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Beautifying Idaho through an ICF donor advised fund

Beautifying Idaho through an ICF donor advised fund

When the Ifft family sold their newspaper interests in 1984, Nick and Sara Ifft established a private foundation to benefit projects in southeast Idaho and the greater Pocatello area. In 2001, the Ifft Foundation transferred approximately $1.4 million in assets to the Idaho Community Foundation to become a donor advised fund.

"Having firsthand knowledge of ICF, its board, and its management, Sara and I were confident that the Idaho Community Foundation would provide the continuity and responsible stewardship we were looking for," Ifft said when he transferred the foundation to an ICF donor advised fund.

Since 2001, the fund has distributed nearly $1.2 million for projects in Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power counties.

Today, the Ifft Foundation Fund runs grant cycles every year in the spring and fall. Approximately $110,000 to $120,000 is given away each year. Grants of up to $5,000, or up to $10,000 for landscaping and beautification, are given to projects that:

  • Benefit community beautification and public recreation in southeast Idaho with primary emphasis on landscaping and beautification projects.

  • Benefit education, history and the arts in southeast Idaho

  • Improve the quality of public life in southeast Idaho

The fund's advisors — Nicholas A. Tsakrios, Richard W. Garvin and Mark Buckalew — review the grant applications and recommend how the grants should be distributed. The ICF Board of Directors gives the final approval.

Garvin, who was chairman of the Ifft Foundation for 12 years, said the Iffts decided to transfer the foundation to an ICF fund to save time and effort.

"It was becoming very time consuming to run the family foundation and we found that we were spending an inordinate amount of time on it," Garvin said. "Working with ICF meant many fewer hours of work and we received a far nicer product."

Nick Ifft was a founding director of the Idaho Community Foundation, and served from 1988 to 1996 and from 2001-2002.

In addition to their donor advised fund, the Iffts established the Ifft Eastern Region Fund, which was met by a challenge grant from the Albertson's corporation, and an operating endowment to help with ICF's ongoing administrative expenses. Nick passed away in 2003. Sara lives in Pocatello and remains involved with ICF as a member.


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