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October 2020
Guest Column
From Heidi Rogers

Greetings everyone and happy fall to all of you! ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith has given me the reins of her President’s Letter this month because I wanted to share the news about a partnership between two community organizations that are close to my heart – the Idaho Community Foundation and the Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber.

Both the Chamber and ICF play an important role in northern Idaho and connecting the two was a natural fit.

Therefore, I’m excited to announce that ICF is the Speaker Sponsor for the Chamber’s 108th Annual Meeting and Banquet! It’s the chamber’s annual celebration of its successes of the past year and a look to the challenges of the future.

As Speaker Sponsor, ICF advised, recommended and secured the keynote speaker, and we have a great one! Park Price of Idaho Falls will fill that role. He’s Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank of Idaho, a longtime businessman and community leader in eastern Idaho, and an ICF VIP.

Park championed the creation of the Idaho Community Foundation in the 1980s and sat on the very first Board of Directors, later becoming the Board Chair. You can read more about his important role in ICF’s history in the ICF 30 Profile Series.

This year’s Chamber event will also feature the Ed Abbott Volunteer of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Committee of the Year awards and three new awards – Nonprofit of the Year, Large Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year.

The in-person event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Click for more information and to register.

Community celebrations like this one are so important and ICF will share more information about the event as it gets closer.

Best wishes, good health and cheers to all of you!

Heidi Rogers

Heidi Rogers is CEO of Northwest Council for Computer Education, Chair of the Board of the Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber and a Board Director at the Idaho Community Foundation.

Idaho nears full participation in 2020 Census

As of last week, 99.9% of Idaho households have completed the 2020 Census, putting us at the top of a list that also includes Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont and West Virginia along with the territory of Puerto Rico.

ICF, in partnership with the Northwest Area Foundation and Cambia Health Foundation, granted $110,000 to 11 community organizations throughout Idaho to help reach people in the hard-to-count categories, including people who live in rural areas, those with limited English proficiency, people experiencing homelessness and more

“Full participation and accurate census data are essential,” said Cara Nielsen, ICF’s Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer. “Programs for children and seniors, money for highway projects and more can all be affected if we don’t have a complete count.”

One of the grantees was Jannus, which received $20,000 for outreach efforts throughout the state.

Kate Udall in Jannus’ English Language Center said the COVID-19 pandemic meant planned outreach efforts had to change to work in virtual and socially distanced settings.

They coordinated multi-lingual phone campaigns in Dari, Ukranian, Swahili, Karen, Tigrinya, Russian, Somali, Farsi, Amharic, Nepali, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, recorded videos in those languages and used digital outreach including blog posts, social media and news media to get the word out about the census.

Because of Jannus’ efforts, more than 1,000 people from hard-to-count communities received census information.

Jannus Economic Opportunity Project Manager Moses Mukengezi contacted two churches with large African congregations and provided step-by-step instructions on how to complete the census in English, Swahili and Kinyarwandan by phone and video chat.

Jenny Hay, a Jannus Economic Opportunity Project Manager said one of her contacts was a single mother with six children and two jobs who didn’t realize she had received census information.

“While cooking dinner for her family, we worked together and were able to submit her family’s census data,” Jenny said. “She thanked me and said without my support her family most likely would not have been counted.”

Christine Tiddens, director of the Jannus program Idaho Voices for Children, said making sure that children are counted is important.

“If we get it wrong in 2020, today’s preschoolers will lose needed resources for a decade – the majority of their childhood,” she said. “Idaho kids and babies deserve to be counted in the census, and we are a voice for those children at risk of being left out and left behind.”

Other ICF Census grantees were:
Bannock County Complete Count
Catholic Charities
Community Council of Idaho
I Have a Dream Foundation
Idaho Commission on Libraries
Latah Complete Count
Madison Complete Count
Nez Perce Tribe
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
Teton County

A New Kind of Project: Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative

Last February in 2019, a new kind of partnership imagined a revolutionary initiative. With funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, three regional community foundations — Idaho Community FoundationSeattle Foundation and Oregon Community Foundation — came together with the national Land Trust Alliance to launch the Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative, which seeks to transform how we conserve land in this region as the climate changes. 

From Indigenous cultural homelands to farming and recreation, from clean air and clean water to diverse wildlife, and from quality of life to economy, the Pacific Northwest landscape and outdoor spaces are foundational to this region’s identity — and climate science has shown they’re under unprecedented threat. In response, the Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative uniquely supports local land trusts, and the communities they serve, to identify and protect thousands of acres of climate-resilient natural lands across Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Based on scientific analysis, these are landscape-scale natural places predicted to help native plants and animals withstand the accelerating impacts of climate change.

