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Study: Invest $1 in Idaho Nonprofits and the Return is $150

September 30, 2010

BOISE, Idaho - Give a dollar – and make a difference worth $150. A new study presented in Boise on Wednesday tracked each foundation dollar granted to 20 nonprofit advocacy groups working to change policies, rules and laws in the Northwest. The goal was to calculate the return on the investment in terms of better wages, living conditions and expanded services.

In Idaho, expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program and and regulation of spraying toxic dairy waste on food crops are two victories noted in the report, from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
Report co-author Lisa Ranghelli says some of the local nonprofits' biggest victories were seen in Idahoans' paychecks.

"They were able to ensure that the state minimum wage would increase along with the federal, and their state minimum wage actually covers farmworkers."

NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman says, while they focused on grants from foundations, there's a lesson to be learned for anyone giving to charities. He suggests focusing not just on direct services, but to keep the bigger picture in mind.

"If you're an individual donor and you want to make a difference on issues, find some advocacy groups in your community that are working to build long-term solutions to these problems."

The Idaho Community Action Network, the Idaho Rural Council, and the Snake River Alliance are featured in the report, which was presented at the 2010 Statewide Idaho Nonprofit Conference. The full report is online at www.ncrp.org.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID