Our Fund Raising Efforts
History of our Fund Raising Effort
Our parent organization – the Southern Idaho Sailing Association (SISA) – has sponsored recreational sailing and racing in Southern Idaho for over 30 years. The Board of Directors recognized a need for community outreach, and especially youth education, to provide for the future of sailing in Idaho. Several initial meetings culminated in the formation of our organization – Southern Idaho Sailing Outreach – and the development of our vision and mission. We elected a Board of Directors, developed a business plan and formulated our Articles of Incorporation. We were incorporated in the State of Idaho in late 2017 and obtained a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt determination from the IRS in 2018.
In order to teach sailing classes, we first needed a venue. Spring Shores Marina at Lucky Peak State Park was chosen as the best location because of its existing facilities and proximity to Boise. We formed a partnership with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and Ada and Boise Counties for the use of the facility. However, improvements in the infrastructure were needed – specifically dock improvements were required to accommodate small, non-motorized watercraft.
In 2017, in partnership with Ada County Parks and Waterways, we authored a grant application to begin dock improvements at Spring Shores Marina. This was our first fundraising effort, and it was a big success. The grant was approved and awarded, and Phase 1 of the dock expansion process was installed in the spring of 2018. This was followed a year later with another successful grant to complete the dock purchase and installation. The dock expansion project was fully funded at $120,000 and was completed in the Spring of 2019. See “Our Classroom” page for photographs and more information about the dock expansion project.
Moving forward, our next goal was to certify sailing instructors in coordination with the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department and begin the purchase of a fleet of sailboats to use for instruction. We assisted the City of Boise with securing financial support for the instructor certification effort, and by the summer of 2019, we had a cadre of sailing instructors certified through the US Sailing Association.
Last, but certainly not least, instructional sailboats and a safety/teaching platform boat were required in order to make our vision a reality. We selected an optimum small sailboat for instructional purposes – the RS Zest – and through private donations and small loans were able to purchase ten of these boats in time to hold two weeklong summer sailing camps in the summer of 2019. Along with these instructional sailboats, we purchased one used safety/teaching boat and received an additional safety/teaching boat through a private donation.
Current and Future Fundraising Efforts
The success of our program to date is just a start. In the future, we hope to reach much more youth in weeklong summer sailing camps and evening sessions. We believe everyone should have an opportunity to learn to sail; the City of Boise has scholarship programs available to help reach that goal. We also plan to branch out into other programs for adults, veterans, school programs, and adaptive sailing for the disabled.
After kids graduate from "Sailing 101", we hope to provide training on more advanced boats that could potentially lead to collegiate or Olympic sailing opportunities. Future plans include a sailing learning center at Lucky Peak with additional equipment storage, new safety boats, and a number of advanced sailboats for youth or adults that would like to take sailing to the next level.
Of course, realizing these goals takes more than volunteer efforts; it takes financial resources. To that end, our Raise the Sails campaign seeks to raise just over $400,000 to accomplish our objectives. Please consider making a tax-exempt donation to help us reach our goals.