April 2021 News Brief
WRWF 2021 Grant Recipients
In an unprecedented year that presented multiple challenges to local nonprofits, WRWF stepped up, across, and forward in support of our community. We are profoundly grateful for your support of our mission this year. Thank you to all who gave to the pooled fund, the first step in our annual process. Thank you to the dozens of volunteers who stepped forward to bring the grants ballot to our membership. Thank you to all who became informed about the applicants on the ballot and voted. WRWF’s commitment to deliver philanthropic support to our nonprofit partners begins and ends with each of you. We have now given more than $3.2 million in grants since WRWF was founded in 2005. Congratulations to each of you for your dedication to improve life in Blaine County. What an amazing year of creative stepping up, and what a terrific group of 2021 grantees! In the coming months, we will be spotlighting each of our 2021 grant recipients.
This year the WRWF is awarding $287,928 to twenty local nonprofits from its 2021 pooled grant fund.
2021 WRWF Grant Recipients
- Blaine County Charitable Fund, Emergency Assistance Grant Program, $25,000
- Blaine County Education Foundation, Back on Track Support, $25,000
- Blaine County Housing Foundation, Housing Gap Grants, $11,000
- Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD), Quigley Trails Park Infrastructure, $25,000
- Friends of the Hailey Public Library, Furniture and Outdoor Space, $25,000
- Girls on the Run, Blaine County Programming for Girls Grades 3-8, $9,940
- I Have a Dream Foundation, Elementary School Program Expansion, $25,000
- Lee Pesky Learning Center, Pathways to Literacy Program, $25,000
- Little Wood River District Library, Completion of Xeriscaping, $10,000
- Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Arena Footing – Main Arena, $15,664
- The Alliance of Idaho, Legal Support, $25,000
- The Senior Connection, New Bus for Senior Transportation, $15,228
- Wood River Community YMCA, Power Scholars Academy Camp, $25,000
- Wood River Trails Coalition, Volunteer Trail Boss Program, $22,460
2021 Partial Funded Grants
- 3rd Chance, “Good Food, Good Mood,” $606
- Flourish Foundation, Restoring Wild Youth, $606
- Hailey Ice, COVID Relief Grant, $606
- Idaho Conservation League, Fostering a Wildlife Smart Community, $606
- Mountain Humane, Pet Retention Program, $606
- The Space Idaho, The Forward Learning Scholars Program, $606
Click here for a PDF of the 2021 WRWF grantees.
Focus Grant 2022
This month Wood River Women’s Foundation members selected the first-ever Focus Grant 2022 (FG2022) topic—Closing the Opportunity Gap in Education. This grant is a big first step in piloting a multi-year grant to “move the needle” on a pressing community need.
While it is no easy feat to launch a pilot program during a global pandemic, the hardships in education exacerbated by COVID-19 make our initiative more critical than ever. For more information about the Focus Grant 2022, click here.
While WRWF has a committed history of awarding education-related grants, the investment we are making through FG2022 will specifically address the learning inequities that exist in Blaine County. As our topic makes clear, the Focus Grant will be a significant WRWF investment toward closing the opportunity gap in education.
Since its founding, WRWF has invested more than half a million dollars in various Blaine County educational programs and services. Through the 2021 pooled grants fund, members voted to award four $25,000 grants to organizations working on elementary school literacy, assisting students in K-8 who have fallen behind due to the pandemic, and providing summer enrichment programming to keep first and second graders on track. These individual grants are an important step toward making a much-needed impact in the education divide in Blaine County.
The support from and input provided by members during the process of creating the new Focus Grant is greatly appreciated. The Grants Committee will be working to develop the structure of Focus Grant 2022 over the next few months. Stay tuned for news on our progress!
Honoring WRWF’s First Legacy Gifts
WRWF recently received its first ever legacy gifts and we are truly honored at the generosity and trust of Audrey Bashaw and Camille McCray, both of whom were founding members. Their lasting gifts will help ensure our friends and neighbors throughout Blaine County continue to benefit from WRWF’s philanthropic mission.
Audrey and Camille actively participated in WRWF work and saw for themselves the impact their contributions—both in time and treasure—made in the community. Their desire to continue their impact well into the future is truly inspiring. The steps they took to name WRWF in their wills demonstrates their values in action; the community commitment they held dear will endure even though they are gone.
This is a special moment in WRWF’s evolution, solidly advancing our financial foundation and providing resources to help amplify our impact. The steps Camille and Audrey took in their financial planning make clear that we are blessed with members who were committed to philanthropic service while they were here, and willing to invest a little planning time so they could continue to help WRWF build a stronger community far into the future.
