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January 2021
From the President
From the President

For me, and I’m sure for many of you, the new year is always a time of reflection on the past and of hope for the future. Regardless of where you live, your occupation or your family composition, 2020 challenged and stressed all of us. I’m sure I can safely say – without exception – that we are all happy to put it behind us.

Unfortunately, 2021 has also gotten off to a painful start, highlighting deep divisions in our union. One of the ideas that took root with me in 2020 and that I am carrying forward into 2021 is that philanthropy unites us.

When COVID-19 came, Idaho’s nonprofit and community organizations responded quickly and compassionately. Our partners at Idaho Nonprofit Center and United Way of Treasure Valley immediately joined us in establishing the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho. Foundations and corporations from Idaho and the Pacific Northwest – especially Micron Foundation and Micron’s Boise employees, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Wells Fargo and Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health – saw that giving collectively would more effectively support communities than giving individually.

All of those things happened with a rapidity that still touches my heart and takes my breath away when I reflect on them. And then came the long haul for our amazing ICF Board and Staff, who kept the wheels on the bus and the bus on the road despite the potholes and the road blocks.

Our Donor Advised fundholders saw vulnerable, hurting people in their communities and responded generously. Our Rapid Response grant panels took time away from their work and families every week to review dozens of grant applications and make funding recommendations based on their in-depth, local knowledge of where the needs were.

Donors who had never heard of the Idaho Community Foundation before the pandemic saw the impact of collective giving and joined us.

And it didn’t just happen in the early days of the crisis. The generosity continued throughout 2020. By the end of the year, nearly $1.9 million had been sent to community organizations throughout Idaho helping those in need.

To all of you who are part of our network of collective philanthropy – we thank you. Your commitment to ICF, to your local communities and to your belief in philanthropy as a unifying force is an inspiration.

We created a 3-minute summary of what we were able to accomplish because of your efforts and generosity. It’s our way of thanking you and we hope you’ll watch it: www.idahocf.org/goodbye2020.

With gratitude for all you do,

COVID Grants
COVID-19 Fund for Idaho awards nearly $1.9 million since April

An additional $527,000 from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho will go to community organizations throughout the state to help low-income individuals and families. 

Since the pandemic began, nearly $1.9 million has been awarded, with most of the grants going out between April and June. Seeing the surge in COVID-19 cases at the end of 2020, the statewide Steering Committee released additional grants to help Idaho’s vulnerable populations – those experiencing homelessness or housing instability, food insecurity and/or domestic violence, and people in need of physical or mental healthcare, and childcare/early education.

Recipients were selected after analysis of ongoing needs. The Steering Committee is comprised of community leaders from throughout the state and final approval came from the Idaho Community Foundation Board Executive Committee.

See the full list of grantees here. The most recent grantees are:

East Idaho
Childcare/early education – $20,000 each
United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County (Bonneville County)
United Way of Southeastern Idaho (Bannock County)

Domestic Violence – $5,415 each
Bingham Crisis Center (Bingham County)
Family Services Alliance of SE Idaho Inc. (Bannock County)
Lemhi County Crisis Intervention/Mahoney House (Lemhi County)

Food and Basic Needs
Shelley Area Senior Citizens Inc. (Bingham County) $2,000
Southeast ID Community Action Agency (Bannock County) $8,000

Health – NAMI Idaho (Bannock County) $16,000

Housing and Assistance – $14,285 each
Aid for Friends (Bannock County)
CLUB, Inc. (Bonneville County)

North Idaho
Childcare/early education – United Way of North Idaho (Kootenai County) $20,000

Domestic Violence – $5,415 each
Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (Latah County)
Priest River Ministries-Advocates for Women (Bonner County)
Safe Passages (Kootenai County)

Food and Basic Needs – $2,000 each
Spirit Lake Senior Center (Kootenai County)
Valley Meals on Wheels (Nez Perce County)

Health – $16,000 each
NAMI CdA (Kootenai County)
NAMI Far North, Inc. (Bonner County)

