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Background: Picture of Cara - Caption: Thank you, Cara!

It is with both a sense of pride and one of loss that we announce that Cara Nielsen, the Idaho Community Foundation’s Vice President for Philanthropy and Impact, has accepted a job as President of the Kootenai Health Foundation in north Idaho. Her last day is July 6.

Cara started at the Idaho Community Foundation in October 2019, just months before the COVID pandemic struck Idaho, plunging many of the state’s nonprofits into crisis as they struggled to help thousands of people who lost their jobs, homes, social connections and more.

“Almost immediately we started hearing from our grantees throughout the state that they were struggling to meet the needs of dozens or in some cases hundreds of new clients – people who had never needed help before,” Cara recalled.

Together with the Idaho Nonprofit Center, United Way of Treasure Valley and United Ways throughout Idaho, the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho was created at ICF to accept donations from individuals, families, businesses and corporations from every corner of the state and the country. In all, nearly $2.2 million was distributed to help those most in need.

“It was without a doubt the biggest challenge of my professional career, but I am enormously proud of what we did as a staff and as a partnership. It was a true team effort,” said Cara, who previously spent six years at Boise State University in development and donor relations.

For now, ICF President and CEO Steve Burns will take on Cara’s job duties at the community foundation while he and the Board of Directors prepare to search for her replacement.

Steve, who has worked with Cara since he took the helm in January, said he was thankful for Cara’s work at the community foundation.

“In addition to her significant work with the COVID Fund, Cara grew and strengthened our Regional Councils and our development, donor relations and communication departments,” he said. “I’m sure she will be very successful in her next venture, and I wish her the best.”

ICF Board Chair Candi Allphin said Cara’s impact at ICF will be felt for many years. “She is a highly effective philanthropic leader and has a deep love for Idaho and all of us who live here. On behalf of the ICF Board of Directors, I thank her for her work at the Idaho Community Foundation.”
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Idaho Community Foundation
210 West State Street  •  Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.342.3535  |  Email: info@idahocf.org