WRWF extends our most profound gratitude to Audrey, Camille and their families. These wonderful, generous women offer a legacy of inspiration and motivation to all of us.
Several other WRWF members have named the Foundation in their wills and estates. If you named WRWF in your will and have not shared that information, please let us know so we can properly thank you. If you would like to make a legacy designation to WRWF, please consult your financial advisor or estate planning attorney.
WRWF recently connected with Graybird Foundation, an organization that donates marketing services to community-minded nonprofits. Graybird is providing WRWF with a pro bono grant to help us better understand the perceptions of our organization and guide our marketing efforts as we embark on our next fifteen years. It is vital for your voice to be heard as part of this initiative.
We have asked Graybird to reach out to all WRWF members to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate. Over the next few weeks, you will receive a request to share your opinions during a phone interview. Instructions will also be sent on how to sign up for a thirty-minute time slot via the Doodle app. Please know your comments will be kept entirely confidential and rolled up in aggregate form when used in this market research. Thank you so much for your participation in this exciting project!
The Advocates Address Abuse
Tricia Swartling, Executive Director of The Advocates (photo credit: Karen Bossick)
The Advocates recently participated in a virtual program on domestic abuse and sexual assault titled, “If These Walls Could Talk.” Part of the Spur Community Foundations’ Roundtable Series, this presentation was also represented by the Blaine County Charitable Fund, The Senior Connection, NAMI, the Crisis Hotline, The Alliance of Idaho, The Hunger Coalition and Mountain Humane. WRWF granted The Advocates $25,000 in 2020. Click here to access a video link to this presentation.
Hunger Coalition Greenhouse Tours
WRWF members tour new Hunger Coalition greenhouse
On April 13, 2021, twelve WRWF members took a tour of the Hunger Coalition’s new facility and new greenhouses located at 110 Honeysuckle Street in Bellevue. Krista Felton, Development Manager, and Mary Simms, Development Coordinator, each led a small group of socially-distanced and masked members through the new spaces to discuss their various uses. The greenhouses will extend the growing season by six weeks for vegetables that are grown by the Hunger Coalition. Even now some vegetables have been harvested and new ones are popping up through the rich soil. The group moved from the greenhouses to the larger building and the new Community Room, which will be a public space open to everyone. The Community Room adjoins the new, beautiful, and well-equipped commercial kitchen where meals will soon be prepared and enjoyed in the Community Room. Then it was on to the warehouse where the bulk of the items available for pick-up are stored. A second tour took place on April 20, 2021.
New Member Orientation
Spring New Member Orientation
The Membership Committee held its annual New Member Spring Orientation on March18, 2021. Usually this would be our Après Ski event at one of our member’s beautiful homes where all WRWF members are invited to attend. This year due to COVID-19, it was necessary to hold a virtual event. Kathleen Eder, Membership Co-Chair welcomed sixteen new members at this virtual event. WRWF co-founder Barbara Thrasher provided a history of the Wood River Women’s Foundation. WRWF President Terri Bullock spoke to the new members about our mission, after which each committee chair provided a short presentation on her own journey with WRWF, a description of the purpose of her committee and invited new members to join her committee. Following the committee chairs’ presentations, each new member in attendance gave a short introduction about her time in the Wood River Valley, how she came to join WRWF, her professional background and personal interests. The Zoom orientations have become a great way for our new members to get to know our committee chairs and each other. Here is a link to the recording of the Spring New Member Orientation.
Future Forward Après Ski Event
Future Forward gather at Après Ski event
Thirteen Future Forward members (WRWF members age fifty and younger) recently gathered at River Run for an Après Ski event. WRWF member, Summer Baldwin Bauer, Future Forward liaison, organized the well-attended event to provide another opportunity for the Future Forward members to get to know each other.
Some members met early to enjoy some spring skiing. As the group arrived, they took the opportunity to introduce themselves and talk in small groups. Summer then welcomed everyone, introducing herself and WRWF President Terri Bullock. Terri gave these new members an overview of her WRWF journey and then talked a bit about what is in store for the foundation in the coming months. Future Forward members then introduced themselves to the group and shared a bit about their time with WRWF. If you are interested in learning more about Future Forward membership, please contact Summer Bauer at email@example.com.
Welcoming New Members
New members of the WRWF are invited to provide photos and a bit of information about themselves to share in the News Brief. We are delighted to welcome all new members whether they elect to participate or not. A warm WRWF welcome to all who joined this month!
Karissa Price-Rico, Ph.D.
