Reader's View, philanthropy Idaho Community Foundation can help you give back


Boise - The Idaho StatesmanMay 8, 2013 

The Idaho Community Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. During that time we've touched the lives of tens of thousands of Idahoans - those seeking help and those offering it.

Thanks to our generous donors and fund creators, we have provided grants to a miniature therapy pony in Lemhi County that needed a new trailer so he could continue visiting ill children and homebound senior citizens, and a food bank in tiny Oldtown (pop. 200) that provides a food safety net for people in North Idaho that includes fresh produce from local gardens, and pet food for dogs and cats. We have touched literally every community in Idaho.

We helped the estate of Gladys Langroise establish a $15 million fund that will forever provide support to The College of Idaho, the Boise Philharmonic, the Children's Home Society and more. The Panhandle Alliance for Education has provided more than $1 million in grants to teachers in the Lake Pend Oreille School District, thanks in part to its ICF endowed fund.

To date, ICF has distributed more than $65 million to charitable causes and scholarships throughout our fine state. Our endowment now stands at more than $80 million dollars. Our goal is to help you Find Your Passion, Invest Wisely and Give Forever.

Endowed funds at community foundations work like this:

Find Your Passion - Philanthropic people establish funds to provide financial support to nonprofit organizations or students seeking scholarships. Their goals can be specific - distributions may go to a particular organization or establish a scholarship in a particular field of study - or general. Fund creators get a tax deduction for establishing a fund and additional deductions each time they donate to it. ICF has nearly 500 funds.

Invest Wisely - Those funds are invested by our investment managers. The investment managers are overseen by our own Investment Committee, which is composed of financial experts from throughout Idaho.

Give Forever - Endowed funds literally give forever. Every year, fund creators, their heirs or other designees are allowed to give a percentage of their fund to the qualified nonprofit(s) of their choice. They can also leave that responsibility to local citizens who serve on ICF's regional grants panels and review dozens of applications to our regional grant cycles every year.

Since 1988, the Idaho Community Foundation has helped hundreds of companies and individuals achieve their philanthropic goals. The idea of a community foundation made sense in those early days and it still makes sense today.

Margaret Gigray and Whit Jones at the Whittenberger Foundation had the idea of what a community foundation could mean to Idaho and brought the idea to John Fery, then CEO of Boise Cascade, and Peter Johnson, former head of Bonneville Power. Thanks to their efforts, we have had a very successful 25 years.

Help us celebrate our 25th anniversary by attending our luncheon on Tuesday, May 14 at the Boise Centre. ICF founder John Fery will be our keynote speaker. We'd also ask you to consider purchasing a tax-deductible membership in the Idaho Community Foundation. Finally, if you are inclined, consider starting an ICF fund either now or as part of your estate planning.

For more information, please call us at (208) 342-3535 or visit

Mike McBride is ICF chair-elect and Bob Hoover is ICF president and CEO.

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