Housing and Assistance – $14,285 each
Latah Recovery Community Center, Inc. (Latah County)
Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho (Kootenai County)

South Central Idaho
Childcare/early education – United Way of South Central Idaho (Twin Falls County) $20,000

Domestic Violence – $5,415 each
Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence (Blaine County)
Voices Against Violence (Twin Falls County)

Food and Basic Needs
Blaine County Seniors’ Council (Blaine County) $2,000
Twin Falls Senior Citizen’s Federation Inc. (Twin Falls County) $8,000

Health – NAMI Wood River Valley (Blaine County) $16,000

Housing and Assistance – South Central Community Action Partnership (Twin Falls County) $14,285

Southwest Idaho
Childcare/early education – United Way of Treasure Valley (Ada County) $20,000

Domestic Violence – $5,415 each
Advocates Against Family Violence (Canyon County)
Faces of Hope Victim Center (Ada County)
ROSE Advocates (multiple counties)
Women’s and Children’s Alliance (Ada County)

Food and Basic Needs
Metro Meals on Wheels (Ada County) $8,000
New Plymouth Senior Citizens (Payette County) $2,000
Saint Alphonsus Nampa Health Foundation/Nampa Meals on Wheels (Canyon County) $8,000

Health – NAMI Treasure Valley (Ada County) $16,000

Housing and Assistance – $14,285 each
CATCH (Ada County)
The Salvation Army Nampa Corps (Canyon County)

In addition, these organizations received grants for their statewide work:
Idaho Association for Education of Young Children – $100,000
Idaho Foodbank – $6,000
Idaho Nonprofit Center – $14,500
Jannus - Suicide Hotline – $20,000

The COVID-19 Fund for Idaho received significant support from foundations, companies and individuals throughout Idaho. Lead Funding Partners are: Micron Foundation and Micron’s Boise team members, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Wells Fargo Foundation and Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

The partners in the effort are: Idaho Community Foundation, Idaho Nonprofit Center, United Way of Treasure Valley and United Ways throughout Idaho, including: Twin County United Way (Lewiston), United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County, United Way of Moscow/Latah County, United Way of North Idaho, United Way of South Central Idaho and United Way of Southeastern Idaho.

Dean Buffington
Dean Buffington passes at age 80

We were deeply saddened to learn that Dean Buffington passed away last month. Dean, a longtime Treasure Valley investment advisor, played several important roles for the Idaho Community Foundation, including helping his client Gladys Langroise create in 2000 what is still ICF’s largest Donor Advised Fund.

Dean served as an advisor to the Langroise fund for more than 15 years and said it helped him to understand the needs of Idahoans throughout the state.

In 2018 as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, we recognized Dean’s importance to the Idaho Community Foundation by awarding him the Friend of the Foundation award and including him in our ICF 30 series – 30 stories about people who played a crucial role in our development and success. Read the story.

ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith offered her condolences to Dean’s wife Judy, his two daughters and their families: “Dean was a wonderful man and took true joy in helping others. He always had a kind word and a good story. I will miss him.”

Gov. Brad Little also expressed his sadness about Dean’s passing in a public statement: “He was a wonderful person, great philanthropist, and a genuine family man. Dean’s extensive involvement in community organizations made him an admired figure across Idaho.” See the full statement.

Read Dean’s obituary. 

Philanthropy Team
Introducing ICF's Philanthropy Team

We are pleased to announce that Cara Nielsen has been promoted to Vice President, Philanthropy and Engagement, and will lead ICF’s newly formed Philanthropy Team – which was previously two teams, Asset Development and Community Impact.

Together, Cara and the Philanthropy Team will strategize and implement community leadership, grantmaking, engagement, donor services and development initiatives.

ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith said the creation of the Philanthropy Team and Cara’s promotion are a recognition of the community foundation’s increasing profile as a philanthropic leader in Idaho.

“Cara took a significant leadership role in working with our partners throughout the state on the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho,” Karen said. “Her efforts and those of her team meant that we were able to quickly distribute nearly $1.9 million in grants to organizations helping the most vulnerable Idahoans affected by the virus.”

