Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation is a membership organization created to expand the number of women involved in philanthropy in Idaho and to commit its members’ resources to significantly impact the needs within the greater Treasure Valley.
IWCF was founded in 2001 to inspire women to become leaders in the area of philanthropy and to demonstrate the impact that pooled monies can have in bringing positive change to our communities. Anyone who is willing to commit to an annual membership contribution of $1,100 for three years may become a member of IWCF. Half of your membership contribution goes into a pooled fund; the other half you may designate directly to the nonprofit entity of your choice, in your name, and in increments of $250 or $500. The remaining $100 goes to administrative expenses such as postage, rent, etc. The entire amount is tax deductible.
The majority of IWCF’s workload is administered through a base of dedicated member volunteers who are supported by part-time office staff. Our aim is to keep the philanthropy dollars in the community and to be sustainable at the same time. We pride ourselves on keeping our operation costs very low. We try to do it as simply as possible and with much thought to financial responsibility.
The funds are managed by the Treasurer under direction and guidance of the Finance Committee and the Board. All accounts are insured through FDIC.
Our grants are focused in the Treasure Valley, including Ada, Canyon, Elmore, Owyhee, Boise and Valley counties. The founding members are from Treasure Valley, and are most familiar with charitable needs and trends in this area. Additionally, we are able to monitor the accountability of our grants closer to this base.
IWCF members commit only to making their annual contribution and to voting on the distribution of the pooled funds; however, there are many opportunities to be engaged including:
- Attending educational programs throughout the year focusing on the areas in the community to which IWCF makes grants, philanthropy and personal leadership development.
- Participating in social events to get to know other IWCF members and to introduce potential new members to the organization.
- Being an on-call volunteer to assist as needed with office-related projects.
- Serving on a committee which is welcomed and rewarding. Committees include:
o Education Committee: plans events on informed giving and our community’s charitable needs.
o Events Committee: coordinates logistics of IWCF events.
o Finance Committee: advises and plans for the organization’s financial stability and sustainability.
o Governance Committee: provides guidance to the Board to foster best management practices on an as-needed basis.
o Grants Committee: researches and nominates the nonprofit finalists for the pooled-fund grant ballot.
o Grants Assessment Committee: evaluates grant awardees’ project progress.
o Leadership Development Committee: slates the Board of Directors for election and helps members get involved in IWCF opportunities that match their interests and skill sets.
o Marketing & Communications Committee: develops strategies for increasing public awareness and keeping members informed.
o Media Production
o Membership Committee: plans activities for attracting new members and meeting the needs of current members.
o Symposium: plans the theme, program and logistics of the biennial symposium.
- Membership is $1,100 per year, and the entire amount is tax deductible.
- $500 is credited to the pooled-fund for the grants process.
- $500 is directed to the nonprofit of the member’s choosing either in a single donation of $500 or two donations of $250 each as Individual Grant Designations (IGD).
- $100 goes toward IWCF operating expenses
The collaborative giving concept leverages your membership contribution and those of other members to make a more significant impact, and the educational component of IWCF allows you to become a more informed charitable donor. Additionally, your knowledge of the community can be shared with other members. You can continue to give to your own personal interests with the $500 as your individual designation. This payment will be made for you, per your direction, to the organization(s) you designate as soon as you join or renew.
IWCF does not conduct fundraising events. We may seek underwriting/sponsorships from businesses or corporations for specific purposes. The organization’s grant funding comes strictly from membership contributions. Members have the opportunity to contribute to our endowment fund to provide for long-range sustainability of the organization.
While IWCF was initially formed as a group of women, we certainly do not discriminate against gender! Men are encouraged and welcome to join if they are committed to the goals and objectives of the organization.
IWCF membership is held by individual persons only and is non-transferable, regardless of the source of payment for any member’s annual dues (e.g., a person other than the registered member, an organization, or other entity making payment on behalf of the member). The individual member is the specific person who is identified as such in the completed member registration form. IWCF does not have an institutional or organization membership category.
Individual Grant Designations (IGDs)
Each member is requested to make their Individual Grant Designation (IGD) of $500 in a distribution of either two grants for $250 each or one grant for $500. IWCF will make contributions in each member’s name to those organizations qualified by the IRS as having 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, government entities such as schools, public libraries and park departments (as long as the grant furthers a public purpose), and religious organizations.
You may also designate to the IWCF Pooled Fund, Administrative Fund, or the Susan Smith Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation Endowment Fund.
To make sure we get your money back to the community quickly, members have until March 31 to make their IGDs. If you choose to make your IGD to the current year’s pooled fund, please make your designation by January 31. Individual grant designations not assigned by March 31 will be transferred to the pooled fund. This payment will be made for you, per your direction, to the organization(s) you designate as soon as you join or renew.
There are no geographic restriction to these individual grants.
IWCF members contribute dues each year to a pooled fund from which we collectively award grants to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and tax-exempt religious entities serving southwestern Idaho. The grants cycle begins in January and ends in May and is coordinated by the Grants Committee, open to all IWCF members. The committee researches proposals in five interest areas: cultural arts, education, environment, financial stability and health. After evaluations in each interest area, three to four proposals are selected for site visits, and projects are then narrowed down to two proposals for the member ballot. Ballots are then sent to the entire IWCF membership each spring for a vote on final funding decisions. The number of grants awarded and the total amount awarded depend on the size of IWCF’s pooled fund and the amounts sought by the finalist proposals.
Members may access an online ballot through their personal email or our Members Only website. Hard copy ballots are also available at Q & A events during the voting period.
Yes, votes are confidential. Only office staff will have access to the names attached to voting ballots.
Once the individual membership fee is paid, the amount the member contributes to the pooled fund for a given year will be awarded in accordance with the majority membership vote process for pooled grants. Each member only has the ability to control the IGD portion of their membership fee, directing it as either one $500 gift or two gifts of $250.
All members of the Grants Committee are required to disclose relationships they have with community organizations so that the committee can make a best-practice, informed decision regarding the member’s level of involvement in grants selections.