument Assistance Program, Youth Strings Orchestra, Family Concert, scholarships, and the first-ever Summer Music Camp.

Music Conservatory of Sandpoint – $6,000 to expand the Music Matters! after-school outreach and summer camps to accommodate area students into ensemble groups (orchestra & choir), one children’s opera and musical theater.

Pend Oreille Arts Council, Ovations – $7,500 to support the Ovations Performing Arts and Educational Outreach program.

Upcoming Deadlines

Idaho Future Fund – Southwest
The Idaho Future Fund is accepting applications from southwest Idaho for preschool scholarships, charter schools, public schools and public school libraries, and supplemental educational programs. The grant cycle is open for the southwestern Idaho counties of Ada, Adams, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington. A total of $100,000 will be distributed in southwest Idaho.

For more information, including eligibility and application, click here and scroll to Idaho Future Fund. Deadline for submission is Aug. 15.

Southwest Region Grant Cycle
ICF’s Southwest Region Grant Cycle, which provides grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofits, is now open for the counties of Ada, Adams, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington.

For more information, including eligibility and application, click here. Deadline for submission is Aug. 15.

Ifft Foundation Fund – Southeast

The Ifft Foundation Fund in ICF is seeking grant proposals for projects that will provide landscaping, beautification and public recreation in southeast Idaho.

Grant requests will be considered from Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power counties.

Deadline to apply is Aug. 15.  For more information or to apply, click here and scroll to Ifft Foundation Fund.

Shelton Fund – Valley County projects
The Perc H. Shelton and Gladys A. Pospisil Shelton Foundation Advised Fund in ICF is currently accepting grant applications for projects that benefit Valley County. Organizations do not have to be based in Valley County.

Deadline to apply is September 1. For more information or to apply, visit our homepage, email Community Impact Assistant Lisa Bearg or call (208) 342-3535.

North Idaho Action Fund – Bonner and Boundary counties
The North Idaho Action Fund, a grant cycle that supports support organizations and projects working to improve the accessibility and quality of behavioral health programs in Bonner and Boundary counties, is now open. Grants of $5,000 to $30,000 are available.

For more information, including eligibility and application, click here and scroll to North Idaho Action Fund. Deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

Upcoming Events

ICF Annual Luncheons
Save the dates for our Annual Luncheons and 30th Anniversary Celebration – more details to come!

  • Eastern Idaho Annual Luncheon – Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center. Keynote speaker: Russ Stoddard, President and Founder of Oliver Russell and author of “Rise Up – How to Build a Socially Conscious Business.”
  • 30th Anniversary Celebration – Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 5-7 p.m. at JUMP in Boise.

Newly Created Funds

Rotary Club of Sandpoint Fund (Designated) – Created by the Rotary Club of Sandpoint to forever support its charitable activities.

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