Thursday, June 24, 2021
Spur Community Foundation Spurs on Nonprofits with Gifts
The Wood River Community YMCA, which staged a couple of goat yoga classes to lift spirits during the pandemic, is among the recipients of the Spur Community Foundation.
Sunday, April 18, 2021



Spur Community Foundation, an organization dedicated to inspiring effective philanthropy in the Wood River Valley, made $364,012 in grants to 21 local nonprofit organizations in the first of four grant cycles offered this year.

Spur’s granting capacity is made possible by individuals who value Spur as a resource for their local philanthropy. Spur holds a variety of funds with distinct purposes from which it makes grants. People interested in contributing in the Wood River Valley donate to the funds that best fit their interests. These gifts are pooled with other donations and granted collectively to the causes Spur selects, based on knowledge of local needs and opportunities and on the proposals received.

This recent grant cycle was open to all 70+ nonprofits who actively serve the local community. Twenty-six grant proposals were received. The average amount distributed per grant was $17,334.

Grant recipients include 

Alliance of Idaho

Blaine County Education Foundation

Blaine County Recreation District

Camp Rainbow Gold

Community Library

Crisis Hotline

Environmental Resource Center (ERC)

Girls on the Run of Southern Idaho

I Have A Dream Foundation - Idaho

I Have A Dream Foundation - Idaho & Idaho BaseCamp

Lee Pesky Learning Center

Mountain Humane

Mountain Rides

NAMI Wood River Valley

Nature Conservancy


Sawtooth Society

Senior Connection


Wood River Wolf Project

Wood River YMCA

Spur bases grant decisions on the merits of each proposal and the amount of money available in funds that align with the purpose of the requests received. Spur’s grants process requires applicants to declare specific goals that will be achieved with the funding. Grant recipients must report back to Spur about the results achieved, lessons learned, and the future of the work supported by the grant.

“The reporting process assures accountability but also fosters confidence in the ongoing work of a grantee,” said Spur Executive Director Sally Gillespie. “We take a partnership approach to helping strategically focused and effective organizations pursue their missions.”

One of the largest pools of money in this granting cycle came from the Marilyn Rivera Memorial Fund, established in the name of Marilyn Rivera after her death in 2019. Thanks to the generosity of Marilyn’s friends and family, her legacy continues to benefit the community.

Overall, causes supported through the 21 grants include 40% of granting to education programs, 35% to health and human service-related causes, and 25% to environmental or animal causes.

“We are so grateful for Spur’s grant to help increase the amount of academic support provided outside of normal school hours to students at all eight public schools in the district,” said Kristy Heitzman, executive director of the Blaine County Education Foundation. “With a straightforward process and direct communications, Spur continually demonstrates its commitment to helping nonprofits get real work done and to make a difference in the lives of students we serve.”

Starting with this cycle, Spur is introducing an online catalog of needs and opportunities related to the proposals they received. The catalog can be accessed via Spur’s website. Anyone can donate online to programs or funds that catch their interest. Other than standard credit card fees deducted by the processer, 100% of each donation will go to the selected causes.

Spur accepts grant proposals year-round and evaluates them at grants committee meetings scheduled four times per year. The next meeting will be June 16, 2021. Future granting will be subject to the funds available at that time.

Founded in 2016, Spur's mission is to inspire effective philanthropy for the Wood River Valley. Spur seeks to:

• Expand funding to the nonprofit sector

• Foster excellence and accountability among local nonprofits

• Assist donors with their charitable giving Spur’s operational expenses are funded by its board members, a group of advisors, and small cohort of donors.

To learn more, visit or call Spur at 208-450-2600


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