“Donor after donor has been so excited about this, responding that they’ve been waiting for years for this kind of high-level partnership to happen,” said Cara Nielsen, chief strategy and engagement officer for the Idaho Community Foundation. “And the other big positive response from donors has been on engaging in this work across a three-state area, because climate challenges don’t end at state borders.”

In its first round of grantmaking, the Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative fully funded six projects, and is working to fund eight more. These projects link natural resilience (like acquiring identified climate-resilient lands) with community resilience (like strengthening access to clean water, reducing risk of flooding and advancing social equity in communities disproportionately impacted by a changing climate). Funds also go to capacity-building, in recognition of that as elemental to effectively carrying out missions. The initiative’s second round of grantmaking opens this fall.

“From a regional impact perspective, it’s been an incredible opportunity for the three community foundations to leverage support from a national funder,” said Cara, “and to bring all of our donors on this journey together.”

Aid for Friends Portneuf Greenway
Nearly $228K awarded through Forever Idaho East grant cycle Ifft Foundation Fund grants almost $49,000 in southeast Idaho

ICF’s Eastern Regional Council has awarded nearly $228,000 in grants to 59 community organizations in Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Bonneville, Butte, Caribou, Custer, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, Oneida, Power and Teton counties from our Forever Idaho East Fund.

There are some changes to the Forever Idaho grant program this year. 

The first is that grantees can use their funding for any charitable purpose, a type of grantmaking known as trust-based philanthropy. 

The second is that the regional council, which reviews grant applications and recommends which organizations should receive funding, is focused on grantmaking in ICF’s Areas of Impact – family homelessness, mental and physical health, educational opportunities, and access to services. Grants in other areas will be considered.

Third, the regional council is trying to fully fund grant applications. Of the 59 grantees in this cycle, 55 received full funding. 

“We want our grantees to be successful and we know that fully funding grant requests and providing them the flexibility to use the grant for their greatest needs are two great ways to ensure that success,” said Cara Nielsen, ICF’s Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer.

Forever Idaho East grantees are:

Ada County
Camp Rainbow Gold, Inc. – $2,000 to create and implement new virtual summer camp sessions for all of Idaho’s children diagnosed with cancer, their siblings and entire family.

Bannock County
Aid For Friends, Inc. – $5,000 to augment equipment and supplies required for a “mini-laundry mat” at the new homeless shelter. 

Greater Pocatello Senior Citizens – $5,000 to support the Senior Activity Center Nutrition Program, which provided over 1,900 curbside meals in May 2020.

Health West, Inc. – $5,000 to distribute 1,000 Sunshine Boxes to individuals feeling depressed and having suicidal tendencies in southeast Idaho.

My World Discovery Museum, Inc. – $3,750 to help with start-up costs for a new hands-on Discovery Museum.

Salvation Army Pocatello Corps – $5,000 to repair the kitchen facilities for the Salvation Army soup kitchen in Pocatello.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Holy Spirit Conference – $5,000 to provide ADA accessibility.

Southeastern Idaho Council of Governments, Inc – $4,000 to purchase a trailer to store and transport equipment for the Regional Safe Routes to School initiative and bike safety programs in a seven-county region.

Bear Lake County
Bear Lake School District 33 – $5,000 to develop a classroom space in the middle school and purchase the necessary equipment needed to implement a home economics class.

Bingham County
Bingham Crisis Center – $5,000 to provide additional heating options for the newly renovated emergency shelter.

Bingham School District #55 – $3,306 to provide specialty lighting options in the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center.

Lee Pesky Learning Center – $5,000 to provide families of PreK students in Shelley with early literacy kits and parent engagement events to improve early reading, numeracy and school readiness.

Bonneville County
American Red Cross of Idaho and Montana – $5,000 to ensure that households are safe in case of a home fire, which is the number one disaster to which the Red Cross of Greater Idaho responds.

Bridgewater Elementary School – $5,000 to expand a library project targeting third- and fourth-grade students who need assistance in developing competencies in reading.

Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council – $5,000 to provide girls in the region with early and positive exposure to STEM, encouraging them to pursue STEM in college and careers.

Idaho Diaper Bank Inc – $5,000 to purchase diapers and wipes for families and distribute through a network of agencies serving low-income households in the region.

Idaho Falls Arts Council – $5,000 to support staffing, supplies and transportation for educational programming at ARTitorium on Broadway.

Make-A-Wish Idaho – $5,000 to fund the wishes of children in the region diagnosed with a critical illness.

New Day Lutheran Church, Inc. – $5,000 to help feed children and youth in Bonneville County over the summer.

Regional Council for Christian Ministry – $4,000 to purchase an impact-resistant, waterproof shed for storing community donations.

Salvation Army Idaho Falls Corps – $5,000 to provide school clothing, shoes and school supplies for school aged children and provide new winter coats, hats and gloves for individuals before winter.

