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The Fundraisers

How they do it on a dime

(page 3 of 3)

Vying for donors?

With the relatively small population compared with the number of charitable organizations, one might think there’d be fierce competition for contributions. But these three fundraising veterans say that’s not the case.

“Among colleagues, competition is a lot less than people might think,” Boettger says.

Because each organization has a different mission, a different focus, they attract different donors, although there’s bound to be some spillover, she explains. But those in the fundraising business set boundaries.

“It’s basic courtesy,” Boettger says, adding that those in the business cooperate, communicating with each other and respecting the others’ events calendar.

Watson, too, says there is no competition and, in fact, the nonprofits help each other.

“We really do share,” she says, adding that if they meet someone whose interests and passion fit another nonprofit better, they point that donor in the right direction.

“We’re just so fortunate to have the generous donors we have in this Valley, whoever they’re giving to,” she says.

Beahen Lipman notes there certainly are a lot of worthy nonprofits in the Valley.

“But there always seems to be donors who are passionate about a specific cause,” she says. The success of so many charitable organizations is due to “the wonderful people who live here.”

• The Wood River Land Trust is a conservation organization that helps landowners and communities protect and restore wildlife habitat, clean water, farmland, and scenic vistas. The organization has about 1,000 members and last year conserved almost double the land it had in the past 14 years. Its operating budget and programs run about $700,000 annually. Location: 119 East Bullion Street in Hailey. Phone: 208.788.3947. Visit their website:

• The Sun Valley Center for the Arts is a nonprofit educational arts organization founded in 1971 by Glenn and Bill Janss. The Center offers cultural experiences in line with larger urban centers and promotes the arts as an integral part of human development. It has 1,200 members and an operating budget of almost $2 million. Location: 191 5th Street East in Ketchum and 314 Second Avenue South in Hailey. Phone: 208.726.9491. Visit their website:

• Wood River Community YMCA is a multiprogram organization seeking to build strong youth, strong families and strong communities. The organization just completed a $22 million capital campaign to build a facility and operates on an annual budget of $3.2 million. It has more than 5,000 members and receives requests of $400,000 in financial assistance annually. Location: 101 Saddle Road in Ketchum. Phone: 208.727.9622. Visit their website:

Carol Ryan Dumas is editor of Ag Weekly in Twin Falls and has been a journalist and freelance writer/photographer for more than 20 years. She is impressed at the level of charitable giving in the Wood River Valley and pleasantly surprised that fundraising professionals were so open and willing to talk about how they do what they do.

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