The WRWF inspires and educates women to become leaders in philanthropy, and to bring significant, positive change to the community by pooling and distributing its members’ resources.
WRWF has over 250 members. The organization held its first event in July 2005, a tea for about 30 women. In less than six months the group doubled in size, due mainly to word of mouth.
We enthusiastically encourage all members to participate in selecting the Pooled Fund Grant recipients by casting their ballots each spring. Attending the Grant Finalists Presentations in March is a great way to cast an informed vote and learn more about the nonprofits which have qualified as finalists. In addition, we offer an educational Winter Forum in February which has earned a well-deserved reputation as a stimulating, informative afternoon. The Annual Meeting in August celebrates our grantees for that year. Our Summer Social is one of several informal events when WRWF women enjoy time together. WRWF members are welcome to invite prospective members and guests to the Winter Forum, Grant Finalists Presentations, Annual Meeting, and any social events. For substantive volunteer opportunities, please see the Membership page. We welcome all members to participate.
WRWF operates as a philanthropic gift fund in the Idaho Community Foundation (“ICF”). WRWF members make their contributions to ICF/WRWF and ICF is responsible for distributing the funds, in accordance with directions from WRWF, and for filing tax returns. This arrangement provides two benefits to WRWF: members’ contributions qualify as charitable contributions for tax purposes and WRWF avoids significant administrative costs. ICF does not charge for its services as long as it holds the funds for six months. WRWF has not sought to obtain its own tax-exempt designation from the IRS and for the foreseeable future will continue this beneficial relationship with ICF.
All committee chairs welcome additional help. To participate more fully, please contact committee chairs as listed on the Membership page. WRWF events are generated out of the interests and involvements of our members and are substantive, informative and well attended. These events are an opportunity to meet other interesting women with a commitment to the community.
DUES AND OTHER FINANCIAL QUESTIONS
Members contribute $1,000 a year to WRWF. In addition, we also require members to donate $100 per year to help cover the costs of some member events, travel and honorariums for educational speakers, the website, printing and mailings, and other administrative expenses.
New members may join at any time by making their annual contribution. (Individuals who join prior to the close of balloting in April are eligible to vote their preferences for the pooled grant recipients.) In subsequent calendar years, members are expected to make their annual contributions no later than the end of December. The membership form, for both new and renewing members, may be found on the Membership page.
Additional donations are, of course, welcome. At the same time, the goal is to include in our membership a wide spectrum of the Wood River Valley population. In keeping with this goal, all members may vote one ballot only regardless of the amount that they contribute and there will be no public recognition of those who choose to donate more. In the past some of our members have funded worthwhile projects that were not awarded grants from our Pooled Fund. This kind of leveraging enhances our reach and furthers our mission of educating our members on community needs. Please contact us by calling us at – (208) 309-2530 or email us at- email@example.com
Our $1,100 annual contribution covers our administrative costs. We do not anticipate having any fund-raising events, such as dinners or auctions. Future meetings and programs will either be free or for a charge sufficient to cover costs only. Fortunately, many members have been generous in donating their time, offering their homes and making many other kinds of contributions that help us minimize expenses.
MEMBER DESIGNATED FUNDS
WRWF encourages its members to make their full $1,000 annual contribution to the Pooled Grant Fund. WRWF does recognize that members have many charitable commitments and may wish to designate half of their annual contribution to one or two nonprofit organizations of their choice. Therefore, a member may elect to self-direct one gift of $500 or two gifts of $250 each. The remaining $500 of that member’s $1,000 contribution is pooled and used by the WRWF in its Pooled Grants Fund to be distributed to Blaine County nonprofits selected by the members.
If I choose to self-direct a portion of my annual contribution, when will organizations I've selected receive my donation(s)?
Organizations will receive those contributions approximately six to nine months after the receipt of your contribution to WRWF. (This timing is a requirement of ICF which collects and distributes contributions on behalf of WRWF at no charge to WRWF).
POOLED FUND GRANTS
The grants committee reviews short Letters of Inquiry submitted by nonprofits and selects approximately 20 such organizations to submit formal proposals for possible funding. Committee members make site visits to those applicants, evaluate them and select finalists to present to the membership. The finalists then make oral presentations at a March meeting open to all members. Balloting takes place during the early weeks of April. Each member is entitled to cast one ballot in the voting process to determine the grant award winners. Funds are made available to the selected beneficiaries in August.
We send emails to more than 100 nonprofits in the Wood River Valley and place notices in the local newspapers regarding the grants process and deadlines. In addition, local papers carry stories about the availability of the grants. We also encourage members to contact nonprofits with which they are involved and invite them to submit Letters of Inquiry.
Can a nonprofit apply to WRWF for a grant if it does not yet have a tax-exempt designation from the IRS?
ICF will work with the group to find an appropriate tax-exempt sponsor.
A religious organization sponsoring an activity that benefits the community, such as food distribution, education or healthcare, is eligible for the group grant.
Ballots for grants from the group’s pooled funds are e-mailed to each member and returned by e-mail, fax or USPS. In addition to keeping down administrative expenses and tasks, e-mail distribution helps reach all members efficiently.
A three-member elections committee receives and counts e-mail ballots, and only election committee members will know how specific members voted. The board of directors chooses the members of the election committee.
The grants committee and subcommittees use the following statement as a guideline in dealing with any conflicts of interest that may arise: All members of the WRWF are welcome to serve on the Pooled Fund Grant Committee. However, to avoid any conflict of interest, committee members are asked to disclose relationships they may have with all community organizations, nonprofit corporations or charitable programs seeking a grant from the WRWF. Often a member’s experience with an organization can be helpful to the discussion; however, once the discussion moves to the “selection” phase, advocacy (or lobbying) should cease in order that the committee members can reach consensus.