Senior Citizens’ Community Center, Inc. – $1,759 to purchase Meals on Wheels Companion Carriers.

Shepherd’s Inn Corporation – $5,000 to continue to provide responsive, individualized supportive counseling and education to pregnant and parenting youth and young adults in the community, and provide outreach to alternative high schools where there are pregnant and parenting students.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Inc. – $5,000 to purchase materials and bedding to build and deliver twin beds, complete with frames, mattress, sheets, pillows and blankets for children age 3-17 in the region who need them.

The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho – $4,302 to provide hands-on art lessons to K-6 grade classrooms in rural schools in the region including Ririe, Arco, Dubois and Howe and offset the cost of art instructors, art supplies and transportation.

Butte County
Butte County School District – $5,000 to provide the biology class opportunities for hands-on learning in a laboratory environment.

Caribou County
Caribou County Community Orchestra – $3,000 to purchase percussion equipment, cases and accessories.

Grace High School – $2,500 to purchase an aluminium bleacher podium that meets safety standards.

North Gem School District #149 Education Foundation, Inc – $5,000 to purchase computer equipment and accessories for the middle school, and musical equipment and accessories for the high school.

Custer County
Heart of Idaho Animal Sanctuary – $1,300 to make and install a sign to clearly mark the sanctuary entrance from the road and to comply with legal requirements to post the physical address.

Franklin County
Franklin County Healthcare Foundation – $5,000 to purchase communication boards for patient rooms in the hospital and emergency department. 

Franklin County Reading Association – $4,000 to purchase books for the developmental preschool, Headstart, Title 1, special education and alternative high school classes.

Larsen-Saint Public Library – $3,034 to purchase tablets, apps and more for digital learning stations.

Jefferson County
Giving Cupboard – $5,000 to operate a mobile pantry to provide food to households in need in the outlying areas of Jefferson County, where food insecurity rates are high.

Seventh Judicial District CASA Program – $3,500 to provide a CASA volunteer and attorney to represent the abused, neglected and abandoned children in Jefferson, Madison and Fremont counties.

Lemhi County
Lemhi’s After School Promise – $3,650 to purchase a storage shed.

Salmon Valley Stewardship – $4,950 to provide outdoor education programs for youth during the summer and provide community pollinator educational events for adults.

Steele Memorial Benefit Association – $5,000 to provide training to clinical employees.

Madison County
Idaho Foodbank Warehouse, Inc. – $5,000 to support the Mobile Pantry program in the region, which provides hunger relief in rural and underserved communities.

Kershaw Intermediate School – $4,800 to provide hands-on classes in 3D designing, engineering and printing.

Madison Library District – $730 to purchase 3D printers and filament to be used for teen and youth programming and STEM activities.

Madison School District #321 – $2,000 to provide books for preschool and kindergarten children to borrow from the South Fork Elementary library.

University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. – $5,000 to decrease the suicide rate in the region through a multi-faceted approach that will allow people to engage in education and training at their own level of interest and need.

Oneida County
Malad Elementary School Special Education – $2,750 to purchase an interactive panel to provide educational services for students with disabilities.

Malad Elementary School Music Program – $1,600 to purchase instruments and music.

Malad High School Automotive Department – $3,000 to purchase site licenses for interactive software for use in teaching automotive repair.

Malad Middle School – $1,100 to purchase a defibrillator to ensure emergency health problems can be handled without waiting for EMTs.

Malad Middle School – $1,400 to purchase manipulatives, games and other aids for teaching math and problem-solving skills to students with special needs; and purchase science supplies and equipment for all science classes.

Nell J. Redfield Memorial Hospital – $2,000 to replace the concrete flooring in the enclosed patio of Oneida County Hospital so that the patio can be used by the residents.

Oneida County Library – $4,920 to buy computers for adult patrons to file unemployment, job search, write and print resumes and more.

Oneida County Relic Preservation and Historical Society – $1,000 for exterior improvements at the museum.

Sixth Judicial District CASA Program – $4,330 to provide a volunteer advocate to serve children in child protection cases.

Power County
American Falls School District – $3,250 to provide ukuleles and classroom elementary instruments to at William Thomas Middle School.

Idaho Public Television – $2,000 to provide kindergarten readiness kits for families in Power County.

Teton County
Education Foundation of Teton Valley – $3,760 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Teton High School and Rendezvous Upper Elementary School.

HAPI Trails Horse Adoption Program, Inc. – $3,000 to build a permanent facility to provide emergency care of horses, increase capacity and run Equine Assisted Therapy all year.

Teton Valley Mental Health Coalition – $4,000 to supplement the Subsidized Counseling Program, which provides six free mental health counseling sessions for any Teton Valley resident experiencing a mental health crisis.