In addition to Cara, the Philanthropy Team is:
Kris Kamann, Senior Philanthropic Advisor
Lisa Bearg, Philanthropic Advisor
Tina Murphy, Philanthropic Advisor, East
Kristi Scott, Philanthropic Advisor, North
Sarah Wissenbach, Philanthropic Services Assistant

Deadlines Bordered Newly Established Funds
Upcoming Deadlines New Funds

Financial Leadership webinar for nonprofits
Financial leadership during times like these requires an unflinching look at your organization’s fiscal state and a willingness to seek and share solutions across your whole organization. The Idaho Nonprofit Center, Clifton Larson Allen and ICF are offering a webinar to help.

When: January 26
Time: 10 a.m. MT / 9 a.m. PT
Where: Online via Zoom
Cost: Free
More information and registration

Holding true to your mission will guide you towards thoughtful, compassionate and effective decisions in the midst of hardship and disruption. Taking a whole organization approach to financial leadership ensures you bring your best thinking and the strength of collaboration to the task.

Forever Idaho North Grant Program
ICF’s Forever Idaho North Grant Program, which provides grants of up to $25,000, is now accepting applications from organizations that serve the following counties: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce and Shoshone.

Deadline for submission is February 15.
See revised Forever Idaho Grant Program Guidelines
See eligibility and application

Special opportunity – Forever Idaho webinar!
We’ve made important changes to our Forever Idaho regional grant program, so please join us for a special presentation about the changes and to learn more about our Areas of Impact. The webinar will provide opportunities for audience participation, so please bring your questions.

Wednesday, January 27
9 a.m. Pacific/10 a.m. Mountain
Registration opens soon.

Scholarship Opportunities
ICF has more than 70 scholarship opportunities for students seeking assistance with the cost of higher education.

Information and applications for ICF scholarships is here. For questions, email Sarah Wissenbach or call (208) 342-3535 ext. 19. Application deadlines vary, but most are due by March 15.

New deadline for Idaho Future Fund
The deadline for ALL applications to the Idaho Future Fund is now March 1. This change will streamline the process for grantees and shorten the time between deadline, decision and award.

The Idaho Future Fund support gaps in educational programs from preschool through 12th-grade.  View the guidelines.

Ifft Foundation Fund
The Ifft Foundation Fund in ICF is seeking grant requests for projects that will provide landscaping, beautification and public recreation in southeast Idaho. Grant requests will only be considered from the following counties: Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power.

See eligibility and application information. Deadline for submission is March 15.


Cindy and Steve Carr Family Fund (Donor Advised) – Created by Cindy and Steve Carr of Idaho Falls to support local charities and causes.

Deluca Family Fund (Donor Advised) – This fund was created by Dr. Francis and Paula DeLuca to support charities and causes close to their hearts.

George, Brack and Sam Hale Brothers Fund for Hunger and Blindness (Designated) – Created through the estate of Brack Hale of Ketchum to support the fight against hunger in Idaho and blindness.  Distributions from the fund will benefit the Blaine County Hunger Coalition, the Idaho Foodbank, and Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah.

Hamilton Family Fund (Donor Advised) – Created by Tim and Sue Hamilton of Ketchum to support local charities and causes close to their hearts.

Joybelle Scott College Scholarship Fund (Scholarship) – Created by Claire and Dow Scott to celebrate the life of Joybelle Scott. A university education transformed Joybelle’s life, enriching the lives of her four children and nine grandchildren. It is their sincere hope that the fund inspires and transforms the lives of young people from Orofino, enriching their lives and the lives of people around them.

Michael Bonar Memorial Fund (Donor Advised) – Created by Scott and Amy Bonar of Meridian to remember and honor their son, Michael Bonar, and to support the organizations close to their hearts.

Stuart and Frances Lange Fund (Donor Advised) – Created by Stuart and Frances Lange of Swan Valley to support local charities and causes close to their hearts.

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Idaho Community Foundation
210 West State Street  •  Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.342.3535  |  Email: info@idahocf.org