The mission of the Women's Gift Alliance (WGA) is to pool the talents and resources of women in Kootenai County to provide meaningful financial support to a broad range of charitable, cultural and educational projects within our community. The Women's Gift Alliance was formed to address the charitable needs within the North Idaho Community.
WGA strives to increase women's awareness, involvement and leadership in philanthropy in order to provide significant financial support to a broad range of community projects. WGA awards annual grants from its Pooled Fund through a collaborative selection process directed by its membership. The grant selection process promotes the education of its members allowing them to become more knowledgeable and skilled philanthropists.
In March of 2004, Janice Baldwin and seven fellow visionary women established the Women's Gift Alliance of Kootenai County. The goal of this endeavor had two aims; the first, to enable women to pool their financial resources in order to make large focused gifts to improve the community, and second, to teach women about giving and developing skills as engaged and informed philanthropists.
The pooled giving approach was modeled after the Washington Women's Foundation in Seattle, formed 10 years prior to the inception of WGA. Janice wanted to utilize this proven strategy to educate women in Kootenai County of the wide variety of needs in the nonprofit arena.
One of the unique aspects of WGA is the grant committee, where members participate in evaluating the myriad of proposals the organization receives. This committee’s tasks include closely assessing the needs of applicant organizations, directing the vetting process to how the funds will be used, visiting each site to gain better visibility of the operation and scope of needs, and presenting the organization to the membership to vote on the final recipient. After a grant is awarded, this committee also ensures the monies are spent as the proposal indicated.
In its first year, 52 women served as the founding members of Women's Gift Alliance. The membership voted to award its first pooled grant of $26,000 in 2005 to Kootenai County Search and Rescue Council.
Today, the membership has over 125 members and has gifted over $980,000 back to the community through its pooled grant fund and individually-designated grants. One of the great benefits that members enjoy is to leverage their single gift with others, which in turn contributes to a stronger Kootenai County.
Since 2005, WGA has dramatically affected 23 different non-profits with large gifts to impact this community. Over 100 different organizations have received funds from the individually-designated gifts of the membership. Countless women in the region have been given the opportunity to give through WGA, and with continued access to a deeper knowledge of the greatest needs in Kootenai County, can more pointedly focus their families’ philanthropic giving for decades to come.
Founder: Janice Baldwin
Janice H Baldwin was the founder and first president of the Women’s Gift Alliance, which began in 2004.
Her presidency spanned eight years from 2004 until 2011. She also served on the WGA Grant Committee for ten years. Janice is a senior vice president, Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch in Coeur d'Alene. She has been serving her clients for more than 35 years with Merrill Lynch. Janice is a senior vice president, Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch in Coeur d'Alene. She has been serving her clients for more than 35 years with Merrill Lynch. Janice and Brad were instrumental in helping bring the Spokane Union Gospel Mission to Coeur d’Alene. They have been on the Schweitzer Chapel Board from 1994 to present, Board co-chairs 1998-2008. Janice served on the North Idaho Partnership Council for the Inland Northwest Community Foundation from 2008-2014. She is currently the vice chair of the Grant Committee of the INWCF and has served on the Inland Northwest Community Foundation Board since Sept 2014. Janice has been married to Brad for 30 years, and they have three adult children, JoAnne, Jenica and Brett. What a joy to live and work in the Coeur d'Alene/ Hayden area.
Brenda Thorpe ▪ LuAnn Ganz ▪ Julie Ukich ▪ Amy Hewel ▪ Janeanne Upp ▪ Patti Holman ▪ Anne Wagstaff ▪ Julie Johnson
President - Kim Ransier
Vice President - Sue Berg
Past President - Vacant
Secretary - Donna Stambaugh
Treasurer - Andrea Dugan
Communications Committee Chair - Sarah McCracken
Education Committee Chair - Scarlet Kelso
Grant Administration Committee Chair - Laurie Brunette
Grant Committee Co-Chair - Colette Erickson
Grant Committee Co-Chair - Sarah Swanby
Grant Committee Co-Chair - Sue Berg
Membership Committee Chair - Brenda Wild
At-Large Member - Melissa DeMotte
At-Large Member - Liz Salisbury
At-Large Member - Jovanna Tanzey
Emerita Member - Janet Robnett
Emerita Member - Janice Baldwin