Teton Valley Trails and Pathways – $3,000 to complete phase three of the Teton Creek Corridor Pathway, a greenbelt style recreation trail for non-motorized use.


The Ifft Foundation Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation has selected five grant requests totaling nearly $49,000 for projects that will provide landscaping, beautification and public recreation in southeast Idaho. Grant recipients are:

Bannock County Historical Society, Inc – $10,000 to create an attractive, drought tolerant outdoor exhibit of native and heritage variety plants in front of the Museum, and create a walking brochure to describe the plants and any food or medicinal uses.

City of Pocatello - Parks and Recreation Department and Portneuf Valley Pride – $20,000 to revamp the current Welcome to Pocatello entrance signs along I-15.

City of Pocatello Science & Environment Division – $10,000 to restore a missing link of community space along the Portneuf Greenway on South Arthur between Benton and Halliday streets.

City of Pocatello – $8,500 to commission the creation of origami art exhibits and a supportive interpretive kiosk for display in the airport terminal.

Portneuf Greenway Foundation, Inc. – $200 for a dog station at the Red Hill Trailhead.

Nick Ifft was the publisher of the Idaho State Journal newspaper in Pocatello from 1966 until 1984. He and his wife Sara Ifft established a family foundation in 1984 to provide grants to benefit projects in southeastern Idaho and the greater Pocatello area. The Ifft Foundation was moved to the Idaho Community Foundation in 2001. Nick died in 2003 and Sara passed away in 2017.

Grantmaking Deadlines Bordered
Want grantmaking help? We're here for you! ICF Upcoming Deadlines - Grants and Scholarships

We are honored to be part of your philanthropy. Donor Relations Officer Lisa Bearg is here to assist our fundholders with questions about community needs or to help them with their grantmaking strategies.  

Most recently, she's been fielding questions from Donor Advised Fundholders about needs related to COVID-19, especially housing, food insecurity and education.  

For example, if a donor has a passion for early childhood education, their support might be a grant to a preschool, or to a program that trains preschool teachers. Or they might want to look more broadly and support organizations working toward systems level change. 

“My ultimate goal is to understand what impact looks like to each of our donors and help them invest in causes that are meaningful to them,” Lisa said. “I love exploring all the good work happening around our state and connecting our donors to these incredible causes.” 

You can reach Lisa by email or by calling 208-342-3535 x21.

North Idaho Action Fund Request for Information
We are seeking information about organizations, programs and projects that seek to provide mental health services and suicide awareness/prevention programs for individuals in Bonner and Boundary counties.

Organizations outside of Bonner and Boundary counties will be considered, as long as they provide services and education in these counties. There is no maximum request, but awards typically range from $15,000-$50,000 depending on the project scope and number of projects funded. 

The deadline is Oct. 20. Click here for the full guidelines and submission instructions.

The Cancer Connection Idaho Fund
The Cancer Connection Idaho (TCCI) Fund in ICF is offering grants up to $5,000 to nonprofits, public educational institutions, governmental entities and others that provide programs for those affected by cancer.

Grant applications should support TCCI’s mission to “empower people touched by cancer to find support, resources, education and a sense of community.”  Past grants have supported a writing contest for teens that had cancer or a loved one with cancer, wellness programs such as gentle yoga and movement classes, mind-body skills and more.

The deadline is Nov. 1, click here to apply.

Bistline Foundation Fund
The F.M., Anne G., and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation Fund in ICF is accepting applications for projects related to the arts in the southeast Idaho counties of Bannock, Bingham, Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power. Grants may fall under two categories:

  1. Supporting arts activities that will provide entertainment or art-related education to the general public; or
  2. Supporting the education, skills training, performance or display opportunities for local artists.

The Bistline Foundation was founded by Beverly Bistline of Pocatello to pay special tribute to her parents and their commitment to the arts, as well as to further her own support within the field. She passed away in October 2010 and her foundation became an ICF fund in 2011.

Click here for more information about eligibility and to apply – deadline is Nov. 1.

Honors & Memorials Legacy Society
Memorials and Honors New Legacy Society

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 September 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020:

In Memory of C.B. Coates
Robert and Bette Wunderle

In Memory of Gene Curtis
Patty Blaine

In Memory of Joyce Dillon
Community Assistance League of Sandpoint

In Memory of Dr. Tom Dillon
Ray and Linda Stark

In Memory of Amy Higham
Susan Buescher

In Memory of Joan Weitz
Patsy Lodge


We sincerely thank the members of our Legacy Society for enriching the quality of life throughout Idaho. We had two new members join in September who would like to remain anonymous. Members of the Legacy Society are generous donors who will continue to support Idaho communities through their estate plans.

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Phone: 208.342.3535  |  Email: info@idahocf.org