Karissa Price-Rico grew up in the Wood River Valley. After graduating from Wood River High School, she was off to college, then graduate school before ending up in Los Angeles, where she worked for twenty years. Karissa returned to the Valley full-time five years ago with husband Juan Rico, a native of Madrid, Spain, and their thirteen-year-old son, Santiago. Two adorable Golden Retrievers, Messi and Enzo complete the family.
Karissa is a strategic leader with broad industry experience as well as deep healthcare experience focused on improving the healthcare experience of consumers and clinicians. Karissa currently leads Marketing Strategy for the Food, Consumables and Health and Wellness businesses at Walmart. She is passionate about driving sustainable change in the US healthcare system and empowering people to live their best lives one day at a time.
Charlotte Westendorf was born and raised in Southern Idaho and moved to Hailey in 2006 after graduating from Boise State University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. She has two daughters, Ella and Ivy, who share a love for the outdoors! Charlotte also loves to travel and experience other cultures.
Charlotte is a Wealth Manager focused on relationship management and business development at U.S. Bank in the Wood River Valley. She also serves as Treasurer for Swiftsure Equine Therapeutic Ranch.
A Big Welcome to These Additional New Members!
Meg Chambers – Ketchum
Anne McLean – Sun Valley
Cathy Swink – Ketchum
Krista Simor – Ketchum
WRWF President’s Closing Message
WRWF President, Terri Bullock
Recently, I read a NonProfit PRO article detailing what it takes to build a dynamic board for an organization. I did some comparison to where I believe WRWF’s board is relative to the ten basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards and was quite impressed and reassured to find that the hard work our board has focused on these past few years is in direct alignment with what makes a dynamic board. Here’s how WRWF’s board lines up with these ten responsibilities:
- Determine the organization’s mission and purpose—check. Our Mission and purpose remain consistent—to educate members to become leaders in philanthropy and to pool our resources for significant and positive change in the community.
- Select a chief executive and work closely with that individual—our organizational model does not include an Executive Director; however, every committee is represented on our board and as President, I am closely tethered to each committee.
- Provide proper financial oversight by overseeing financial controls—check. We have a highly accredited, professional CPA as our Treasurer. She runs a robust financial committee, oversees every financial transaction and is spearheading internal annual audits of our procedures.
- Ensure adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission—admittedly, WRWF operates on a very small administrative fee paid by each member, and otherwise relies on the generous additional contributions by members, as well as our endowment, to operate WRWF. Our Board Members are volunteers who contribute 100% of their time to the operation of WRWF.
- Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability—check. Our governance committee works tirelessly to assure sound policies, procedures and practices that assure our fiduciary responsibilities are of the highest standard, and that as an Idaho nonprofit, we fully comply with the Idaho Nonprofit Corporation Act.
- Ensure effective organizational planning and monitor the plan’s goals—check. Our current Strategic Plan was launched in 2019 and to date, we continue to monitor plan progress through quarterly Steering Committee meetings, ensuring accountability of plan progress.
- Recruit and orient new board members and assess board performance—as shared in News Brief, on the website and on WRWF social media platforms, three new board members have been recruited since January. Additionally, we conduct formal new board member orientations, and are working on a new, formalized board performance assessment tool.
- Enhance the organization’s public standing—check. Over the past two years our public-facing communication tools—including the website, our monthly News Brief, and our social media platforms—have been revamped to ensure greater accessibility and transparency for both our members and the larger community. The work on this front will always require ongoing efforts; this month, WRWF is launching a market survey project in collaboration with Graybird Foundation to help us better understand current perceptions, and to guide us toward developing a robust brand and marketing strategy. Graybird is providing this work on a pro bono basis.
- Determine, monitor and strengthen the organization’s programs and services—check. This was a critical component in our Strategic Plan. WRWF has created documented procedures for key positions, outlined skills necessary for these positions, and assured that our grants processes are current for how we actually execute our grants.
- Support the chief executive and assess performance—I would like to end here, with saying that I have been fully supported by a board of directors who truly care about executing our responsibilities as a dynamic board, and who further care about the sustainability of WRWF and what our organization contributes to Blaine County. We cannot have a dynamic board without dynamic board members, and I am truly excited to continue to work with our board in 2021.
It is my honor to extend gratitude to all the women who have stepped up to do the heavy lifting of board work at a large nonprofit, particularly one that has only a single, part-time staffer. I appreciate not just those serving today, but the dozens who have sat at this table and led this organization since 2006. Thank you to all who have volunteered your time, skills and high-level commitment to ensuring the ongoing success of WRWF!
Until next month –