Investing in Charitable Giving

Becoming active in something bigger than ourselves helps us all feel like winners

Article by Kristen Larson

Photography by Ruth Novella + Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

It’s fitting that November falls at the end of the year. Not only is November the traditional kickoff for the high holiday season, it also serves as an important reminder about reflecting on all we are grateful for. To say the last couple of years have been a little unsettling would hardly be an understatement. However, one of the best ways to remedy fear is to become active in something bigger than ourselves.

Non-profit organizations across the Treasure Valley - and the state of Idaho - offer opportunities for local businesses and citizens alike to become involved with local charities and underserved groups as a way to give back and to create a sense of certainty in an uncertain world. 

One notable and familiar presence contributing to the community is the Bank of Idaho and its CEO, Jeff Newgard, who continues his mission to serve not only Idaho businesses but also to support local events and organizations.

“Banking is simply just a vehicle to take care of people,” says Newgard. Born on the Flathead Reservation in Poulson, Montana, Newgard’s family owned the local oil station/service distributorship and his formative years were spent behind the shop, lending a hand where needed. This type of background was perfectly suited for his role and continues a theme of service and community. 

The Bank of Idaho’s ongoing web of support is far-reaching with sponsorship of the local literary center, the Cabin.  Located in downtown Boise, the Cabin is the first—and only—center for readers and writers serving as an anchor of literary arts in our state, and is the only nonprofit organization in Idaho devoted entirely to arts and educational activities that celebrate reading and writing.

Newer programs like Covid Community Commitment Fund is a collaboration between Bank of Idaho and Idaho National Laboratory (INL). This fund with over $87,000 raised, has been set up to help nonprofit agencies and community partners who need emergency, rapid funding to continue operations, and help individuals in need or solve immediate issues caused by COVID-19. Another bank sponsored program, Feed our Heroes, is an organized effort having brought 1,000 meals to frontline workers at local health systems. The real heroes in the fight against COVID-19 are the ones putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us, treat us and keep us safe. 

With Newgard at the helm, Bank of Idaho has plans to grow its presence not just as a stronghold in the business, but through the lens of community.  Their community outreach extends from the Boise Hawks & Idaho Falls Chukars to The Art Museum (TAM) in Idaho Falls that provides accessibility to its youngest and oldest local residents. It is a fact that cities who support the arts in their community benefit economically.   “We look forward to continuing to contribute from a time and money perspective,” says Newgard.

There is clear evidence that links engaging in altruistic activities with heightened levels of endorphins, nature’s ‘feel good’ response. So essentially, the more we all help, the better we all feel.   To learn more on these and other charitable organizations, visit

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